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Harry's Mad

Harry's Mad

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Without a clear public understanding as to how it intends to cut its cloak according to the available cloth, it might as well be talking to the birds. Public pledges are meaningless without explaining how they will be achieved. But by and large, partly as a result of that experience, the British press has been more restrained in recent years. The paparazzi are still with us but their market these days is continental and American – many of the headlines shown in the recent Netflix documentary were from US supermarket tabloids and the photographs of massed ranks of photographers were taken from other, non-royal events on different occasions. But so far – and this is the sore on the fair face of Government – we have heard precious little as to how the Government proposes to economise. It is understandable that Harry has been marked for life by what happened to his mother. Some of what the tabloid press did in the 1980s and 1990s, in an era of frenzied commercial competition was frankly deplorable.

Harrys Mad by Dick King - AbeBooks Harrys Mad by Dick King - AbeBooks

Let me remind you that Boris Johnson proposed to cut the Civil Service by 91,000 over three years. And that was the last we heard of it. Meanwhile, the Civil Service’s response had been to show a marked reluctance to return to normal working after the pandemic even though public services are the subject of continual public complaint. And then there is “The Blob” – the mandarinate – widely reported to be frustrating Ministers’ policies, especially over Brexit de-regulation. Without drastic cuts in spending and a vigorous economy campaign to eliminate waste, you can kiss goodbye to any responsible tax cuts. We all have a vested interest in a balanced budget.

All royals through history have had to show themselves to their subjects to prove they are still there. As Lord Salisbury, the future prime minister, wrote in the Saturday Review in 1871 when Queen Victoria was burying herself away a decade after Prince Albert’s death – and losing public support as a result: “Seclusion is one of the few luxuries in which royal personages may not indulge. Loyalty needs a life of almost unintermitted publicity to sustain it.” The crowd, it was said, “want the gilding for their money”. As Harry’s late grandmother used to say: “We have to be seen to be believed.”

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Would Harry rather return to the deference of the press in the 1930s, when it failed to report Edward VIII’s burgeoning love affair with Wallis Simpson until it was all but a fait accompli? The lessons of that experience are that deference does not work when there’s a genuine crisis brewing and even then the story was being widely reported across the world while the British remained in ignorance. They are the ones who want to read the royal news and gossip; if the media did not provide it and feed their enthusiasm the institution would wither. As a self-confessed believer in the monarchy, Harry presumably does not want that.The tabloids do indeed cover the royals intensely and, actually, they mostly get their reporting right. They were the ones who first noticed the rift between Charles and Diana and indeed between the two brothers after Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle – both of which were important stories and furthermore true. Harry Holdsworth’s family received a letter from their Great-Uncle George, in the U.S., telling them that Harry is to receive an inheritance. Imaginations run wild, while waiting for it to arrive.

You can see why Harry dislikes the tabloid press – but they

The family realizes that they can’t let anyone outside of the family know about Mad’s talents. Also that Mad is quite an addition to the family in many ways.

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