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.
Maybe my comment is too long but it does not pass. (So I’ll cut it)
1) At first I didn’t want to see the Harry and Meghan series on Netflix. I thought to myself, this is going to be another soap opera about rich people posing as victims. So I let it pass several times.
Then, there is something deep inside me that said me: look at it. Perhaps you will have something to criticize. Go take a look, maybe he’ll talk about his mother. He did it.
And I think the series is worth watching.
2) I believe Harry (if it’s all really sincere) is different from the rest of royalty. I think he loves Meghan deeply and he oversteps the bounds of royalty.
And, he probably sensed what racism can do too.
He said for a moment, I don’t understand why, they didn’t accept her, (I summarize) she is superb. … She would have been an asset to them.
It had become hopeless and it showed a facet of royalty, rather stupid and racist.
(Especially since he touched on the question of the Commonwealth and most of the former colonies, the people who form it are mestizos, afro etc.)
3) Regarding racism. You know how to love someone completely different from the rest of your own family and to see in him and in her, a simple human who is not so different (in reality) and who can bring a lot, it’s huge. And, you have to have a lot of resistance. You also have to know how to share calmly, especially if you want to stay in a good moral and logical sense.
So in addition Meghan must to almost (or pretend in front of the public) to convert to the thought of this royalty which was more reminiscent of a sect than of good faith (in good sense).
4) Ah. He also touched on the royal press media, and he gave an overview of how they worked. And, I found that interesting.
When he went to live for a while in Africa, he also learned to be closer to simple people and to be down to earth. He says it, it taught him things.
I believe that the propaganda that attacks it is to hide these facts and certainly others.
It gives another idea of child who grew up in royalty: more human, more thoughtful and with emotions.
5) (I hope he will continue to move in this direction because perhaps he could change the face of his country in a good way. And, may be the world)
The only thing that bothered me was when he bragged about his military background and profession etc.
But even that, some stupid internet and propaganda articles used this information to make fun of him.
Tk y S. Awan
Yeah, the press made it sound like he was ‘bragging’: but I don’t think that was his tone. He wasn’t saying it in a way that was proud of it. He still probably shouldn’t have been specific about his ‘kill count’ though.
Thanks for commenting, Neilly.
I agree with you Neilly that Meghan could’ve actually been an asset to the House of Windsor: in terms of evolving their image and seeming more modern. My impression is that it was the English tabloid media (more than the family itself) that drove the wedge between Harry/Meghan and the Royal Establishment: the newspapers went after Harry’s wife rather relentlessly: and the royals are afraid of the English tabloids and probably want to keep them ‘on their side’ as much as possible. Especially because there are so many skeletons in the royal closets that they need the media to keep quiet about.
Yes, I felt the same way as you exactly. I haven’t watched the Netflix thing; and I also just thought it’s likely to be an attention seeking melodrama about wealthy elites acting as victims, as you said.
You are the second person who’s said it’s worth watching. So maybe I will have a look at some of it. What I did watch was the tv interviews he did with CNN in the US and ITV in the UK. Those were interesting a little bit.
I think their motive is less financially inclined as this statement suggests. For me, it’s clear that it’s more about a matter of righting the record. Monetarily, their “relentless” media output takes away the tabloids financial gain in the long-run. To clarify, what happens when a tell-all book like this comes out with everything laid bare, even mentioning things nobody asked for or cared about i.e. regarding Harry’s virginity? The result is as close to a clean slate as possible from this point on. The tabloids will have nothing in his past to dredge up and exploit to sell papers because it would be no longer newsworthy if he exposes it himself on record. The tabloids’ arsenal becomes effectively empty – then after a month or two of news cycle the world would have moved on to other headlines, the tabloids will find it difficult to make headlines about his past.
Harry’s and his wife’s present and future will no doubt be filled with non-tabloid worthy charity work and do-gooder deeds.
This is my theory, what do you think?
Only to the extent that he’s already outlined in his interviews. He ideally would like to dismantle the status quo of the toxic relationship between tabloid press and royal press office. In no way does he gives off vibes of wanting to tear the whole thing down, i.e. in favour of a republic. He actually wants his family members back in his life – brother and father especially. This much is clear.
He doesn’t. He’s publicly stated recently in an interview something to the effect on how any other ideas of inquiry will ultimately change nothing.
Can’t see how this could ever happen. “Ain’t no Black in the Union Jack”, init? Plus, it’s not in the financial interest of the UK press to do so. Print journalism is still in the fight of its life to remain relevant, no? The physical paper buying demographic is surely dying out for good, no?
To the point of fault, the evidence seems to be on his side that he and his wife attempted to do so regardless. Everyone has their breaking points/line in the sand. Belief that, being resigned to the idea that tabloids will invade his space even when across the world doing nothing for an entire year, his mother’s ill timed fate was soon destined for his own wife, believing that media harassment resulting in stress levels that contributed to his wife miscarriage – to name a few. Yeah, some of those listed things could be his line in the sand not to toe the line anymore, especially without any support from the House of Windsor.
From the televised interviews, I got the impression that he’s seen photos never seen before by the public. This appears to have heavily contributed to his current decision that there’s nothing further to ask.
I can’t see it escalating further. Harry’s said his piece. He’s literally in a happy(er) place and settled with his family. They’re good for cash. He’s on record as leaving the door open for his brother and father for reconciliation. To me, Harry is clearly in full Zen inner-peace mode. Good for him. I don’t think he’ll at all be pissed when he’s not invited to his father’s coronation.
I don’t know if I agree that ‘Harry’s said his piece: given that he’s talking about a volume 2 of his book.
I’m also not sure what is making you think he thinks there’s nothing more to ask regarding his mother’s death. Why was he bringing up questions about the tunnel and the official speed estimates, etc, otherwise? He did in the CNN interview anyway.
Concerning the tabloids, they’re not going to give him or his wife a break *whatever* happens, no? I mean they could happily just make shit up too.
Allegedly, there’s a 6 book deal or something. To be specific, when I mention ‘his piece’ I refer to dishing the dirt, bringing sunlight to everything including his own stuff, anything salacious and tabloid-news-worthy. My prediction is that future books will be more focussed on, ‘the work’, the continuation of he and his wife’s public good and charitable endeavours – following in his mother’s footsteps with that ambassador work.
Hey, I could easily be wrong.
If I gave that impression, I must have miscommunicated. I was just referring to his clear communication within an interview that he has no appetite for any new investigative inquiries surrounding his mother’s death. He will have questions for the rest of his life, no doubt.
Yup, 100%. Basically, Harry has done that Eminem 8-Mile battle rap move where, in this first book, he’s cleared out the closet and aired out everything. I’ve no doubt that the tabloids, who have had his entire family’s life under their lens for his entire natural life, may have had stashed dirt in their arsenal. Stories where in the past they may have agreed under quid pro quo to bury specific gossip-negative-news for access. With the relationship with his family estranged and under no right of protection from the royal press office (or any protection for him and his family on anything), who’s to say what ‘exclusives’ were in the tabloid’s preloaded chamber.
If my interpretation of Harry’s media strategy are accurate, this means that any ‘true’ older tabloid stuff that he’s already written in his book will have significantly less value to the tabloids’ circulation numbers.
– No exclusive
– Minimal news life-cycles to drag shit out because Harry brought it willingly to public view.
Newly made up shit will have far less traction and/or public interest.
Quick case scenario:
Harry voluntarily reveals details of loosing virginity in his book. If under the circumstances the tabloid had revealed the sordid details as a front page exclusive they’d get to run all sorts of angles with it for weeks, selling far more papers and ad-clicks online.
– Exclusive: Harry’s pub deflowering orgy
– Megan furious with hubby over virginity pub scandal
– Source reveals identity of royal deflowerer
– Exclusive interview: I shagged Harry
… This is just off the top of my head how I imagine they’d spin it.
Presently, it would appear that the tabloid public don’t give a fuck (no pun intended). Zero sales for tabloids. And also less street-cred as “the publication that always delivers what the public want regarding rawkus royals exclusives”.
OK, I get what you’re saying. And I can see that as being a good strategy: basically ‘outing’ *yourself* with everything before they can try doing it *to* you.
I didn’t know it was a six book deal though: I thought it was just two. That’s nuts.