The palace whisperers

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Written by:

I met Harry and Meghan briefly when they were in New Zealand, and I really warmed to them.  He was friendly, funny, interested, responsive. She was intelligent and warm.  They seemed to be really enjoying themselves.  This did not turn me into a royalist, but I thought he would make a great son.

I have not read ‘the book’.  Indeed, it is not even released yet, even though half the world seems to have read it.  And I am not particularly interested in it, except to confirm what ‘The Crown’ has always illuminated, that the whole edifice is a bit of a soap opera.

What I was interested in was the re-emergence of the ‘palace whisperers’, that brood of anonymous voices which arise to defend the royal family in hard times and seek to denigrate Harry and Meghan, thus unwittingly confirming what is written about them.

While I say ‘whisperer’, actually these voices are very loud.  They are never identified, except as “a palace source”, a “long term companion of the queen”, a “royal insider”, who can say what they like under the cloak of anonymity, and often do.

Two common themes emerge from these vicious voices: it is all Harry/Meghan’s fault and it is hurting the family soooo much (might even have contributed to the Queen’s early death). Blahdy blah.

All families have their squabbles, and the royal family more than most. A family whose members still bow and curtsy to each other. A place where bullying is rife. A family where racial politics are something that happens ‘out there’, not in the family darling. The treatment of Harry in relation to the wearing of his uniform at his grandmother’s funeral is a case in point.  In whose interests are such rules developed?  It looks like the high status of the ‘core’ family is to be maintained at any cost.

And the cost here is that Harry is now free to hit back.  And has done so. Honestly, what did they expect?

The whispering will only expand over time.  The status of the British Upper Class is bound tightly with that of the Royal Family.  They need each other.  This means that every hereditary peer will join the fray to ensure that this precarious moment does not disturb the class structure on which their position depends.

As of this moment (it is still Saturday night in the UK) the words of the palace whisperers appear to have gone largely unchallenged in the media.  But I am certain that this will change overnight.  Plenty of commentators like me will be asking why the whisperers are not required to give their names and credentials. Then we might say “of course you would say that”.

Charles, our conflicted monarch, is very poorly suited to deal with Harry’s challenges to his family. Charles was himself, as Harry reminds us, a victim of outrageous bullying at school (those who are concerned about the high levels of bullying at our high schools now might reflect that this is an imported model, and very old).

There is no hope that Charles will break his golden shackles and say “love conquers all”, and bring Harry back into a warm and happy family.  The love that Harry apparently pines for will be denied him forever.  The love of Charles for his youngest son will be unrequited going forward.  The love of two brothers fused by the tragic and public death of their mother (and the constant repeating of her story in the media) has apparently been sundered by a silly squabble between the wives. It is ineffably sad, if not much different from what many families go through.

It seems to be a stalemate, and a very unhappy one.

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About Insight Aotearoa

Most of the blogs published here will either respond to initiatives elsewhere or will be ‘newsmaking’. Some will also be reflective in more general terms. The blogs will be topical and interesting. I like to inject some humour into my blogs.

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