It appears the Queen has taken steps to ensure Prince Harry gets as little attention as possible, while William shines.
Of all the trappings and knickknacks of palace life, of all the symbolic totems of royalty, there is none more universally known, like the Coca-Cola logo or the Golden Arches, than the Royal Guard and their ridiculous fur hats. of bear
Standing just under half a meter tall, the towering numbers have been worn by guards since 1815, when the British crossed the Channel and gave old Bonaparte the why at Waterloo. Though one might think monstrosities can hardly take much wear and tear, the military still buys 50 to 100 of the things each year at a cost of $1,222 a piece.
And this year, when Buckingham Palace is hell-bent on underscoring the monarchy’s dual messages of continuity and resilience, one of these old hats will play a central role in the ongoing transatlantic family ding-dong that has dominated royal life. and real coverage, for two years.
Last week marked two years since Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, presumptuously threw in the monogrammed towel so they could move to California to podcast (well, so far, a singular podcast) and learn firsthand. hand. about how a mortgage feels.
We all know what came next: Harry randomly shooting at his family and Meghan hurling accusations of institutional racism and cruelty at the Palace gates.
It’s no great surprise, given this frigid situation, that the Duke only returned to the UK for reasons of dire need (his grandfather’s funeral; the unveiling of his mother’s statue that he co-commissioned) and that the Duchess does not have at all. After all, it’s hard to imagine her receiving an enthusiastic welcome from the cheering crowd when she lands at Heathrow.
But all that is about to change because in less than six months, the celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – that is, her 70 years on the throne – will culminate in a four-day long weekend and throughout the country on its knees by his side. side will be his family. All of them.
Yes, even the one who accused the House of Windsor of “total negligence” and the one who came after her son was denied a title for being biracial.
In other words, the Sussexes’ return to London was always going to be deeply awkward. But now? Now, the Queen has made his public return to the royal fold a much more unpleasant prospect for Harry for reasons involving his brotherly nete noir and one of those absurd bearskin hats.
On Monday, the Buckingham Palace staff brought out the good stationery and revealed the official program for that four-day orgy of miniature Union Jacks and sandwiches that will kick off with Trooping the Color on June 2, the first time the grand contest of horses has been taking place since the pandemic began.
Every year the extravagance sees a regiment chosen to, well, form Troops of the Color, which are basically the military headliners and for the 2022 outing, the Queen has chosen the Irish Guards.
And who could be the Colonel of the Irish Guards? Who will be able to do somersaults on their horse and be the star of the show?
Why, Prince William of course!
Which means that on that Thursday in June, Harry will be forced to watch from the balcony of Buckingham Palace as his brother takes center stage and basks in all the glory and glittering headlines.
That William’s regiment has been chosen for this year does not seem like a coincidence and the symbolism of the moment will be powerful: the current sovereign looks on with pride as a future sovereign takes his place looking grand and majestic in all his military regalia.
Rubbing Maldon salt further into the wound here for Harry will be that, despite being a veteran and having done two tours on the front lines in Afghanistan, he was never, in his actual official working days, allowed to participate in Trooping the real. Color.
While the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Prince William, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew have been involved over the years, the Duke of Sussex never has and never will now.
This superficially unfair arrangement boils down to the fact that while his brother, father, and aunt are all royal colonels of the household division, Harry, even in his day, was not.
Even in 2019, having taken over as Captain General of the Royal Marines from Prince Philip, he was relegated to a carriage for the procession.
So if before all this Harry wasn’t particularly anxious about having to take his family back to Blighty, the fact that now, once he’s there, he’ll also be forced to watch while William is feted must make the whole situation even harder to swallow.
(Up to this point, there has been no indication that Harry and Meghan won’t be attending the event and it would be surprising if they did. Time and time again, both have said how much they respect the Queen, whether they buy that line or not. Trooping the Color is their official birthday celebration anyway, and therefore this is a family event rather than a state one, and that this year is very important because of the Jubilee, it would be very surprising if they didn’t show up. impossible for them to keep tracing the “too much respect” line if they didn’t bite the bullet and put their frequent flyer points where their mouth is).
The bad news, for Harry and Meghan, does not end there. Remember it’s a four day event? Well, the days after Trooping the Color will see the Queen and her family take part in a series of very fun and massive events. Yes!
On Friday 3 June there will be a service of thanksgiving for Her Majesty at St Paul’s, the site of the world’s most catastrophic royal wedding in 1981, before the Windsors join the Queen at Epsom for the Derby on Saturday. (Get ready: there will be so many hats. The society hatter, Philip Treacy, is probably already on an IV drip due to exhaustion.)
The only clear advantage for Harry in all of this? At least more family drama will give her something else to write about in her still-untitled memoir. You may never get the title, but you know what they say: content is king.
Daniela Elser is a real expert and writer with over 15 years experience working with several of Australia’s leading media outlets.