Once again, the major media (both in Britain and in the US) went into a feeding frenzy over the latest episode in the Harry/Meghan vs the Royal Family melodrama.
As news pundits, radio hosts and newspaper columnists frothed at the mouth for days over every apparently tantalising morsel of royal drama to come out of Harry’s book, the evident rift between the Duke of Sussex and the rest of the royal establishment seems to be widening.
But while most commentators poured over the most soap opera like details like rabid gossip queens feeding at the trough, something different occurred to me – and it has very much stuck in my mind.
This is something I haven’t seen brought up anywhere else. Of course it hasn’t been brought up in any mainstream media: as the major media would never imply problems with the official narrative of Diana’s death, any more than they would with something like 9/11.
Just to say this first though, as I’ve said here before, I don’t particularly care about the royal family, about the ‘feud’ with Harry, about Harry and Meghan’s soap opera shenanigans, about the book or the Netflix shows or all the cashing-in that the couple is relentlessly engaging in.
I don’t care about any of it enough to have any strong opinions on it or to have taken a side. It’s all mind numbingly boring to me.
However, my central question here is the one element to all of this that *isn’t* boring to me, and it’s this: could Harry actually pose a significant threat to the Royal Establishment?
On the surface of it, you would say no, not really. Especially given that the majority of the British public seems to be in thrall to right wing media and therefore entirely anti Harry (and virulently anti Meghan). His timing is also unfortunate, given that the death of the Queen clearly seemed to capture public emotion and galvanise enthusiasm for the royal family.
However, there is one potential arrow in Harry’s bow that could present a significant problem. And the reason I bring it up is because Harry already touched on it (albeit somewhat subtly) in his recent television interviews that accompanied the release of his hugely overhyped book.
Specifically, these are the questions regarding the death of his mother.
Questions that the royal family, and the mostly compliant media, have allowed to be swept under the rug over the last few decades: once the highly staged ‘official inquiry’ had run its course and its highly dubious conclusions had been rubber stamped.
But if Harry really wanted to go on the offensive some day (and in a more serious way), *this* would be his biggest weapon.
Not that it’s clear what Harry’s intentions are or what his overall agenda is regarding his continuing feud with the royal establishment: he may ultimately have no interest in actually asking more serious questions about his mother’s death. He also may not have the stomach for the potential consequences of opening up that can of worms in a public way.
However, it seems to me that the one thing that might potentially bring more of the general public over to his side, so to speak, could be this route. It has to be remembered how popular Diana apparently was with the ‘common people’, how much of an impact her sudden death had on the country, and how much general suspicion there was about the details of what happened to her and Dodi Fayed – at least in the initial years following the event, before the establishment apparatus successfully made everyone stop thinking about it.
In fact, the schism between Diana and the House of Windsor – both before and (especially) after her fatal crash – was the closest the UK has ever been to general public opinion beginning to turn against the royal establishment. For those who remember, even the Queen was not being seen in a favourable light at that point in time.
Of course, over time, the royal establishment was able to weather the storm, evolve its image somewhat, and eventually restore its popularity and ensure its survival. As is often the case with these kinds of controversies, both the establishment and its media allies were able to wave the magic wand and put a dark and dubious chapter behind them.
But if there’s one person with the potential power (in terms of both connection and profile) to bring the many questions about Diana’s death back into the public arena, it’s the current Duke of Sussex. He is also the only person (as the youngest child of the deceased) who the general public might get behind if he decided to move in that direction.
That is, of course, assuming the same general public can get past its excessive hatred of Harry’s wife.
Again, I have no idea if Harry has any interest in this type of direction: maybe it would be going too far. But one has to wonder, given his falling out with the both the royals and the British Establishment and his apparent lack of loyalty to the House of Windsor, if maybe he has always had suspicions about how his mother died – but was always blocked from making any serious inquiries.
Harry’s brother William is clearly uninterested in the matter, being heir to the throne – and therefore having too much to lose. William is also seen as being more of a genuine royalist anyway, and therefore unlikely to ever rock the boat. But having freed himself (somewhat) from the royal establishment, the younger brother might increasingly consider himself to no longer be constrained by the need to protect either the family or the monarchy’s reputation.
I doubt that Harry would reopen this particular can of worms during the year of his father’s coronation as King. But it’s something he might be thinking about for the future. It would be a rather radical step, especially for someone still bearing royal titles. But then, as many over-excited media commentators have said in the last fortnight, what he has already done is seen by the status quo as rather radical: so he has already started paving the way.
I haven’t read Harry’s book: and I doubt I ever will. But, as far as his television interviews are concerned, there has certainly been the hint that he is still dissatisfied with the handling of his mother’s fatal accident and some of the details surrounding it.
So far, he hasn’t overtly said anything to indicate belief in a conspiracy or a sense that the official story isn’t true. Instead he has limited himself to asking questions about the paparazzi, with some additional reference to questionable security arrangements.
But that doesn’t mean he isn’t thinking beyond those things: and maybe playing it a little safe for the time being, choosing his words carefully. In his interview with CNN, he in fact talked about having gone to Paris, specifically to reenact the conditions of the fatal crash (including driving at the same speed through the tunnel): this certainly makes it sound like he isn’t wholly convinced of what the truth is.
As for the actual evidence or implications that Diana and Dodi did not die in an ‘accidental’ car crash, there is a great deal of it: most of which was covered here.
For detached, armchair observers like myself (and, I’m sure, some of you), the official version of events regarding Diana’s death has never been convinving: one can only imagine how much more emotionally invested in the matter someone like Harry would be if he too has remained unconvinced.
It should be remembered that the jury in the official inquest was literally forbidden from reaching a verdict of ‘murder’. Instead the jury concluded that Diana had been “unlawfully killed”: which is a strangely vague term and one that is very much open to interpretation.
Why was Diana’s body immediately (and bizarrely) embalmed after the accident? Why was none of the CCTV footage of the crash or from the tunnel ever made available? Why did it take an hour and forty five minutes for an ambulance to take her to a hospital? What was the role of the SAS, SBS and the ‘Increment’: the secret paramilitary unit that apparently carries out black ops for Her Majesty’s government?
What about the connections between the driver Henri Paul and MI6 and the intelligence services?
And then also there’s the infamous ‘Mischon Note’, in which Harry’s mother predicted her own death by an engineered car crash.
These are just some of the questions that have never been answered by the royal establishment or its many protector institutions. Again, the evidence for assassination has always been substantial.
But the media (and the general public) doesn’t give validation to ‘conspiracy theorists’ or perceived anti establishment writers: it would always take someone in a very particular sort of position for any of this to be brought into the general public arena. And Harry would be that person.
If you just look at how much media coverage was given to his fairly lightweight ‘revelations’ about fights with his brother or about Meghan and Kate Middleton not getting along, one can only *imagine* how much coverage would be given to Harry raising more palpable questions about his mother’s death.
The sheer sensationalist quality of the subject would make it very difficult for the establishment to suppress or control media coverage of such accusations or implications: because the scandal-loving (and royal-obsessed) media simply could not resist such coverage if it would sell so many papers or keep so many viewers glued to the screen.
And this would be a nightmare for the royal establishment and the intelligence services: and the last thing in the world they want.
If Harry’s ‘feud’ with the other royals (and, even more so, the establishment media) continues without reconciliation, or if it even escalates further, there could be every possibility that he would grow more hostile: and could bring out this very specific ace in the hole – not out of spite or any petty desire to hurt his family, but out of a genuine desire to understand or even expose what happened to his mother.
If that did end up happening, and the son of the King and brother of the heir to the throne openly implied royal establishment complicity in the murder of his mother, it could provoke the worst crisis the House of Windsor and the royal establishment has ever faced.
It could even be a crisis it doesn’t recover from. They rode out and managed the crisis the first time, when the Queen was Head of State: but the second time might not be so easy.
Again, it all depends on what the Duke of Sussex’s actual agenda really is: and what it is that is motivating him.