An extraordinary row over remembrance of the war dead has revealed the continuing depth of the bitter feud between Prince Harry and the Royal Family.
The drama began with a report in The Sunday Times who said Harry was refused permission to lay a poppy wreath in his name at the Cenotaph, Britain’s official war memorial, during Sunday’s annual service commemorating the war dead and elders fighters attended by the royal family.
Now the real wreath Harry wanted to lay in his name has been unearthed, languishing in a cardboard box at the Royal British Legion’s Kent HQ.
While neither Buckingham Palace nor Prince Harry’s media team were willing to comment on the story to The Daily Beast, the discovery of the actual crown dispelled what little doubt there might have been. on the fact that the story in The Sunday Times was precise.
The Sunday Times said Harry made a “personal request” to Buckingham Palace for the crown to be laid, but his wish was rejected by the courtiers (the Queen was reportedly kept out) on the grounds that he did not no longer represented the monarchy.
Harry was said to be “deeply saddened” by the decision, which has been widely interpreted as clear confirmation that the Royal Family believe he should have absolutely no ceremonial role within the family.
The new photos of the abandoned crown, which were taken by the British Legion, the charity for veterans, emerged after Harry’s team in Los Angeles stoked the feud on Sunday afternoon by sending photographs of Harry and Meghan gloomily examining a wide field. of war graves at Los Angeles National Cemetery.
Their media team said they wanted to “personally recognize Remembrance in its own way.”
They were also pictured laying a wreath at the graves of two Commonwealth soldiers and laying flowers there which, according to media reports, had been picked by Meghan from their own garden.
The carefully staged photographs and the accompanying press release sparked a predictable wave of criticism in the UK, neatly summed up in the form of Arch-Sussex critic Piers Morgan who called the photos a ‘coup unpleasant press ”.
The current familiar accusation against the couple is that by posting their own photographs they disrespectfully eclipsed the official London ceremony.
While it seems inevitable that Harry and Meghan’s decision to post carefully curated photos of themselves is likely to absorb the media oxygen on Monday, it also seems perverse that the palace hasn’t found a way to fulfill Harry’s wish to be seen. to pay public homage to the cenotaph.
Several dozen wreaths are laid in total and they are laid by all kinds of people – this year, for example, one was laid by the Sun veteran royal photographer Arthur Edwards on behalf of the readers of this journal.
Harry actually spent ten years in the military, in fact set up an incredibly successful sports charity for injured veterans, and walked to the North Pole to raise funds and raise awareness of the plight of injured veterans. Given all of this, it is not completely unreasonable for him to think that he can still have a valuable role to play in defending veterans.
“Has the Royal Family once again made a total and utter mess of their attempts to silence Harry and Meghan? Absolutely“
Was this the most diplomatic way to advance your cause? Probably not. Organized images have gone awry at home. It is admittedly difficult to get privacy complaints taken seriously when you take a photographer with you to record your “personal” act of remembrance and send the photos to media organizations. It looks childish.
But have the Royal Family once again made a total and utter mess of their attempts to silence Harry and Meghan? Absolutely.
This feud is not, and always has been, a zero-sum game. There are no winners. Instead, it turns into a devastating war of attrition for all.
As each side lashes out at the other, they only succeed in strengthening their opponent’s resolve – and making themselves appear more and more mean and self-centered.
It’s pretty clear to all onlookers that Harry and Meghan aren’t about to shut up, and if there was any doubt about it, the events of this weekend made it even more apparent.
In this armistice season, perhaps the royal family should be reminded that lasting peace deals involve uncomfortable compromises, even on the side of those who believe they are victorious.
If ever there was a time for the palate to be generous, to bend the rules a bit, to elevate the human above procedure, this was it.
It’s hard to see how allowing a beautiful Captain Wales wreath to be laid at the cenotaph by one of the thousands of veterans he has helped over the past decade could have been worse for the Royal Family than the disgraceful debacle that resulted.
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