The Independent

Admit it... you’re interested in what Harry has to say

The naysayers appear to fall into two camps – those who feel betrayed and those secretly loving it,

- says Harriet Williamson

With Prince Harry’s new autobiogra­phy Spare set for release tomorrow, explosive claims from the book have generated interest across press and social media.

A physical altercatio­n alleged to have occurred between Harry and the Prince of Wales, the nicknames the brothers have for

one another, Harry’s recreation­al drug use, his experience­s while serving in Afghanista­n and of course, the infamous Nazi uniform, worn at a fancy dress party 17 years ago – it’s all there.

It certainly feels unpreceden­ted that a core member of the royal family has decided to be so open and public about their lives. These are stories that usually remain hidden, unless they are unearthed and splashed across front pages without the Windsors’ consent, as with Nazi-uniform-gate in 2005.

At the time of writing, the hashtag that pops up first for Harry’s name is #princeharr­yhasgonema­d. But is this not simply taking control of the narrative? Telling his side of the story? Something that celebritie­s of all stripes and levels of influence and fame now do as part of their position in the public eye?

The Harry naysayers appear to fall into two camps. There are those who are forthright in their vehement dislike of the Prince, who call him a “traitor” and want him to just shut up. And then there are others, who also wish he wasn’t generating so many news stories and column inches, because they’re not interested in what he has to say.

I feel that perhaps the latter section doth protest too much. There has to be a certain amount of investment in something to generate proclamati­ons of indifferen­ce. I expect there will be much more of it, after Harry’s ITV interview last night, with people avidly reading the coverage and then telling the world how little they care about the content.

For Voices, Katie Edwards’ incisive op-ed about why the claims that Harry and William physically fought have been received as such a “bombshell” is well worth a read. She writes: “Knowing that there’s nothing special about the Windsors makes the narrative that allows us to keep believing in the myth of royalty that bit more difficult to swallow.”

Perhaps we should just admit that it is fascinatin­g, precisely because the royal family has – for so long – protected itself by projecting a burnished public image, so that the deference to and longevity of the Firm makes at least some sense to the wider populace.

For our political sketch writer, Tom Peck, the real source of the anger directed at Harry comes from our reluctance to recognise the royals as “absolutely nothing special at all”.


Harriet Williamson

Voices commission­ing editor

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 ?? (AFP/Getty) ?? One doth protest too much when it comes to the prince
(AFP/Getty) One doth protest too much when it comes to the prince
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