DAN WOOTTON: Prince Harry’s cheeky spark is vanishing faster than his hair. As he trashes Charles and William and trades off the Queen in another US TV tell-all, why I’m convinced the Duke of Woke is deeply unhappy with his new life
Do you miss your brother and your dad?
A simple question for any loving family man, who had relied heavily on his closest relatives since the death of his mother as a child, you would think.
But not Prince Harry.
In fact, on the latest round of his royal-bashing, American breakfast tell-all telly tour, where he trashily traded off information about the Queen to build his US brand, expressing even the slightest hint of positivity towards Prince Charles and Prince William was the one personal area he avoided.
When pressed by purring NBC Today Show host Hoda Kotb, willing the Duke of Woke to do the right thing and prove his Be Kind credentials aren’t as meaningless as a Twitter hashtag, Harry wouldn’t offer even the slightest hint of an olive branch.
Perhaps no surprise, given he’s thought to be saving his sharpest criticism of the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge for his grossly timed autobiography later this year.
Deflecting, he answered Hoda’s question about his dad and brother by icily responding: ‘For me at the moment, I’m here focused on these guys [Invictus Games athletes] and these families and giving everything that I can, 120 per cent to them to make sure they have the experience of a lifetime. That’s my focus here. And when I leave here, I get back and my focus is on my family who I miss massively.’
Harry has gone so far down the rabbit hole of bitterness and conspiracies around Megxit that he doesn’t even regard Charles and Wills as part of his family anymore.
When pressed by purring NBC Today Show host Hoda Kotb, willing the Duke of Woke to do the right thing and prove his Be Kind credentials aren’t as meaningless as a Twitter hashtag, Harry wouldn’t offer even the slightest hint of an olive branch, writes Dan Wootton
In fact, in another disgraceful moment in the interview he hinted the Queen needed the ‘right people’ around to ‘protect’ her – the clear implication being that he doesn’t think the two heirs to the throne are doing that job currently.
Harry is so delusional he doesn’t compute the complete hypocrisy of making such a statement when he hasn’t bothered to visit his 95-year-old gran for the past nine months because of a pathetic row with the British government over security.
No wonder royal courtiers fume: ‘What the hell would he know?’
Nope, for the Duke of Woke and King of Saving the World from a Montecito mansion, the distinct lack of kindness from him towards his relatives helping to tear the Royal Family apart isn’t his problem.
Nor is confirmation of the fact he still might deprive the Queen of meeting the great grandchild named after her nickname Lilibet (without permission) because he won’t be granted the same security he would have received as a working royal at the Platinum Jubilee.
Harry’s lack of self-awareness has become embarrassing.
It makes it more obvious than ever that he is surrounded by nodding-dog Hollywood yes men who allow him to buy into these fantasies on a daily basis.
So who is Harry’s family now? Meghan and the kids, I guess.
It’s an us-against-the-world mentality that has seen them cut off virtually every old friend and every blood relative (Meghan’s mum Doria and the Queen being the two notable exceptions).
But I had one overwhelming impression watching this interview: Harry is so obviously deeply unhappy.
Prince Harry and the Queen are seen attending the annual Chelsea Flower show at Royal Hospital Chelsea on May 18, 2015 in London
Hoda kept trying to remind him of his cheeky chappy reputation and draw out a bit of fun, but he couldn’t even bring himself to rise to the act.
Reinvented as a social justice warrior on the other side of the world, his previously irresistible spark has disappeared faster than his hair, replaced by a dead-behind-the-eyes misery.
Whether she actively attempted to or not – and as the journalist who has broken more stories than anyone about the couple, I certainly have my suspicions – Meghan has fundamentally changed Harry.
He has been so indoctrinated by the hippy dippy woke philosophies of his Californian social climbing wife, who has managed to convince him they are genuinely saving the world by, er, signing multi-million-dollar deals with mega corporations like Netflix and Spotify…
It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so tragic.
DAN WOOTTON: I had one overwhelming impression watching this interview: Harry is so obviously deeply unhappy
What was truly tragic is that Harry appears to have replaced the support structure provided in the pre-Meghan years by Charles, Harry and the Royal Family, with the spiritual presence of his late mother Princess Diana.
Tellingly, Prince Harry revealed he had felt more connected to Di in the past two years – the exact period from which he has effectively cut contact with his living dad and big bro.
Harry told Hoda: ‘It is almost as though she’s done her bit with my brother and now she’s very much, like, helping me. Got him set up. And now she’s helping me set up. That’s what it feels like, you know?
‘He’s got his kids. I’ve got my kids, you know the circumstances are obviously different. But now, I feel her presence in almost everything that I do now. But definitely more so in the last two years than ever before. Without question. So she’s watching over us.’
While the sentiments of the reconnection with his mother are lovely in some ways, it feels like Harry is using it to justify the estrangement from Wills.
The one thing anyone who knew Diana has been absolutely certain of is that, above all else, she wanted her two boys to stay united.
There is no doubt if Diana is with Harry in spirit she will be urging him to find a way to patch things up with William; she knew her serious-minded eldest son would need his support as the throne grew closer.
Camilla, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry are seen leaving the Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service in London in December 2017
For a man so obsessed with protecting his privacy, the revelations in the interview, once again, sat uncomfortably.
Most cringeworthy was the way he seems happy to trade off secrets of the deeply private Queen to appease American broadcasters, just like when he revealed to James Corden on the top of a double decker bus she had bought Archie a waffle maker for Christmas.
This time it was the fact she doesn’t care to celebrate birthdays, one day out from her 96th.
Boasting about the closeness of their bond, Harry told Hoda: ‘We have a really special relationship. We talk about things that she can’t talk about with anybody else, so that is always a nice peace to her. But I think she’s… I think after a certain age you get bored of birthdays.’
While Harry wouldn’t commit to attending her Platinum Jubilee celebrations, for which the Queen certainly cares deeply, it’s perhaps the way Harry turned his back on the UK as the home that will upset Her Majesty most deeply.
‘Home for me now is, you know, for the time being, it’s in the States. And it feels that way as well,’ he emphasised.
It feels like that to us Brits too; Harry, the prince we fell in love with, is far more at home in California and we’re all OK with that.
Just please stop making life so much harder for the Queen – and keep her damn secrets off American television.
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