THERE was something terribly sad about the increasingly balding figure of Prince Harry standing next to Meghan amongst the war graves in a distant Los Angeles cemetery on Sunday.
There is little need for a smart suit and polished brogues in his life any more let alone his military medals, but he wore them as a mark of respect to the fallen – all two of them from the Commonwealth.
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The Duke of Sussex’s wreath of garden leaves and flowers seemed to have wilted in the Californian sunshine along with the admiration people once held for him.
The Sussex’s appeared to be on their own in the vast Los Angeles Cemetery.
Then we learn they had employed the services of celebrity fashion photographer to record their every scripted move.
Did they sit there amongst the graves with rapper Kanye West’s favourite snapper, Lee Morgan choosing which frames to use as he pulled them up on his iPad?
The Sussex’s wanted it to look like they cared, which I am sure they did.
But it backfired and looked like what it was – a publicity stunt.
By all means, pay your respects, it was a good thing to do. Harry’s military superiors back home had advised against his request for a wreath to be laid on his behalf at the Cenotaph.
Apparently, the Queen was not consulted. I am sure she might have agreed as first and foremost she is a Christian, she is the Defender of a Faith, which is all about forgiveness.
But the political implications might have been complicated if Harry was allowed a wreath.
What then about the Duke of York who is also a decorated officer?
Of course, Harry and Meghan aren’t trying to impress people like us. It’s the American’s they are after, who would never question why a fashion photographer was directing their private wreath laying.
Harry was hailed as a hero after his deployment in Afghanistan. He hated that sobriquet, but he will dislike even more being compared to that other sad exiled couple, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
We need the old Harry back, but sadly I think the Harry of old, that brave, charming young man, who worked so hard to help his fellow servicemen before and after conflict, is lost forever.
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