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Monday, 28 July 2014

Charming Harry beats politicians

WITH the exceptions of Margaret Thatcher and Norman on-yer-bike Tebbit, there are very few politicians with whom I have ever found myself in strong agreement.

Louise Allonby
Louise Allonby

However, this week I couldn’t help thinking culture secretary Jeremy Hunt had got it spot on when he said Prince Harry was worth 1,000 MPs.

During his triumphant tour of South America and the Caribbean, the 27-year-old prince proved that when it comes to being an ambassador for our nation, he was more successful than any PR-driven, resolutely on-message, boring politician could ever be.

Not only did Harry entirely charm and disarm Jamaica’s republican prime minister Portia Simpson Miller who, prior to his visit had declared she wanted to replace the Queen as head of state, but he showed himself to be a thoroughly good sport with a one-of-the-lads common touch that everyone could relate to.

His first solo foreign tour has rightly been hailed as a huge success and a fantastic shot in the arm for Team GB in the way we are viewed internationally. He had Usain Bolt practically eating out of his hand during their spoof race down the athletics track; and showed he has a natural affinity with children.

It has always seemed to me that Harry, as the “spare” to William the heir, has suffered from unfair comparisons with his less ebullient older brother. Most of the public distrust of Harry appears to stem from one so-what incident when, as a 20-year-old, he went to a fancy dress party dressed in a German desert uniform.

Possibly misguided as a concept it may have been, but in reality it was merely a tabloid-driven “scandal” blown out of proportion. I mean, who hasn’t made a bit of a prat of themselves at a fancy dress party? I certainly have: the last three I’ve attended have seen me dressed as a Scottish football hooligan (complete with see-you-Jimmy wig), uber-chav Vicky Pollard from Little Britain, and Shaun the Sheep (on which occasion I was accompanied by a 6ft, 16-stone male Sister Maria from The Sound of Music).

Youth must have its fling – and if donning a Nazi armband is the worst thing Prince Harry has done, then he’s a darned sight more circumspect than many young people who act inappropriately.

With William and Kate riding high in the public’s affections, it appears this new generation of royals has revitalised respect for the British monarchy both at home and abroad – as the Jamaican prime minister displayed so amusingly: one hug from Harry and she melted like butter in a microwave.

In this the Queen’s diamond jubilee year, the republican cause looks as forlorn now as it ever has. Thank goodness. The spirit of public goodwill towards our royal family appears to be gathering momentum, and our dear Queen is for once enjoying a much-deserved annus mirabilis.

Have your say

Totally agree. Harry is a fantastic royal. And he has seen active service so he can't be dismissed as a parasite. The Queen must be very proud of her grandsons.

Posted by charlie on 16 March 2012 at 23:30

'if donning a Nazi armband is the worst thing Prince Harry has done, then he’s a darned sight more circumspect than many young people who act inappropriately.'

REALLY? Did you read this rubbish before you sent it to print? What next? Cameron 'purges' some minority etnic group but it's OK - worse has happened.
Grow up.

Posted by The Central Scrutinizer on 15 March 2012 at 08:49

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