STEPHEN GLOVER: The world is tiring of the shallow, selfish Sussexes. When their moaning is long forgotten, the monarchy will still endure
Will Harry and Meghan kill off the monarchy? Lots of people think so. Others hope they will. I should be astonished if they do.
That the couple will go on causing turbulence can’t be doubted. Tomorrow will see the release of episodes four, five and six of their Netflix fantasy docu-series. Many think these will be more incendiary than last Thursday’s three-part offering.
Harry said in a trailer released earlier this week that people were ‘happy to lie’ to protect his brother, the Prince of Wales, but ‘they were never willing to tell the truth to protect us’. That sounds like a nasty dig at courtiers and the Royal Family.
Yet in a slightly different trailer, the phrase ‘the British media’ is substituted for ‘people’ so that the complaint is directed not at flunkeys or the royals themselves but at Harry’s and Meghan’s traditional imagined foes, the newspapers.
Yesterday the couple upped the ante. In a new trailer, Meghan claimed negative stories about her would appear in the Press immediately after critical pieces that featured other members of the Royal Family. The suggestion is that there was a conspiracy, hatched by courtiers, to attack her in order to take the heat off other royals.
I don’t expect she will provide any persuasive examples to support her bizarre allegations, which, apart from anything else, betray zero understanding of the way the Press works.
What seems clear is that the Royal Family will come in for more of a bashing than last week, while the media will receive a second barrel. The false suggestion is that both targets are racist institutions which have been beastly to the Sussexes.
But then what? The Duke’s memoir, Spare, is due in the new year, and we may confidently predict that it will contain the familiar litany of gripes, perceived slights and alleged racism. It is also possible that it won’t be the most brilliant book ever published.
And then? If only they would keep quiet for a while, many of us would be grateful. However, it’s unlikely the tenacious couple will oblige. They will go on whingeing about the way they have been treated, and periodically lecture us about how we should live our lives.
Tomorrow will see the release of episodes four, five and six of Meghan and Harry’s Netflix docu-series
Nonetheless, I believe their act will fade. In fact, it is already beginning to pall. Having watched all the first three episodes, I am struck by this thought. For all their protestations, the Sussexes have very little to complain about.
They strive to make a few minor setbacks and inconveniences go a very long way. When all is said and done, Harry and Meghan have lived a charmed life and are immensely privileged and fortunate people. They have made a huge fortune out of their very small grievances.
They have not, in my view, produced any concrete examples of racism in either the Royal Family or the media. Because the evidence is so thin — some would say non-existent — they produce sensationalist commentary to spice up the narrative.
So last week we had Meghan recalling how she felt on the eve of her wedding, at a time when she was being adored by the media and had been welcomed by the Royal Family: ‘Truth be told, no matter how hard I tried, no matter how good I was, no matter what I did… they were still gonna find a way to destroy me.’
Almost two thirds of the public hold a negative opinion of Meghan, according to YouGov, which amounts to a seven-point drop since November
This is preposterous, of course. Meghan could conceivably be paranoid. More likely, she is determined to portray herself as a victim — despite the almost total lack of evidence that she is — in order to sell her series, for which Netflix have reportedly paid the couple over $100million.
In the trailer earlier this week, Meghan says: ‘I wasn’t being thrown to the wolves. I was being fed to the wolves.’ This is a ludicrous claim. We can be certain there will be no convincing proof that justifies such wildly hyperbolic language.
The truth is, there is no basis for the unremitting grumbles of the heroically self-centred Sussexes. Such sympathy as the public in this country retains for them is wilting fast.
In America, in particular, there may be a hard core of celebrity obsessed fans who will continue to lap up any amount of tedious claptrap. There will always be a few warriors eager to spot racism where none exists.
But in Britain people are growing ever more fed up with the Sussexes. A YouGov poll, conducted before last week’s episodes were released, suggests that only a third have a positive view of Harry, with 59 per cent holding a negative opinion of him. That is a 13- point drop since last month.
As for Meghan, she is even more unloved. Almost two thirds of the public hold a negative opinion of her, according to YouGov, which amounts to a seven-point drop since November.
Is it really likely that this couple, with their inventory of baseless grouses and unsupported allegations that are rapidly growing stale, represent a serious long-term threat to the future of the monarchy? I very much doubt it.
No, Harry and Meghan are a dwindling force, and quite soon most of us probably won’t even notice when they open their mouths to air tiresomely familiar grumbles. I doubt there will be another six-part Netflix series about them. Harry can spawn only one memoir, though Meghan will presumably one day tell her side of the story.
It is true that the institution of the monarchy took a hit when the Queen died in September, since she had been on the throne for so long and displayed such an assured touch.
But the monarchy is resilient and will surely survive the death even of a greatly loved Queen. Its vigour and attractiveness are conveyed by the photograph of the Prince and Princess of Wales, along with their children George, Charlotte and Louis, that forms their Christmas card this year.
A YouGov poll, conducted before last week’s episodes were released, suggests that only a third have a positive view of Harry, with 59 per cent holding a negative opinion of him
William and Kate are dressed casually. They look relaxed and happy. Here are the unstuffy future King and Queen — a world away from the angry, permanently tortured and disputatious Sussexes.
William and Kate must have their resentments and pet hates but, in the manner of the late Queen, they have kept them to themselves. They are prepared to play the part allotted to them.
Even now, I wish Prince Harry could find a way to put his resentments against the media and the Royal Family in proportion, and return to his old life of duty and service.
That is impossible, of course.
It is partly that so many hurtful accusations have been made. But Harry has not only set himself against his family but also his country, which was portrayed in the first three episodes as a bigoted, racist backwater.
His heart is elsewhere –— with the woman he loves. He is increasingly dominated by the Hollywood-inspired values she holds. Meghan does not appreciate the concepts of service and dignity.
Tomorrow’s new episodes will create more controversy. But it will pass. This country is tiring of the selfish and shallow Sussexes. When their ridiculous moaning has been long forgotten, the British monarchy will still endure.
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