Basic Instincts: Prince Harry and the Incredible Lightness of Being
By Michael Willard
Will Prince Harry somehow, someway be dragooned back under the Royal tent or will he, the missus and little Archie escape suffocation in the magical kingdom of a flawed Camelot?
I don’t give a damn, though we and the world are fairly curious, and the old dame, the New York Times, proclaimed that the couple “electrified the world” with their soft abdication.
Their decision will not impact my universe any more than who wins a Super Bowl or whether Brad and Jen get back together; or, for that matter, what Gwyneth wore on the Red Carpet at the Golden Globes.
In terms of importance — even for the British — Harry’s purposeful meanderings have less significance than a single confetti-fib among 10,000 plus uttered and tweeted by the dim bulb in the White House.
As for consequences, presidential miscues are epic while royal waywardness — given the track record — represents business as usual. Think Prince Andrew and the dynamics around the late Princess Di.
The burning issue of Harry and Meghan’s semi-escape is momentary white noise while we deal with the real horrors of the day. My God folks, America assassinated the №2 man in a nation of 50 million.
The result — and I am not suggesting a cause and effect or even that the murder wasn’t justified — was a Ukrainian passenger plane blasted from the night sky over Tehran, Iran with 176 souls aboard.
It is being chalked up sadly by many as the by-product of the “fog of war”. Oh, how I am tired of hearing that clap-trap cliche, a cop-out every time diplomacy is kicked to the curbside.
At roughly this same snapshot in history, Australia was an inferno of flames, earthquakes were shaking up Puerto Rico something awful, and the US President was in the Senate dock after impeachment.
It’s dystopian and confusing how catastrophic events seem to have the half-life of the Monarch butterflies while the trivia — such as Harry’s rebellion — lingers long after the final credits and into the sequels.
It’s a certainty we will be gabbing about Prince Harry — who, by the way, I admire for his audacity of independence — until he takes on the tottering appearance of his grandfather, Prince Philip, who is 98.
In the 24-hour, moment to moment news coverage of today, the monumental lasts a minute, while the trivial becomes triumphant, and is disguised breathlessly as BREAKING NEWS. It beguiles us all.
I interrupt this column for a quiz: Who remembers Malaysia Flight 17 and why it didn’t make it from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014, with nearly 300 souls aboard?
Answer: Russian surrogates and Russian missiles shot it out of the sky over Ukraine’s Eastern territory.
This particular news item held our attention for a millisecond. It would be a real stumper for a Jeopardy show question.
Unlike Iran, the Kremlin didn’t come forward within days to say, “Oops, our fault, so sorry.” Quite the contrary, despite an Everest-sized pile of evidence against them, the Russians denied culpability.
At the time, the Kremlin tossed out fantasy scenarios that were a mixture of the Twilight Zone and a Stephen King yarn. In the end, they mostly just stonewalled until the disaster faded from memory.
Vladimir Putin skated on this and other outrages and smiled. It is doubtful the families of the victims — mostly Dutch — have ceased mourning nearly six years later.
As for Prince Harry, your bride is lovely. Young Archie appears healthy, and the world is your royal oyster.
Flee as best you might from the horrors of a healthy taxpayer-funded allowance, airy palaces and the heavy duty of being a ribbon cutter at official royal ceremonies,
You go, guy.