Harry, Duke of Sussex, has squandered the opportunity to become a great influencer – David Behrens Yorkshire News

Just as the Duke of Cambridge was taking his seat in Westminster alongside his father as kings-in-waiting, his wandering brother appeared in a “comedy video” wearing sweatpants and a T-shirt emblazoned with the words Girl Dad. Apparently, it was his idea of ​​a joke.

It was certainly a more informal form of disguise than the one used by Charles when he delivered what will be the sovereign’s first of many speeches before parliament.

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But it illustrated how entrenched the cultural chasm between his two sons has become; William obediently following his father and then going to the opening of the Manchester Arena bombing memorial to make a respectful speech; Harry camped him for no apparent purpose other than his own amusement.

It must seem maddeningly familiar to the few who remember the 1930s, because it’s Edward and Wallis Simpson all over again; an abdication story for the Twitter generation.

The purpose of Harry’s self-indulgent video shoot in New Zealand was ostensibly to promote his “sustainable tourism initiative”, Travalyst, which rates tourists rather than travel companies according to their green credentials.

This is a bit rich coming from someone who took a private jet last year for a two-hour flight back to California from the Aspen ski resort. A T-shirt with the word Hypocrite plastered across the front would have been a better joke.

It took only four years, as this is his anniversary week, for the Duke to be reduced from a privileged position as one of the world’s potentially great and genuine influencers to the kind of self-proclaimed spokesperson who posts unboxing videos on YouTube. Rarely in history has such a great opportunity been so badly wasted.

Next month, his ignominy will be complete as he watches from the sidelines as his father and brother wave to the Jubilee crowd from the Palace balcony. Harry and Meghan, the American divorcée he left everything for, just as his great-great-uncle had, will be lucky if even Prince Andrew bothers to talk to them.

We may not have to hypothesize about this, because following in their wake will be a film crew making a Life with the Sussexes reality show for Netflix, a kind of Geordie Shore, with cucumber sandwiches. William is reportedly concerned that any private conversation with his brother will come to that.

Meanwhile, Meghan is said to be planning another damage limitation interview with Oprah Winfrey, to counter claims she hated every second of her royal visit to Australia and the South Pacific after her wedding.

Formality, he apparently thought, was “old-fashioned,” and indeed it was. So was Tuesday’s procession from the imperial state crown to parliament in his own limousine. But isn’t that the kind of pomp Americans are supposed to love from us?

The fact that she has “renounced Britain,” according to biographer Tom Bower, makes her as out of step with her own people as she is with us.

And by courting publicity on his own terms, he’s treading on old ground, because that’s exactly what Wallis did after the original abdication crisis; she and Edward were delighted to sell interviews at the mansion they shared in the Bois du Boulogne.

Yet in some ways, Harry’s betrayal of his country is worse than his ancestor’s, for while he didn’t have to give up the throne, he wasn’t made to live with nothing else either.

He was allowed to marry the woman he loved, and both he and she were given a platform from which to inspire real change. Even by today’s millennial standards, you have to be very self-absorbed not to see that as a golden ticket.

The next House of Windsor, the one presented to us on Tuesday, will have its own challenges, as after so long as heir apparent, Charles may find his people once again ambivalent about the continued need for royalty. But there will be no mistaking the hostility between us towards a duchess who shied away from her duty.

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This notice was published: 2022-05-14 16:49:28

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