It should come as little surprise to hear that I am a fan of the Royal family. To have that living (if somewhat tenuous at times) link to 1,000 years of history is a precious thing. I am especially fond of Princes William and Harry because, buried deep in their DNA, is a blood link to King Charles II (it’s on their Mother’s side).
When he ascends to the throne, Prince William will be the first blood descendant of Charles II to rule. It will have only taken the best part of 400 years.
In Prince Harry I see that common touch, the easy charm reported of his ancestors. This in itself goes back even further than Charles II, whose conspicuous height coupled with these other wonderful attributes was pure Plantagenet. I look at Harry and immediately see the naughtiness of his Grandfather (and you know I adore Prince Philip) and, many generations removed, Kings who were great on the battlefield and legendary swordsmen… in all senses of the word!
Prince Harry could have been a legendary swordsman to rival the history books; with the births of Prince George and Princess Charlotte AND another heir on the way, it is fair to say that the pressure and weight of responsibility are truly off this young man. Should he have chosen it, Harry could have been a royal playboy for the rest of his days and we would likely still have loved him for it. Instead, this time last week, we watched as Prince Harry stood in front of the world’s press and announced his engagement to the woman he is so clearly besotted with, Meghan Markle.
I am aware of the usual buzzing sound made by those who do not see why an engagement is worthy warrant of front page news. To these people, I ask that we all take a breath and remember that we live in a world in which Donald Trump looms large over a big red button and some mornings the Cold War seems to have re-frozen over your cornflakes – I’d take a headline of two people in love over any of this. I love a slow news day.
No, I’m afraid your cousin’s engagement does not qualify as front page news because, as a member of the Royal family, Prince Harry’s life IS of national significance. Prince Harry is an heir to the throne, albeit now a lower ranking one. Here’s hoping that this Royal wedding in the Spring will usher in a year filled with optimism and good things… 2017 (like its bastard brother, 2016) can jog on and do one.
Harry seems to have set out his stall as a champion of wounded service personnel, with his creation of The Invictus Games. This hugely positive and empowering event is one which I hope will go on to be as successful and lasting as his Grandfather’s Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. Meghan has spoken at the UN and proudly declared herself to be a feminist – so I get the sense that Meghan will be a campaigner and spokesperson for good causes, and we will scrutinise every outfit and copy every hairstyle because that is just what we do. Together, this couple could be a very powerful force for good.
Isn’t this all heartening and rather wonderful after Harry’s Great-Grand Uncle (I think that’s the right title for) Edward VIII was forced to choose between his crown and the American divorcee he loved?
Harry will have had a sense of duty instilled in him from his Grandmother, our wonderful Queen, but how far we have come since the 1930s that love can be love regardless of a person’s past. My hope is that any member of the Royal family would be offered the same opportunity to marry for love, whomever they choose to love, as a shining beacon of hope for us all.
Because what else is there to care about, to splash over the front pages, than love? I believe only in beauty, love, and delicious cake.
Harry, Meghan; I have availability in May 2018 if you need a slice or two in Windsor!