The Little Prince
By Patrick F. Cannon
It has been announced that Prince Henry Charles Albert David, duke of Sussex, earl of Dumbarton and baron Kilkeel, formerly of the United Kingdom and several tiny islands, will soon be publishing his memoirs, which he has titled Spare. We know him better as Prince Harry.
The book’s title refers to the practice of the royal family and other peers of the realm to produce “an heir and a spare.” His elder brother William, prince of Wales, earl of Chester, duke of Cornwall, duke of Rothesay, duke of Cambridge, earl of Shathearn, baron of Renfrew, baron Carrickfergus, lord of the Isles, and prince and great steward of Scotland (and some knighthoods to boot) is of course the heir to their father, King Charles III. As William now has three children (an heir and two spares), it’s unlikely poor Harry will ever be king, being fifth in line now. In the Middle Ages the problem might not have been insurmountable, but these are tamer times.
Prince Harry and his wife, Duchess Meagan, apparently got tired of both their fellow royals and their jobs visiting charities and opening supermarkets in the cold and rain of the UK, so they resigned from the family firm and moved to sunny California.
It’s said the book was going to come out sooner, but Harry decided to tone down its criticism of his relatives because it might seem unseemly after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, or granny as she was known in the family. (Of course, all of them managed to put on a good show of familial solidarity for the funeral. The British tabloids are assuming – or are they hoping? – it won’t last.)
When Harry was traipsing around the UK on behalf of the House of Windsor, he was paid about $7 million a year. In return, he cut ribbons, patted little heads and generally kept out of trouble. Duchess Meagan – an actress after all — learned how to wear hats and hold flower bouquets without sneezing. These skills should stand them in good stead as they replace the royal income by trading on their fame in the celebrity-mad United States.
As it happens, Harry was trained as a helicopter pilot when he served in the British Army. If the celebrity thing doesn’t pan out, he can always sign on as a shuttle pilot. In the near term, things seem to be going well. Like their models – Paris Hilton, the Kardashians, and numerous other “influencers” – they need not actually work for a living. They need only be famous.
Their fame and related income has enabled them to spend north of $10 million on an estate in Montecito, an enclave for the favored of God near sunny Santa Barbara. Their neighbors include Brad Pitt, Jeff Bridges, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Rob Lowe, Oprah (who obliged with an “explosive” television interview that was worth millions in future earnings), and Gwyneth Paltrow, who knows a thing or two about cashing in on celebrity.
There is, of course, precedent in the Windsor family for Harry to emulate. His great-great uncle David – briefly King Edward VIII until he abdicated – managed to live quite well trading on his fame as the king who gave up his throne for the love of a woman, in that case another American, Wallis Warfield Simpson. As Duke of Windsor, he passed his days in a mansion near Paris and the watering holes of the idle rich. He had no worries about money – in addition to an allowance from the royal family, subtle endorsements and appearance fees kept him nice and comfy.
It’s a wonderful world, isn’t it, when the dupes who get up in the morning and go to work make it possible for others to make money by simply existing. America is, after all, still the land of opportunity!
Copyright 2022, Patrick F. Cannon