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Prince Harry - The New Harry

 The People's Prince

Many around the world will bow their heads for a moment this March when Prince Harry completes his final engagements for his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II.  Perhaps it is the worse fear of every parent to watch their child make dramatic changes to ones life especially when closing the door of connection to all of them.   Last week Gayle King on CBS This Morning, stated that after Prince Harry joins the Royal Family Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on March 9th,  the world will now call him Harry effective on March 31st.  King's tone was solemn while shuffling her papers.  Only can only think that the disappointment will be tremendous for those loved left behind. 

Let's step back and reflect on Princess Diana, Prince Harry's incredible and broken mother for a moment.  Princess Diana was beloved around the globe and was known as The People's Princess.  I have followed her since she and I were both 18 years old.   My friends and I were glued to the television when she married Prince Charles in the most magnificent wedding on the planet.  We were entranced by her every move throughout the years.  We felt her pain over Prince Charles affair, watched her dance at the White House with John Travolta, saw her walk through landmines, embraced AID's patients, copied her fashion, watched her joyously with her children, learned about her bulimia and mental illness and witness her weep on television.  She was a role model for all of us.   She was human and she was not perfect which is why we loved her.

Princess Diana - The English Rose

"Everyone of us needs to show how much we care for each other and, in the process, care for ourselves."  Princess Diana (1961-1997)

My Connection  

I remember sitting at my mother's apartment and chatting on a warm summer day.  I had just mentioned to my mother that I was going to cut my hair like Princess Diana when breaking news came on about her car accident and death.  Shock and dismay overcame me.  When the funeral happened, I dreamed of Elton John singing, Candle in the Wind, and suddenly woke up and turned the television on to see John singing the song live at the funeral.  When I turned fifty in February nine years ago, I was watching The Today Show and having a cup of tea.  The Today Show hosts stated on my birthday in February that if Princess Diana had lived she would be 50 this coming year in July.  Recently I met someone who knew Princess Diana and have a friend who is related to the Spencer family. So, for many strange coincidences, I feel connected to Princess Diana.  Thus, when Prince William and Prince Harry were married, I happily enjoyed both weddings live until wee hours in the a.m.  The recent state of affairs for Prince Harry is indeed troubling.  It is one of selfishness and without concrete thought or is it?  Was this planned all along? Was he always miserable?

Princess Margaret

"In our family we do not have rifts. We have a jolly good row and then it is over."  Princess Margaret (1930- 2002)

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch since the inception of the monarchy in 1066, must be deeply sorrowful by the turn of events.  If you are a fan of The Crown, (Netflix), or an avid reader of the royal history or history for that matter, then you know the tales of Queen Elizabeth's II, sister Princess Margaret.   Princess Margaret was gregarious, lively, witty, attractive and considered the fun one. She was free to do whatever she wanted within reason as she would never be Queen.  Her sister, Queen Elizabeth II, was trained at birth as was Margaret to be a royal.  Princess Margaret desired attention and her sister could not willing give her what she truly wanted or needed.  Queen Elizabeth's II first duty is to the crown, the monarchy and its people.  After all, Kings and Queens are anointed by God and must follow a thousand plus year protocol.  She must be calm, stoic and think long term about the system, legacy and impact of any situation on the monarchy. Perhaps she was unduly harsh on her sister and because of this softer towards Prince Harry and his current situation.

Prince Charles and Prince William must act the same as Queen Elizabeth II for they are destined to be Kings by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of  other realms and territories, Head of the Commonwealth and Defender of the Faith. Furthermore, Prince William and Prince Harry are similar to Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret. Or for that matter Prince Charles and Prince Andrew.  One serene and the other flawed with outrageous actions.  One stuffy, cold and unemotional and the other gregarious, outrageous and well loved.

His Royal Highness Henry Charles Albert David Duke of Sussex

What about Prince Harry?  Is he on Princess Margaret's path?  Repeating history?

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillip, Prince Charles, Duchess Camilla, Prince William, Duchess Catherine, family and friends bent over backwards to create smooth sailing for Prince Harry's marriage to flourish in the United Kingdom.  The press was rampant as it always has been and always will be in any country.  Think of the flagrant press in our country that is a daily screech about anything and everything.  Politicians, their families, CEO's, celebrities or anyone in power are constantly being crucified for their choices or words.  Consequently, anyone in the limelight or those in powerful positions must learn to have thick skin to survive and flourish.  Even a countries people must become critical thinkers in listening to the shouting and hysterical news.  What is true and isn't true? Who to believe?

"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." 

Over the years, Prince Harry alone knew how to work the press and became the darling in the royal family.  He had the peoples popular love just like his mother, Princess Diana.  After less than two years of marriage, everything changed.  Why? At 35 did he question his way of life?  What if you do not want to be second in line? What if you are always second and must differ to the Prince William and Duchess Catherine? What if you do not all get along? What if you want more money or freedom?  Why not, cut bait and start anew? A fresh start. Is this what happened or was it something else?

The Royal Crisis

The Obstacles, Being Ordinary, Living in North America, Jesters in the Court versus Historical  Monarchy Tradition

There are several obstacles to overcome.  First of all, Prince Harry is a royal and forever will remain a royal.  Taking away his title is easy though the loss of it may lose luster over time. What about royal paid security? Canada will not pay for private security and neither will the UK.  Thus, as a private citizen it only makes sense to pay for your own security.   You are no longer a functioning royal and do not deserve security paid for by the people.  The truth is Prince Harry will struggle without the royal-style logistics he has become used too.  It was easy, grand and effortless.  The new route is filled with hired planes, limousines, and body guards.  To further the impact, he must  pay back the $3M for the Frogmore Cottage remodel.

Second it is known that actors, singers and artisans have always been muses and entertainment for royalty.  The royals are viewed as grander, mysterious and sometimes with envy.  Why else are the shows like Downton Abbey (PBS), The Crown or Victoria (Both Netflix) or endless books on royalty riveting. Their lives are incredibly privileged with castles to live in and all the trappings of wealth yet their public work and presence in the public eye remains humble. They are examples in public of grace and kindness.  Of course, they are very flawed with ordinary vices, which makes the tales even more intriguing.   They are trained to know where they stand in society and are not arrogant, brash or flashy.  Their actions speak a thousand words of fine manners.  Therefore, why the obsession with a goal to be a celebrity which is beneath their current status?  Money?

Third, it is an honor by anyone who receive investitures, awards in the realm and beyond.  Those who cherish the titles are Sir Elton John, Sir Mick Jagger, Dame Angelina Jolie, Dame Helen Mirran and many many more.  Don't forget all the celebrities who were thrilled to be invited to Prince Harry's royal wedding.  There is mystic, excitement and honor to it all. 

Fourth, as a royal his day was filled with obligations and events that he needed to attend.  Now the pages will be blank soon to be re-purposed.   Will it be enough?

Royal tradition overshadows every royal.  It is their lineage and their destiny.  And, with tradition comes responsibility. Of course, some events are dreary dull just as work or anything someone does on a daily basis can become quite boring.  It is part of life.  The exciting compared to the mundane moments. Yet, we follow through with gusto and look forward to other activities.   Why throw away everything for the unknown? Who does that?   Money, vanity, loss of family and friends does not seem very uplifting or inspiring.

Why do I or we care? 

Why do any of us care?  I believe the transition was handled poorly, selfishly and without thought of others or consequences.  Thus, there was an incredulous backlash that today remains constant. Every piece of news about them since the announcement causes bewilderment.   Some have said, "Good for them."   How shallow of a statement.  How absence of thought, accountability, respect or consequences.  Is this what we teach our children?  Is the example we set for others?  Be brash, bold and make a scene? Do we blindly act without thinking how we effect others?

Why do many care? Because we loved Princess Diana and Prince Harry was following in her footsteps.  And, many respect the royal tradition.  Princess Diana's life was indeed difficult with a troubled childhood and adverse events in her adult life.  Just like all of us.  We all have shattered pieces in our backgrounds that make us who we are.  We embrace them and strive to be a better person. After her divorce, Princess Diana's life changed immeasurably with the loss of HRH, no public paid security, limited staff and only six charities versus 100.  Yet, she carried on.   If she had lived, her presence in the world have remained powerful on this great earth.

We all make choices which can hopefully make us stronger.  It is the journey.  Though to chase wealth, celebrity, fame and letting go of everything dear can often be fraught with uncertainty.

On Sunday, March 1st, Queen Elizabeth II had a four hour talk with her grandson, Prince Harry to clear the air.   An insider said the Queen ended the chat by telling Harry he is loved very much and will always be welcomed back.  The Queen also reported he and Meghan are always able to return if they change their minds and will be welcomed with open arms.

After March 9th, a moment of reflection will occur and then we will all move on.  Prince Harry will become Harry.  A new chapter will begin.

"All the world is a stage, and all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.  As you like it, William Shakespeare (1564-1616)


"Grace, Kindness and Respect" 



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