JAN MOIR: Why the hell SHOULD William forgive Harry?

JAN MOIR: Why the hell SHOULD William forgive Harry?

Events following the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral suggest one important thing to me — that Princes William and Harry will never be able to repair their broken fraternal bond. How can they?

A quick chat in a quadrangle — how very British — is not going to fix the unfixable, especially when Prince Charles and number one son William are terrified that any words they utter might be reported straight back to the Duchess of Sussex, repurposed and then filtered through to blabbermouth Gayle King before being streamed to the world via a rosy filter of Sussex-centric partiality on the CBS network.

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Events following the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral suggest one important thing to me — that Princes William and Harry will never be able to repair their broken fraternal bond. How can they?

A rapprochement? It’s not going to happen any time soon. Too many bad words have been spilled, unleashing a spate of resentment so strong that surely no amount of brotherly love could halt the deluge.

Yes, it was generous of the Duchess of Cambridge to try to effect a reconciliation between the brothers, but even if she can find it in her heart to forgive the Sussexes, how can William?

Consider things from his point of view; his kind and dutiful wife maligned in front of a global TV audience; his family smeared as racists; his prospects — and those of his children — darkened and narrowed by the assumed victimhood of his brother and his wife. Where is the wriggle room for forgiveness? Especially as there appears to be no repentance or apology from the Sussexes, only their continued attempts to build a narrative of suffering as they claim the moral high ground.

Appearing on Oprah to spill the beans wasn’t an accident — it was a calculation and a strategy. Given all that, when and how can these two princes possibly mend the shattered orb of trust and emerge from current hostilities with hurts forgotten and royal pardons all round? In a royal blue moon, is my best guess.

A quick chat in a quadrangle — how very British — is not going to fix the unfixable, especially when Prince Charles and number one son William are terrified that any words they utter might be reported straight back to the Duchess of Sussex, repurposed and then filtered through to blabbermouth Gayle King before being streamed to the world via a rosy filter of Sussex-centric partiality on the CBS network

You have only to look at how the various parties are negotiating the tricky Duke of Edinburgh post-funeral territory to see the differences in their approach. Most have taken refuge in duty, as befitting this sombre time. Prince Charles has gone to Wales to grieve for his father and worry about his sons, while the Cambridges have disappeared behind the walls of family life.

Meanwhile, the Sussexes appear to have unleashed unofficial truffle hound Omid Scooby-Doo to snuffle for positive headlines.

Prince Harry reportedly had two meetings with the Queen, although details were scant. Two meetings! These pronouncements are always so uncomfortably declamatory, aren’t they? The drumbeat of brag, accompanied by a tootle on the trumpet of swank.

Quite how Harry packed those royal appointments into a seven-day trip that included a five-day period of isolation and a funeral is anyone’s guess, but how spirited of the Queen, a 95-year-old recently bereaved widow, to embrace him into her busy schedule. What next? In some respects the conflict between William and Harry is just like any family squabble or humdrum domestic tiff.

Two brothers, once close, have fallen out. Two sisters-in-law arguing over a bridesmaid’s dress. One younger son feeling overlooked, one determined wife applying the spur of ambition to his bruised ego. So far, so very EastEnders.

Members of the royal family follow Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin during the Ceremonial Procession during the funeral of Prince Philip

Yet what sets these brothers apart is what is at stake — a kingdom versus stardom. For the Sussexes can only truly establish themselves as celebrities in America if they throw the Cambridges under the woke bus, which, by the way, is leaving from Platform Peeve in five minutes.

Harry is now back in California, reunited with his pregnant wife and their toddler son. William must somehow find a way forward through this mess, while we must grant Charles a period of leave as he comes to terms with his destiny. In the space of a week, his life has changed profoundly.

It is at points of crisis, at moments like this, when one can glimpse the strangeness of royal life; the perplexing need for both restraint and masquerade in public but utter solidarity in private.

If William and Harry, once the bright future of the House of Windsor, cannot rely on each other to keep the enigma of the monarchy intact, then they — and it — are lost.

Clearly, the Windsors are a troubled lot. Like most families with difficulties, they are not short of members who can be depended upon to act in destructive ways, leaving others to soldier on amid the chaos.

The brothers have reached a terrible impasse and perhaps are too wounded to see the bigger picture; to understand how fragile it all is, this chance at happiness, this hold on prestige, status or even life itself.

And at the core of their current woe is an old but essential truth: some things can never be unsaid, so don’t say them in the first place.

Can William ever forgive Harry for what has been said? Perhaps the better question is — and I don’t expect it to be broadcast on CBS any time soon — why the hell should he?

Women across France are sending their underwear to their prime minister. Not because they like him or want him to think about them in a personal way, but in protest at ‘non-essential’ lingerie shops remaining closed in lockdown.

Action Culottée — let’s translate that as Operation Cheeky Knicks — wants to draw attention to what French women see as another Covid injustice and unnecessary restriction on their freedoms. What do we want? Frilly knickers! When do we want them? NOW.

Pause for a moment to reflect once more upon the essential differences between British and French women. 

Women across France are sending their underwear to their prime minister. Not because they like him or want him to think about them in a personal way, but in protest at ‘non-essential’ lingerie shops remaining closed in lockdown

In Blighty, we are emerging from lockdown like hairy mammoths in boiled grey bras complemented by shattered elastic and tracky pants. Meanwhile, they are complaining they can’t get enough La Perla tulle thongs and peek-a-boo lace bralets to keep them in luxury underpinnings. What is going on?

‘I can remember the days when pants were pants,’ Victoria Wood once joked. ‘You wore them for 20 years then cut them down for pan scrubs.’

Victoria was a woman who knew the difference between ‘comfies’ and ‘frillies’, and the eternal importance of Bridget Jones-style big knicks. Perhaps that is because she was born in Prestwich, not Paris. Vive la difference!

Covid passports – what’s the big deal? I’d gladly carry a document that shows I’ve been vaccinated. Especially if it would mean I could go to the cinema or to a theatre, safe in the knowledge that others around me had been vaccinated, too. Or even travel abroad — an exciting thought.

However, some feel such passports could lead to people being discriminated against and excluded from certain activities.

Well, isn’t that the entire point? Why can’t we all just do what we have to do to get out of this Covid nightmare? These passports are only temporary, after all.

We are already electronically ‘followed’ every time we use a credit card or carry our mobile phones, so I don’t see Covid passports as some terrible infringement of my human rights or privacy.

Covid passports – what’s the big deal? I’d gladly carry a document that shows I’ve been vaccinated

Big Brother is watching you? He has already been spying on us for years — nothing is a secret any more, the very concept of privacy has been eroded.

Give me my passport and get me out of this Covid jail!

Yet those who complain seem to be the same people who are complaining that they can’t go on holiday. Isn’t the solution to have your vaccination, and then get your Covid passport?

It is merely a gateway to freedom, not a constraint on your freedom of movement.

The American Humanist Association has revoked a ‘humanist of the year’ award it gave to Professor Richard Dawkins 25 years ago.

While the AHA admired and lauded the Dawkins who once wrote The Selfish Gene and railed against blasphemy laws, now it shudders at the Dawkins of 2021, who dared to ask identity politics’ most troubling question: why is a white person vilified for identifying as black, while anyone born as a man who identifies as a woman must be affirmed in that belief? 

And not only affirmed, I might add, praised for their bravery and indulged in every urge, even if that urge impinges on women’s rights, which is not very humanist at all.

Instead of cancelling Dawkins and rethinking what they once thought a quarter of a century ago, shouldn’t humanists be applying themselves to this most important and essentially humanist question instead?

Professor Dawkins deserves an answer, at the very least.

The American Humanist Association has revoked a ‘humanist of the year’ award it gave to Professor Richard Dawkins 25 years ago

I once stayed in Prince Charles’s Welsh residence near the Brecon Beacons, where he has gone to grieve alone following his father’s funeral. I can vouch for the tranquillity that will help him to heal. No, hush, calm yourselves. I was not a royal guest, but a paying customer.

Back in 2009, Llwynywermod was briefly available as a holiday let. Naturally, yours truly was the first customer, parting with £650 a week to enjoy feet up on the tweedy royal pouffe, afternoon tea from Duchy monogrammed cups and organic fruitcake supplied by the Prince himself. 

Camilla chose the duck-egg blue and terracotta colour scheme, while Charles designed the garden. Together the couple picked out rugs and selected the Welsh blankets and handmade quilts for the bedrooms. Honestly. They should open an upmarket chain of B&Bs.

The property has an unmarked entrance and is hidden from the outside world. Let’s hope the Prince finds the peace there that he needs.

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