If the Duke and Duchess of Sussex want a private life the last thing they should do is give interviews. Interviews have a habit of backfiring, especially televised ones, as witnessed by Harry’s mother the Princess of Wales and more recently by his uncle, the Duke of York. Andrew’s infamous Newsnight interview lost him his life as he knew it, while Diana’s ill-judged Panorama interview led to the divorce that she never wanted.
Chat shows with ‘King and Queen of Hollywood’ James Corden and Oprah Winfrey are the oxygen of celebrity. Diana refused to do the latter. Both hosts adopt a super-friendly almost bedside manner that eases their guest into a false sense of security and indiscretions soon start to flow. Negotiating awkward questions is for politicians and, in my opinion, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex subjecting themselves to the kind of soul-baring interview favoured by Oprah is not a good idea.
Harry’s televised bus ride with James Corden began with a glimpse of the old quick-witted prince, but he was unwise to imply his approval of Netflix’s The Crown. Netflix have of course signed the Sussexes to a multimillion-dollar deal that prevents Harry from being critical, despite the fact that the fictional portrayals of his father and grandfather in the latest series are viewed by some – me included – as appalling inaccurate.
Historically, every member of the royal family has had a hard time with the press in one way or another. Sadly, it seems to have become an integral part of being royal. With the perks of position and rank – and in Harry’s case the perfect wedding and country home – come obligation and responsibility to the institution of monarchy.
When it was announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were to lose their royal patronages – as widely predicted – they mistakenly allowed their PR to issue a statement that could be interpreted as a swipe at the Queen’s lifetime of duty and service.
Some of their admirers found this perplexing and wished they had maintained a dignified silence; many, however, were quick to defend the couple’s response, finding fault instead with the attitude of ‘The Firm’ towards them. The royal mantra ‘never complain, never explain’ is seemingly not for Harry and Meghan, yet they may find that learning to tolerate the negative aspects of being high profile is essential for their sanity.
The good news is that after the sadness of her miscarriage last year the Duchess of Sussex is expecting another baby. Meghan and Harry were photographed to celebrate the event by Misan Harriman, who later described on TV how he had taken the photograph remotely from 5,000 miles away in the UK using an iPad in their garden.
Archie’s new baby brother or sister will be eighth in line to the throne when he or she is born in the summer and a potential playmate for Princess Eugenie’s baby boy, born on 9 February. His elaborate name – August Philip Hawke Brooksbank – honours older generations. Queen Victoria’s consort Prince Albert had August as a middle name, while Philip is a tribute to Eugenie’s much-loved grandfather. Hawke is a reminder of Jack’s four-times-great-grandfather.
On 16 February, the Duke of Edinburgh was admitted to King Edward VII’s Hospital in London suffering from an infection. On 1 March, he was transferred to St Bartholomew’s Hospital where he subsequently underwent a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition. His lengthy stay in hospital is naturally a cause for concern, given his age.
We wish him all the best for a full recovery.