United Kingdom

JAN MOIR on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle''s profile-raising offensive in America

Think about others rather than yourself, said the Queen this week. Yet over in LA, her wise words beseeching altruism and humanity fell on deaf ears. 

'My life is always going to be about public service,' said the Duke of Sussex in his first post–Megxit TV interview, rather proving that the service he has in mind is chiefly in honour of himself.

Despite the bad timing, the pandemic, the ailing Duke of Edinburgh and the clenched dismay of the entire Windsor family aghast at their publicity manoeuvres, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are plunging ahead with their profile-raising offensive in America.

'My life is always going to be about public service,' said the Duke of Sussex in his first post–Megxit TV interview, rather proving that the service he has in mind is chiefly in honour of himself

Next week we can look forward to Meghan being asked if she is OK by Oprah Winfrey, on a CBS Primetime Special that will be watched by millions. 

This week we nibbled on an appetiser served up by Harry, who appeared on The Late Late Show (also broadcast by CBS), presented by his friend James Corden. The pals had tea and scones on an open-topped tourist bus that roved around Los Angeles.

On the top deck, Corden served up the kind of soft scoop questions guaranteed to put a non-raspberry ripple of delight deep inside the royal sundae. When did you know Meghan was the one? How are you finding fatherhood? Why are you so goddam fabulous and perfect in every way? 

On the top deck, Corden served up the kind of soft scoop questions guaranteed to put a non-raspberry ripple of delight deep inside the royal sundae

A beaming Harry volunteered that the Queen gave his son Archie a waffle maker for Christmas, and that the family had waffles every morning after Meghan makes a 'beautiful, like, organic, mix'. Of course she does.

Yes, but what exactly do you have on those oh so beautiful waffles, Harry? That was the question no one was asking, not even James, but the Prince ploughed on regardless.

'I have them with a bit of yoghurt, a bit of jam on top, a bit of berry maybe, bit of honey maybe, some syrup.'

Soon it was time to add a bit of sauce, too, with the Prince returning to his pet theme that the 'toxic' British media had affected his mental health so much that he had to move to America and sign a Netflix deal to regain his equilibrium. 

And he had only done what any father and husband would have done, he claimed, which seems to be living in a succession of enviable and luxurious mansions before buying one of his own.

Clearly, the Prince is much more comfortable with the kind of media coverage that only friends and wedding guests can provide. 

Throughout the fun, 17-minute clip, Corden came across like a clammy flunkey oozing obsequiousness and throbbing with a desire to make his royal guest look good, even if that meant flagellating himself.

He even puffed around an assault course behind the Prince, in a segment designed to show off Harry's fitness and military training. 

Clearly, the Prince is much more comfortable with the kind of media coverage that only friends and wedding guests can provide

Whether clambering over fences or climbing ropes, James was on bow and scrape duty like any good Tudor jester keen to keep his place in the royal court. 'Prithee welcome to this pleesant comedie, sire,' — he almost said, before going full mud pancake during the barbed wire crawl.

The Prince clearly enjoyed the kind of fawning treatment that would please even Kim Jong-un.

However, it was lovely to see Harry looking so happy for once, his face a picture of sun-toasted sincerity, his marmalade hair ablaze in the golden Californian morning.

There he is, this noble dandelion of do-good who has been brave enough to uproot himself from destiny and replant himself in the rich loam of Hollywood, where he is learning fast. 

There were at least three mentions of Netflix, who have paid the Duke and Duchess millions for upcoming projects.

Harry even defended The Crown, the Netflix series that depicts his family as little more than flinty, heartless opportunists on the make. Sometimes you can see their point. What else did we learn? She calls him Haz, he calls her Meg, Archie's first word was 'crocodile'.

There was no confirmation on who was in the room at the time, although my money is on David Foster, the alarmingly youthful-looking 71-year-old music mogul who is married to one of Meghan's best friends and has become, according to her, a 'father figure' to the Prince. 

Meanwhile, dressed down in a T-shirt and jeans for this historic appearance, Harry seemed to be emphasising once more that he has descended from the dank ramparts of royal status to let a little light into his life.

Yet even the newly-minted Duke of Haz-ard cannot quite leave behind the prestige of his past, which clings to him like the curl of smoke that lingers from a snuffed candle.

'You know us royals, we don't carry cash,' he said at the start of the interview, revealing himself to be a man who still wants a bit of jam on top and maybe some syrup, too.

Football news:

Liverpool are increasingly dubious about the idea of a Super League (Bild)
Smorodskaya about the Super League: It will help the development of football. The position of UEFA is very tough and uncompromising
Chelsea and Man City are in doubt for Super League participation (The Guardian)
Ceferin to PSG president: Nasser, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have shown that you are a wonderful person
One of the English clubs may abandon the Super League (The Times)
Zidane on Super League: I'm not going to express my opinion. This is a question for the president
PSG were persuaded to join the Super League. Perez said that this was not the case