But makes headlines for more Royal tensions
As a vet from the Afghan war, some people may imagine that Prince Harry may have something to say about the US and Nato withdrawal and the Taliban taking over the country.
And indeed he and his wife, though left speechless, did find the words to make a statement that touched on Afghanistan via Archewell, their non-profit organisation, according to reports.
“The world is exceptionally fragile right now,” the couple said in a statement according to E online. “As we all feel the many layers of pain due to the situation in Afghanistan, we are left speechless. As we all watch the growing humanitarian disaster in Haiti, and the threat of it worsening after last weekend’s earthquake, we are left heartbroken. And as we all witness the continuing global health crisis, exacerbated by new variants and constant misinformation, we are left scared.”
“When any person or community suffers, a piece of each of us does so with them, whether we realize it or not,” they continued. “And though we are not meant to live in a state of suffering, we, as a people, are being conditioned to accept it. It’s easy to find ourselves feeling powerless, but we can put our values into action—together.”
The statement listed information for several organisations – including Invictus Games Foundatioin – which Harry is the founder and patron.
“Take care of yourselves,” the Archewell statement said, “and let’s keep taking care of each other.”
Not strong on condemnation, for an event which is seen by many as the most shameful withdrawal of American and Nato forces in a lifetime.
But Harry did make news for condemnation on another matter.
The Prince made front page news for The Daily Telegraph today, just below the lead story which was about the UK parliament uniting in its disapproval of the actions of US President Joe Biden. That headline read ‘Parliament holds the President in contempt”.
But Harry did not wish to condemn the head of state of the country he now lives in. Instead it appeared he preferred to criticise the head of state of the country in which he is a Prince – his grandmother the Queen — though in fact he himself did not criticise the queen.
In a story headlined “Book claims Sussexes feel Queen did not ‘own’ race allegations” the Telegraph says “the Duke and Duchess of Sussex believe the Queen failed to take “full ownership” of the race allegations made in their interview with Oprah Winfrey, according to the authors of the unauthorised biography Finding Freedom.”
At a time when there are images of a mother at the Kabul airport sending her child over barbed wire on the top of a wall into the arms of an American soldier, the story says “A friend of the couple told Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand that the Queen’s lack of action had prevented the Duke and Duchess from moving on from the claims.”
Apparently , the Telegraph said, the Queen’s comment that “recollections may vary”in a carefully worded statement after the rather vague allegations “had not gone down well” with the couple.
The Telegraph said “Mr Scobie said Harry, in particular felt that without “accountability” from certain individuals within the institution for the things that had affected them most, it was hard to move on. He revealed that “very little” progress had been made in the Duke’s relationships with his father the Prince of Wales, or his brother, Prince William.”
While the couple have said they want to have a private life outside of the public eye, they have shown little ability to achieve that, including the sensational two hour interview with Winfrey in March, or making public the normally private matter of losing a baby in a miscarriage.
So it must be upsetting for them to get a front page story in The Telegraph, even if it linked to the republishing of Finding Freedom. The book was first printed last summer in hard back, but is about to be released in paperback on August 31. Fortunately for them, that is also the day that US President Joe Biden has stated will be the last one for US Forces in Afghanistan – which may protect them from having the largest headlines on that day.
Harry came to the UK for his grandfather’s funeral in April, at a time when relations between him and his brother Prince William and father Prince Charles seemed frosty. But according to the Telegraph story, a friend of the Duke’s said the funeral had “broken the ice… pushed a closed door slightly ajar”.
A certain level of frostiness seemed to still be in place when Harry flew back over in July to unveil a statue of his mother Princess Diana alongside his brother.
But this story is likely to cause even more tension, as this time the story seems to show him being critical of his 95 year old grandmother. Previously he has stated that “I would never blindside my grandmother. I have too much respect for her.”
Harry may want to consider staying at home in California for the next big Royal occasion in the UK – unless he is concerned about global warming, and feels that a Siberian blast of cold air could do the planet some good.
But the juxtaposition of the Prince’s concerns about the micro-aggressions and torment that he has had to undergo due to his privileged upbringing, alongside the pure anguish and terror that thousands and even millions of people are now experiencing in Afghanistan and Haiti and elsewhere is not showing him in the best light.
Mind you, as Royals go, Harry is probably not the least favourite in the Royal family right now – a position that should be claimed by Prince Andrew, who has been accused of having sex with a 17-year-old minor (some may call that rape) while a friend of Jeffrey Epstein. The Royal family may be trying to rise above the sordid tale, and the protestations from Harry about unfair treatment may be a pleasant interlude in comparison.
Prince Andrew too, as a veteran of the Falklands War, might have some interesting views on the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle, but he stays as far away from the media as possible, ever since his bomb of an interview with the BBC to protest his innocence.
The end result is that Prince Charles may be experiencing an improvement in his public likeability – having to deal with a petulant son on one hand and a less than savoury appearing brother on the other – while taking on more responsibility from the Queen, especially after the death of his father.
But even if public support for Charles does increase, this year must bring back memories of 1992 for the Queen as an Annus Horribilis Part 2. Losing Barbados as a part of her realm in November should help to contribute to that.