Great Britain

Hard to feel pity for Prince Harry wailing about fame…to the world

OH Prince Harry, what have you done now?

It seems that the man who claimed he quit royal life to get himself and his family out of the media spotlight is doing more than anyone else on the planet to attract it.

🔵 Read our Meghan and Harry live blog for the latest updates

Every time another piece of news is threatening to eclipse Harry and Meghan and allow them to slip into the shadows of anonymity they say they so desperately want, one of them goes and puts a spanner in the works by doing another headline-grabbing interview.

First there was one on a bus with James Corden. Then it was Oprah. The latest offering is a 90-minute mental health podcast to promote his documentary with Apple TV+.

Given that he could probably have predicted that it would take about two seconds for the podcast to make news around the world, it’s hard to take seriously Harry’s complaints about lack of privacy, or his comparison with his life and The Truman Show.

One big difference is that Truman had his life on camera forced upon him. He did not actively seek the cameras and publicity. There are plenty of famous people who manage to have a low-key life. And he could, after all, just buy a smaller house, stop giving interviews, stop trashing his family and live like a “normal” millionaire, out of the public eye. That is possible if he wanted to do it.

Take his brother, for example. He seems able to go to the pub and take the kids to farm parks without any hassle. It’s not just the interviews that are an issue for Harry, though. It is what he is saying in them.

Last week he blasted Prince Charles’s parenting, saying his father had “treated me the way he was treated” because he had “suffered” as a result of his upbringing by the Queen and Prince Philip.

And just like that he managed to blame not only Prince Charles, but Prince Philip and the Queen, for passing on their problems to him. He called it “genetic pain”.

The problem is that — thanks in part to Oprah — we know too much. And it’s all too easy to conclude that part of the cause of this particular “pain” of Harry’s was his father refusing to continue to pay the bills for a 36-year-old son who has kids of his own. Either that, or Harry has lived too long in LA, otherwise known as La La Land.

It is a city with the personality of a paper cup, a place without a centre, full of shopping malls and traffic and largely inhabited by shallow people full of delusion, where everybody wants to be famous.

Harry seems to have become entirely wrapped up in the LA zoned-in attitude, which leaves its residents so focused on themselves and their own importance that they can no longer see the bigger picture, which, in Harry’s case, is the Royal Family.

There’s that old joke about LA being so celebrity conscious that there’s a restaurant that only serves Jack Nicholson.

And when he shows up, they tell him there will be a ten-minute wait. Surround yourself with that attitude and it is bound to have an effect.

Slightly lost the plot

In many ways I applaud Harry’s decision to buck the Royal Family traditions of stiff upper lip and embark on his own therapeutic journey towards healing.

He has had a lot to deal with and to process, most formatively the death of his mother when he was so young. That will never not be a tragedy and it could have blighted his life.

It’s so great that he has found what appears to be true love. But it’s easy to wonder sometimes if Harry has become so blinkered by his path towards personal growth that he has slightly lost the plot along the way.

He is actively encouraging international fascination about his life, while at the same time bemoaning his lot and trashing his family. At the same time as exploiting his royal status, he is all too quick to rubbish them all.

Meanwhile, he and his wife are securing multi-million pound deals hither and thither, all the while denouncing The Firm.

When I hear him saying things like he has “seen behind the curtain” and “seen the business model” and “seen how this whole thing works and I don’t want to be part of this”, the words “cake and eat it” spring to mind.

In short, it is really hard to sympathise with Harry’s observations on this world-wide broadcast that his life is like living in a zoo, that he can’t go outside because he is too well known.

How can he be so oblivious to the optics that doing TV and podcast interviews about how much you hate being in the limelight is not the way to go about staying out of the limelight?

Careful Jen – Ben may soon be off-leck . . . 

IT’S easy to get swept up in the romance of the fact that J-Lo is back with her ex, Ben Affleck.

Surely he’s the one that got away? How romantic – at least it would be if the 48-year-old didn’t have serious form in retracing his footsteps back to an ex.

First it was Gwyneth Paltrow, who he briefly rekindled his romance with in 1999 after several months apart.

In 2018 he split from Saturday Night Live producer Lindsay Shookus after two years, only to reunite in 2019. His divorce from Jennifer Garner, with whom he shares three children, took three years to finalise, during which time there were many “back together” rumours.

Affleck last year called their separation “the biggest regret of my life”.

So while I would love to believe that Bennifer really are back together for good, it’s easier to conclude this is a man who seriously cannot make up his mind and possibly one who suffers from “the grass is always greener” syndrome.

DEN’S FRESH BLOOD

WE moan about social media but you have to be impressed with Brit tech entrepreneur Steven Bartlett, who is about to become the youngest tycoon on Dragons’ Den.

Steven, who is just 28, is replacing 46-year-old Tej Lalvani on the show.

The newcomer is the founder of marketing agency Social Chain, which is currently valued at £300million.

Steven set up the company from his Manchester bedroom after dropping out of university at 22.

Within five years he had taken his firm public. Now he is using his money to invest in other entrepreneurs.

Expect to see a lot more of this young man in the years ahead.

JAB INCENTIVE

INTERESTING approach to combatting vaccine reluctance in one US state.

Ohio governor Mike DeWine has said five people will each win $1million in weekly draws from May 26.

Only those who have had a dose of an approved vaccine will be eligible for the draw. Five college scholarships are up for grabs too.

If staying healthy wasn’t incentive enough to get the jab, $1million should give some of those dragging their heels an extra push.

WE CAN GO INN!

HALLELUJAH! Finally, tomorrow, the pubs are reopening.

By that I mean actually opening, rather than us sitting shivering outside, clutching hot-water bottles and blankets and wearing so many layers we can barely move.

Thank goodness we can all now look forward to not having to weigh up whether it is worth paying the “freezing tax” in return for seeing friends.

Yes, sure, it’s been better than full lockdown, but the past few weeks of sitting in the rain having drinks have been nothing short of an endurance test.

SHAMEON THE THUGS

HAVE you seen the disturbing film footage on Twitter of a Dublin train platform?

Various young women are trying to get past a group of young men with bicycles, to get on to a train. In so doing they are met with various acts of intimidation and casual acts of violence by these thugs, including being lunged at, kicked and tripped.

Shockingly, though, one woman lunged at by one of these thugs then trips over a bike wheel and falls between the platform and train on to the track.

Perhaps what is most shocking, though, is the way the girls just run the gauntlet through this gang of hooligans who are so obviously setting out to intimidate them.

They just put up with it and try their best to get on the train without putting up a fight – who would dare to? – or even casting a backward glance.

Clearly, this is one of the perils they are used to facing on a daily basis.

Sadly, most women will watch this film and feel unsurprised. After all, this is the threat of violence many women have to face every single day.

Sure, #notallmen are like this. But as long as there is a chance that some are then women always have to prepare for it.

I really hope the result of this footage going viral is that these men face the consequences they deserve.

Duchess to blame for Harry’s constant Royal Family attacks as he says she helped him ‘break free’

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