KC has avoided commentary on the bulimic, salacious, trivial, true confessions of Harry, English non-heir to the throne. However his rising crescendo of endless revelations about the inner workings of the Battenberg-Windsors by this whinging, over-entitled (so to speak), insufferable narcissist have broken our reticence and avowed indifference.
Ironically titled Spare, his book apparently does not spare readers anything, and makes him look like a real prat. In back-to-back interviews he knows no shame and spills his guts: how he lost his virginity, whether the brothers are circumcised, his use of psychedelic drugs to make himself cry after his mother’s death, getting pushed over by his brother, killing twenty-five people in Afghanistan, and even canvassing that his true father is not Charles.
When it comes to Lady Di’s demise, your KC royal reporter is uniquely qualified. Last century while gainfully employed in the French capital, my daily drive to the office (yeah, I was aware of Le Metro) went through the Alma tunnel where her Mercedes Benz crashed. On that fateful day in 1997 I drove through in the morning as usual, and saw the crash marks on the wall. Moreover, I once spent a night at the Hotel Ritz, where she stayed before getting into the crash vehicle. Okay there was a few years between our stays. But you gotta agree, that makes me a real pseudo-paparazzi.
Apparently, all this excruciating self-revelation (not me, him) is about setting the historical record straight or some such, and getting an apology from his royal family. And of course it will work brilliantly to reconcile him with said family members. A delusional genius!
Naturally money talks though. Harry’s pain is eased by a $100m deal with Netflix for a show-and-tell, plus another $20m for the eponymous book, on sale now. He used ‘celebrity’ ghost writer J.R. Moehringer, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, to write the book. What that means exactly in terms of actual authorship is a $20m question. Nobody will need to read it now, surely.
To maintain the high moral ground Harry will also refuse any further income support payments from his father’s estates or the UK public purse. And give up his ducal monikers. Ok maybe not. Just saying.
Finally, history repeats itself. Unoriginally Harry’s not even the first royal to self eject from the The Firm by marrying an American divorcee, following in the footsteps of Edward VIII’s abdication in 1936. Harry may also sink into exile, estrangement and irrelevance.
In modern parlance though, when the sensationalist dust settles, will the Harry and Megan brand be burnished or tarnished in this voracious social media world we all inhabit? He has certainly taken ‘sharing’ to a whole new level.
It does make you wonder at the state of the Western World that the appetite for a story about a mid-thirties boy leaving home seems to be bottomless. The Ginge and Whinge show rolls on and at some point, hopefully not in the distance future, people will just be bored and this vacuous story will sink back into the mire of gossip mags from which it emerged.
The Windsor’s original name was Saxe-Coburg-Gotha not Battenberg (Mountbatten), that was cousin Louie’s family name before both families changed in 1917 due to anti-German sentiment during the First World War.
Uncle Louie’s (Dickie) life makes an interesting comparison to his grand-nephew. He was at the centre of world changing events, the last Viceroy of India and saw that the future was Independence and self determination for former subjugated peoples. By his own admission, he and his wife spent most of their lives jumping in and out of other peoples beds. An incredible egotist and self promoter to the point of enhancing the truth flagrantly, he loved getting dressed up in a uniform with as many baubles attached as possible. A TV series, made in the early ’70, is available on YouTube. see – the Life and Times of Lord Louie Mountbatten. Although dated it makes an interesting document of the times and a contrast to the cheap seat sideshow we are subject to now.