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There is no question that, in the manner of their departure from full-time royal life, Harry and Meghan have behaved in the most appallingly childish fashion.

They really couldn’t have made more of a hash of it if they had tried.

But for all that, there is one area in which, despite everything, they have been unfairly vilified. And that is the way the finger of blame for the couple’s decision has been pointed almost exclusively at Meghan.

The reasons for this have nothing to do with racism — that’s a red herring pursued by individuals with a wider agenda. If anything, it’s just straightforward sexism. The notion of any woman with half an opinion being wicked and manipulative is a cliche as old as humanity itself.

There is no question that, in the manner of their departure from full-time royal life, Harry and Meghan have behaved in the most appallingly childish fashion, writes SARAH VINE

But the truth is that however pushy, precious or princessy Meghan may or may not be, however infuriating her realisation that, having cost us all a fortune in a big white wedding and the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, she’d rather spend her days hob-nobbing with Elton John and Beyonce than holed up in the Home Counties, ultimately it’s Prince Harry who must take responsibility for this move, not her. After all, it’s he who’s the Prince; she’s just the showgirl.

She may have lit the touchpaper for the firecracker that’s just exploded in all our faces, but she’s not the root cause. That, I’m afraid, can be traced all the way back to 1997, to that sad day in September when a small boy was made to walk behind his mother’s coffin in full view of the entire world.

I love the Queen and I am a huge supporter of the Royal Family, but that was a big mistake; a cruel and selfish act of self-preservation on their behalf, done purely to dampen the public’s anger at the way the Palace had reacted to Diana’s death.

She may have lit the touchpaper for the firecracker that’s just exploded in all our faces, but she’s not the root cause. That, I’m afraid, can be traced all the way back to 1997, to that sad day in September when a small boy was made to walk behind his mother’s coffin in full view of the entire world, writes SARAH VINE

It was also emblematic of the way the Royal Family has, over the years, put protocol before people.

The truth is, Harry has been very damaged by his upbringing.

Even before Meghan came on the scene, it was clear there was a part of him that was very angry about what happened to his mother.

When he and William released an HBO documentary about Diana back in 2017, on the 20th anniversary of her death, he in particular expressed very mixed emotions, not only towards his father but towards the institution of monarchy itself. Indeed, in an interview later that year, he admitted that during his 20s he had seriously considered turning his back on the privilege he was born into, to live an ‘ordinary life’. ‘I felt I wanted out, but then decided to stay in and work out a role for myself,’ he said.

I love the Queen and I am a huge supporter of the Royal Family, but that was a big mistake; a cruel and selfish act of self-preservation on their behalf, done purely to dampen the public’s anger at the way the Palace had reacted to Diana’s death, writes SARAH VINE

I love the Queen and I am a huge supporter of the Royal Family, but that was a big mistake; a cruel and selfish act of self-preservation on their behalf, done purely to dampen the public’s anger at the way the Palace had reacted to Diana’s death, writes SARAH VINE

I love the Queen and I am a huge supporter of the Royal Family, but that was a big mistake; a cruel and selfish act of self-preservation on their behalf, done purely to dampen the public’s anger at the way the Palace had reacted to Diana’s death, writes SARAH VINE

Tellingly, he recalled that during his happy years in the Army: ‘I wasn’t a Prince, I was just Harry.’

The timing of all this is important, because it was in July the year before that Harry had first met Meghan.

It would have been around the same time he was re-living some very painful memories, and I cannot help but think that all this had a huge bearing on his choice of bride.

To a man like Harry, the unhappy Prince trapped in a royal straitjacket, this beautiful, sassy, independent woman must have seemed like the personification of the freedom he so desired.

Unlike most of the upper-class beauties he had dated, Meghan was very much her own woman.

Here was someone who was never going to take to life as a royal show-pony, unveiling plaques and opening shopping centres.

To a man like Harry, the unhappy Prince trapped in a royal straitjacket, this beautiful, sassy, independent woman must have seemed like the personification of the freedom he so desired, writes SARAH VINE

To a man like Harry, the unhappy Prince trapped in a royal straitjacket, this beautiful, sassy, independent woman must have seemed like the personification of the freedom he so desired, writes SARAH VINE

To a man like Harry, the unhappy Prince trapped in a royal straitjacket, this beautiful, sassy, independent woman must have seemed like the personification of the freedom he so desired, writes SARAH VINE

She may have been attracted to him for his title, but I cannot help feeling that a large part of the appeal for him was the fact that she was so alien to his world, from such a wholly different background, that marrying her would open up a new range of possibilities. In other words, the perfect way out.

No wonder he seems so determined to go through with this, regardless of the cost to him or his family: it’s not just what Meghan wants, it’s what he wants, too. It’s what he’s wanted for a very long time.

But for Meghan, Harry might never have had the courage or the motivation to walk away. With her by his side, he finally has the strength to realise his dream of being, as he once put it himself, ‘just Harry’.

Whether that dream turns into the kind of reality he hopes for, of course, remains to be seen. The grass is rarely as green on the other side as we imagine it to be. Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn out to be scorched earth.

What blasphemy is this? James Bond sipping a non-alcoholic beer in an advert for Heineken. Offered his more traditional tipple, a martini, Daniel Craig shakes his head (even though 007 was once described as having a ‘severe chronic alcohol problem’) and says, by way of explanation: ‘I’m working.’ Ha. Shouldn’t that be: ‘I’m woke-ing’?

There’s something straightforwardly joyful about this picture of Florence Pugh grinning with delight on discovering she’s been nominated for an Oscar for her role in Little Women (right).

In reality, it’s all a bit staged — after all, she posted the picture on her Instagram account.

But by modern standards it’s lovely to see a woman confident enough to appear make-up free, her hair dishevelled, with nothing but sheets to shield her modesty.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that she’s just 24 and cute as a button. A little woman who’s going to be a big star.

I’m going with the Flo

Florence Pugh: A little woman who’s going to be a big star, writes SARAH VINE

Florence Pugh: A little woman who’s going to be a big star, writes SARAH VINE

Florence Pugh: A little woman who’s going to be a big star, writes SARAH VINE

There’s something straightforwardly joyful about this picture of Florence Pugh grinning with delight on discovering she’s been nominated for an Oscar for her role in Little Women.

In reality, it’s all a bit staged — after all, she posted the picture on her Instagram account.

But by modern standards it’s lovely to see a woman confident enough to appear make-up free, her hair dishevelled, with nothing but sheets to shield her modesty.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that she’s just 24 and cute as a button. A little woman who’s going to be a big star.

PS Is the only point of awards ceremonies now so that people can be offended that they’ve not been nominated? 

There’s something straightforwardly joyful about this picture of Florence Pugh grinning with delight on discovering she’s been nominated for an Oscar for her role in Little Women, writes SARAH VINE

There’s something straightforwardly joyful about this picture of Florence Pugh grinning with delight on discovering she’s been nominated for an Oscar for her role in Little Women, writes SARAH VINE

There’s something straightforwardly joyful about this picture of Florence Pugh grinning with delight on discovering she’s been nominated for an Oscar for her role in Little Women, writes SARAH VINE

It’s our turn to rebel  

There’s no question Extinction Rebellion activists are often irritating, however well-meaning some of them may be, but actual terrorists? To put them on a list of extremists and bracket them alongside neo-Nazis and Islamists is a bit over the top.

Not, however, as over the top as the militant greens attacking Channel 4 for allowing BP to sponsor its coverage of the 2020 Paralympic Games — you know, where the brave endeavours of the disabled are given a vital platform.

Interestingly, some of the protesters chose to voice their disapproval by wearing white plastic masks emblazoned with the BP logo. Plastic is, of course, a by-product of . . . petroleum. So not only disproportionate, but also dumb.

A veteran restaurateur says it’s a mistake to order the second cheapest bottle of wine on the menu to avoid looking a skinflint — they’re wise to this, so it’s marked up the most.

In truth, I’ve known this for a while, ever since my friend, Imogen Edwards-Jones, published her riotous book Restaurant Babylon, exposing all the sneaky tricks of the trade.

It’s also thanks to her that I always refuse the waiter’s impassioned entreaty to order a side dish: at a fiver a pop for a few glazed carrots or a bit of mash, they’re the ones that represent the biggest rip-off. Cheers!

The news that John Lewis is to start selling ‘guy-liner’ will not, I fear, restore the store’s flagging fortunes. For years now, cosmetic companies have been launching men-only lines, but they never catch on for one simple reason. From a very young age, girls are made to feel insecure about the way they look, whereas boys are trained to think they’re God’s gift. And besides, who wants to look like Johnny Depp today? So three centuries ago. 

Hugh Grant tweets a survey commissioned by one of the few remaining news outlets he still condescends to read, claiming that it’s ‘the latest in a series of mainstream polls stretching back more than two years which have found a consistent majority for Remain’.

Right. So why has the country just returned a stonking Tory majority on the slogan ‘Get Brexit Done’? Or as Ricky Gervais so brilliantly put it the other day: ‘You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world.’

Who’s really most prejudiced?

Perhaps the most upsetting thing about the whole Meghan and Harry saga is the notion that she was ‘chased out’ because of her ethnicity, writes SARAH VINE

Perhaps the most upsetting thing about the whole Meghan and Harry saga is the notion that she was ‘chased out’ because of her ethnicity, writes SARAH VINE

Perhaps the most upsetting thing about the whole Meghan and Harry saga is the notion that she was ‘chased out’ because of her ethnicity, writes SARAH VINE

Perhaps the most upsetting thing about the whole Meghan and Harry saga is the notion that she was ‘chased out’ because of her ethnicity. There is a big difference between disagreeing with the way someone behaves and disliking them purely for what they are.

Of course, there are sadly some racist people in Britain, but the idea that we are all guilty of ‘unconscious bias’ is, frankly, insulting.

In fact, the degree to which certain people — including the brilliant British film-maker Steve McQueen, who last week said the BAFTAs risked becoming irrelevant because they are insufficiently diverse, and the rapper Stormzy, who recently told an Italian newspaper the UK was racist, ‘definitely, 100 per cent’ (he’s clearly never spent much time in Italy, then) — seem determined to press this agenda seems to me to be verging on a kind of prejudice itself.

I understand that racism is a very real problem for many people in this country, and we must do our best to fight it. But if the definition of racial prejudice is judging people according to the colour of their skin, then surely this obsession with so-called ‘white privilege’ comes dangerously close to fitting that description. 

DailyMail Online


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