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Netflix, memoirs… Prince Harry or the business of resentment

Two interviews with Prince Harry, one for the American channel CBS, the other for the British channel ITV, broadcast on Sunday January 8, will kick off the release by Penguin Random House of the so-called explosive memoirs of Prince Harry on the royal family. The publication of this book comes a few weeks after the broadcast of a six-hour documentary produced by Netflix on the couple Harry and Meghan and which had already caused a lot of ink to flow.

What is it this time? Always from the same story, that of the resentment of a thirty-year-old who says he suffers from having been only the “spare part” of his family. This is also the title – Spare, in English – of the British edition of the Memoirs (to be published on Tuesday January 10) of the second son of King Charles III, fifth in the line of succession to the throne and who will probably never be called to reign. This expression comes from a famous saying in England according to which the wife of the future king must produce “an heir and a spare”. This can be useful in the event of an accident, as was the case in 1936 when George VI had to succeed his older brother Edward VIII. The latter, after only three hundred and twenty-six days of reign, abdicated for the love of an American divorcee, Wallis Simpson.

William’s physical “attack”

Since 2020 and the departure to California of Prince Harry and his wife, American actress Meghan Markle, nothing has gone right between Harry and the royal family. It must be said that “H & M”, as the English press nicknames them, intended to live abroad, work there, while keeping their royal protocol and financial prerogatives. Alas, this arrangement was categorically refused to them during a stormy meeting with Queen Elizabeth II, Charles and William. We know today, from the few people who have read Spare, that William, furious, would have shouted at his brother. “The monarchy, we love it or we leave it”, he would have said to him, in essence. Harry’s other accusation against his brother: William allegedly ‘attacked’ him physically in 2019. The older brother allegedly complained about Meghan, finding her ‘difficult, rude and abrasive’, and ended up grabbing his younger brother by the shirt collar , knock him down, and insult him twice. For these revelations, Random House paid Prince Harry almost two million dollars.

If Harry is still Prince and Duke of Sussex today, and his wife Duchess, they lost the title of Royal Highness and police protection during their visits to Great Britain. Two details that they still haven’t digested. So much so that Harry has initiated two legal proceedings to recover this police protection paid for by British taxpayers.

It has therefore been more than two years since Harry and Meghan publicly complained about the treatment the palace and their own family allegedly meted out to them. They made it a full-time job. We remember, for example, their river interview in March 2021 filmed in their Montecito park in Santa Barbara by their neighbor, the famous host Oprah Winfrey. They then accused Buckingham Palace of racism and mental cruelty against Meghan Markle. They knew that these accusations would be met with the institution’s usual silence, a tradition that the royal family “never comments or complains about.” The advantage is that Harry and Meghan do not need to argue or provide evidence.

“Harry and Meghan’s posture is wrong and laughable”

Today, Harry and Meghan therefore continue to milk the cash cow of resentment, while they continue to be invited and take their place at major royal family ceremonies such as the funeral of Prince Philip and then the Queen Elizabeth, and soon the coronation of Charles III. It must be said that their story fascinates the international public and brings big profits to those concerned.

In Great Britain alone, the audience of the first episode of their documentary on Netflix last December made the biggest figure of the year for the American platform with 4.5 million spectators, better even than the first episode of The Crown and its 2.8 million.

We see, for example, Harry and Meghan sharing their intimacy and that of their children, while explaining that the media intrudes into their lives and that for nothing in the world they would not let reports on their family life be made. “It’s called meta narcissism”, summarizes the British editorialist Carol Midgey.

In the meantime, believes The Times, “Harry and Meghan, at war with an institution they despise, should logically surrender their titles and step out of the line of succession.” To pretend to be both royals while acting like celebrities in search of juicy contracts is “the crassest hypocrisy”. And the British daily to assert: “Their posture is false and laughable.”

In any case, it is difficult to imagine the reconciliation that Harry also claims to hope for. Unless Harry and Meghan, having signed a multi-million dollar contract for four books, are preparing some twists for us. See you on the next episode.




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