This week I thought I’d look at something I wouldn’t normally comment on but as the story gets bigger and bigger, I feel I need to say something before the event actually happens. I’m talking about this coming Sundays Harry and Meghan interview with Oprah Winfrey. Firstly I’m not going to criticise their decision to leave Royal life, as that is entirely theirs and If they want their privacy, I hope they live happily ever after. Secondly I’m not a Royalist, ok I admit it I went to the Queens Silver Jubilee celebrations in London in 1977 with my Mum and Dad. So don’t hold that against me. I do believe though the Royal family add a lot to the UK economy through everything they do.
I really like Harry as he was the one that didn’t conform, a rebel if you like and the so called Man in the street could relate to him. I think the public and the press were happy that he’d met someone to live his life with.
What is eating at me though is that although Harry and Meghans decision to leave was to remove themselves from public life as they felt the press were intruding in their lives on a daily basis and they wanted privacy. It actually isn’t going to work. Personally I think it makes it worse for them as you can be guaranteed that the press will now go to extraordinary lengths to get news or stories on them. You may say that’s wrong but don’t forget that sells newspapers as it’s what we the public want to read, although we may deny it.
The agreement was that there would be a 12-month review of their duties following their so-called Megxit in January last year when they announced plans to “step back” as senior members of the British royal family and become financially independent. March 31st was the date agreed but this was brought forward as it became clear they wanted out.
The statement from the Palace said “Following conversations with The Duke, The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service. While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family.”
A spokesman for the couple replied “As evidenced by their work over the past year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the UK and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organisations they have represented regardless of official role.”They added at the end a dig at the Palace statement, “We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.” Why say it?
Bearing in mind the big thing here was privacy, the pair have since inked exclusive deals with Netflix and Spotify, launched a podcast named after their son who they wanted to protect and then encouraged their Son to speak on it. Remember they hate press intrusion but set up a photo shoot to announce the news to the press that she is pregnant with their second child. Harry was told that he couldn’t lay a wreath or get anyone to lay one on his behalf at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday as he was revoking all his Royal duties. The next thing you see are pictures of the couple at an LA Cemetery laying a wreath and there just happens to be a cameraman there. Those pictures are then seen all over the World.
Now we’re looking at two interviews, one he does with James Corden on the Late Show on top of an open topped double decker bus in the middle of Showbiz land Los Angeles. And to top it all off they arrange an interview with probably the biggest talk show host in the World, Oprah.
This is a couple that on the one hand hate press intrusion but court it on the other. For me it’s hypocrisy at its highest level.
In one of the clips of the interview, Oprah says “nothing is off limits” but remember this was a recorded interview so if you don’t think the majority of it was agreed beforehand you’re naive. If “nothing is off limits” do the interview live. Then you’ll get the true story, not the well rehearsed answers, sound bytes and facial expressions. She’s an actress by trade remember, will this be one of her finest performances? It’s no coincidence that this was recorded before they were stripped of all their Royal patronage’s and now you read because of that it’s been extended from an hour and a half to two hours. So did they add other more damning stuff in afterwards?
In excerpts I’ve seen so far he says it’s been “unbelievably tough” and she says “if that means losing things, there’s been a lot lost already”. Hang on, it might have escaped you but there’s been a pandemic on for the last year. People have lost family, friends, businesses, jobs, houses and in some cases their minds but for you guys it’s been tough? Leaving the UK for their 14 million dollar mansion that has 16 bathrooms sure sounds tough to me. Let me think back too, as this is the same Man who at the age of 12 walked behind his Mothers coffin. Now that’s tough. He said it was something that no child should be asked to do but later confessed he was glad he did. This is also the man who served 10 years in the army including two terms in war torn Afghanistan fighting the Taliban. That’s even tougher and those two things alone would definitely be tougher than press intrusion in my eyes. So was he pushed into it by Meghan? That I will leave you to decide.
In another clip she accuses “the Firm” as she calls the Monarchy, of perpetuating falsehoods. The Firm? Sounds like the Mafia with the Queen in the Al Pacino role. I know we’re in the land of Hollywood but it’s all getting a bit too much.
It is going to get ugly. Both sides are playing tit for tat and nobody is going to win. No hang on a minute those awful press people are, you know the ones they despise but are feeding them the stories. It’s like who can come up with the most damning accusation. They say she was a bully to her staff and she accuses them of racism. It’s not going to end well.
The worst of it all is that it’s coming out now. Firstly in front of the Queen who at 94 years old, has served the country so unbelievably since 1952 and probably doesn’t need this right now. Secondly the illness to the Duke of Edinburgh who is in hospital having had heart surgery. It’s totally disrespectful in my opinion.
But remember she has form with family problems after the very public fall out with her Father. Coincidence? I’ll leave that with you.
I’ve given you my take of the story but I thought it would be good to give you an American side to see what their reaction was. Fifteen years ago we lived in Miami for 3 months with the Pirates Show. I’ve since kept in touch with our PR Manager José Boza and his Wife Marielena Boza who is a Logistics Consultant. When we were in Miami a couple of years ago we met up for dinner. It was a subject that Jose said I should speak to Marielena about as she was the best person to speak to. We had a great Zoom conversation this week and here are a few of her thoughts.
She said immediately that they are both well liked and Americans look at them as their Royal couple. The James Corden interview was received well as they hadn’t really seen much of them. It was good to see Harry as a normal person, not in his Royal mode. She was surprised that they’d chosen to get interviewed as they’d kept themselves to themselves and hadn’t done much else apart from announcing the pregnancy. Oprah though was the obvious choice as they are neighbours in Santa Barbara. They can understand why the interview hasn’t been well received in the Uk because they wanted out of the public eye. Although she says this is the first time they have been seen in the States for a while. She thinks afterwards they’ll go back to their charity work as that’s what they have been doing before. Her understanding is that the UK press are horrible and he made the decision to take them away from it all to America where the press don’t intrude as much. You can see from Marielena’s comments that there seems to be more love and affection for the couple Stateside.
I’m sure that would still be the case in the UK if all this hadn’t blown up in the way it has. I’ll leave you to form your own opinion. I’m sure the makers of The Crown are rubbing their hands and sharpening their pencils.
Take care everyone and enjoy your Weekend!
Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance!
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