I never thought I’d say this, but it’s time to bring Prince Harry home

These days, even Tories like myself are finding it hard to defend the hereditary principle. Personally, I have no taste for republicanism, due to my incapacity for envy. That emotion or weakness is quite absent from my makeup. In the face of other people’s good fortune, I am as inert as a deaf person at a recital. But a Starmer government will find the fact that the Royal family has more money and more privilege than the rest of us interesting.

I increasingly feel that the future of the Royal family may depend on its ability to cheer the public, and what it lacks now is the requisite joyfulness. The King and the Princess of Wales are effectively hors de combat, poor Camilla is 76, life bears heavily on William, and no one fancies a Pizza Express. The Windsors are in grave need of some pizazz. Readers may succumb to the screaming abdabs, but the royal left standing who has most star power is Harry. It is easy to blame him and his puerile book for the continuing rift with his father and brother, but some courtiers of my acquaintance hold William equally liable. Recently, I spoke to a former palace official who used to work for both princes before the good times stopped rolling. “There is a public misconception about William and Harry,” he told me. “It is William who was often the difficult one, and it is William who is preventing his father from having a proper reconciliation with Harry.” He continued, “This isn’t helpful at a point in time when the country would be buoyed up by seeing them together again, as would the King.” It wasn’t helpful last week when the only family member to greet Harry with warmth was Earl Spencer. When it comes to his brother, William’s disgruntlement can at times seem mildly pathological. I do not think there is any superior rationality in being discontented with one’s relatives. Take myself. My mother once sold disobliging stories about me to the tabloids, but after an impulse to do her bodily harm, I forgave her. Yet where William is concerned, Byronic unhappiness has taken hold. I realise Harry has at times taken joy out of William’s life, and that he and Meghan can be a cause of irritation. It remains tempting to call the pair one-trick phoneys. But isn’t that what most royalling is all about? Phoney good will and faked enjoyment? Moreover, the Sussexes have youth and glamour, and the young regard them as a religion with no dilution of agnosticism. To many, Charles and William’s continued coldness towards Harry is beginning to look inhuman. It is important to remember that the Royal family is a microcosm for every family in Britain, and that a divided family, like a divided political party, has an intrinsic weakness. Affection of parents for children, and of children for parents and siblings, is capable of being one of the greatest sources of stability, as well as happiness. This is taken for granted in almost all literature before the present age. Hecuba cares more for her children than for Priam. Macduff cares more for his children than for his wife. In the Old Testament, men are passionately concerned to leave fraternally inclined descendants. It is a pity, of course, that Harry has wagged his fingers at the media. I remember one occasion when a spokesperson for the Duke of Sussex accused the press of causing “irreversible damage to families”, and journalists were advised to engage in “reflection”. At the time, I reflected. I tossed and turned and delved into the pockets of my soul and came out with this: in the history of the Sussexes’ gall, this took the first prize. But most of the royals I have known have not been plaster saints. (William, in the past, has also castigated the media.) Many of them are sanctimonious, hypocritical and clueless. Besides, things change. Whether we like it or not, the Sussexes’ Nigerian tour has been a triumph and I cannot help but feel that a visible reconciliation between William and Harry would strengthen the unity of the House of Windsor and reassure the public of its commitment. The legacy of the Royal family is deeply intertwined with personal relationships. Entente would not only honour the past but also pave the way for a consolidated future, ensuring that the family’s values and traditions are preserved for generations. Harry and Meghan, moreover, are now reaching another tricky crossroad. Where now for two people who have absolutely no talent? The only thing they have is their titles, which is why Harry recently said he would like to “step into a royal role” while his father is recovering from cancer. He knows that there is only one job in which a moronic egomaniac will feel at home, and that is shaking hands with adoring people in the rain. By nature, I think the King would be reunion friendly. According to royal sources, he comprehends that reconciliation is the best solution for both of them and that everyone likes an MGM happy ending that would jerk tears from Caligula’s eyes. As for being unkind about the family; isn’t it time to see that as water under Tower Bridge, as the late Queen might have done? The wisest of birds, she fought for reconciliation all her life, ignoring her husband’s flirtations and her children’s Addams Family peccadilloes. I thought I’d never say this, but it may be time to bring Harry home on probation, and for William to clasp his prodigal brother to his bosom, even if he has been a bit of an asp. Related Topics Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Prince William, The Royal Family, King Charles III 720 License this content The Telegraph values your comments but kindly requests all posts are on topic, constructive and respectful. Please review our commenting policy. 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