JAN MOIR: As the Duke and Duchess of Sussex reach the promised land of California – within kissing distance of Hollywood – Meghan’s got all she wanted and Harry’s given up so much
And with one bound, they were free.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have finally reached the promised land of California and they are within kissing distance of Hollywood, no doubt their intended destination all along.
That weird rental stay in Canada?
It now seems clear that it was nothing but a smokescreen – a nice, Commonwealth-friendly stopgap to give a sheen of royal respectability to their act of usurpation.
Or should that be her ambition? Now that the duchess has her duke exactly where she wants him, which is stuck fast in the amber of her Los Angeles hometown, will the power base in their relationship tilt even further her way?
Undoubtedly so. From now until forever, in America at least, it is Meghan who will be the guest of honour and Harry the lowly plus one at her side.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend The Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House on March 05, 2020. Their last public engagement
For she is the architect of their new world pageantry, the queen bee in their westerly Windsor hive.
He will just have to hold her handbag and do what he is told – and perhaps he will be more than happy to do so.
Surely, for a headstrong young pup like him, anything is better than his lowly post on the Windsor totem pole: being bossed around by Gan-Gan, Papa, big brother Wills and a battalion of chisel-faced courtiers insisting on protocol, protocol, protocol.
The couple say they still want to be busy, to support the Queen and carve out a progressive role within the Royal Family but that dream has already died, kids, that ship sailed long ago on the Megxit tide.
The famous Hollywood sign during a typically sunny Southern California day
This week, in the middle of the biggest public health crisis this country has ever seen, the Sussexes already seem self-absorbed, detached and utterly irrelevant.
Perhaps it was bad timing but within hours of the nation coming together on Thursday to show its support of the NHS by taking to the streets and clapping, news emerged that the Sussexes had flown from Canada earlier this week – private jet, naturally – to settle in LA.
Just as Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis charmed the nation with that video footage of them earnestly clapping along, all rosy cheeks and sweet woolly jumpers, the Sussexes were nowhere to be seen.
Public comfort came there none. All they could offer was a lame post on their preposterous SussexRoyal Instagram account, one that sounded like a note left for the cleaner.
‘Thank you for all that you continue to do! Applauding you from across the pond,’ read the message, accompanied by two lines of clapping hands emojis.
Honestly, Harry and Meghan, if this is the best you can do, don’t bloody bother.
The residence of Prince Harry and and his wife Meghan is seen in Deep Cove Neighborhood from a boat on the Saanich Inlet, North Saanich, British Columbia, Canada
Those dashed off ho-hum words are an insult to everyone in this country, not least of all those NHS workers on the front line risking their lives every day to save others and try to control this pandemic.
At a time of national peril, the last thing anyone needs is another trite and meaningless gesture from this pair of do-gooding dopes, but sadly they seem unstoppable.
Earlier, the couple posted another gobbledegook quote to their 11.3million followers, harbouring under the fond delusion that it was somehow inspirational.
‘This moment is as true a testament there is to the human spirit,’ it read.
Is it really? Then why aren’t the pair of you doing something about it, instead of slipping from the public gaze entirely?
No one is expecting the Sussexes – or any other royals – to start touring wards and crocheting facemasks, but surely the very essence of being royal is to provide a visible and calming presence at a time of catastrophe?
Instead the Sussexes’ focus is, as ever, firmly on themselves.
This week Disney announced that Meghan has provided the voiceover for a new wildlife documentary called Elephant, which starts streaming next month.
The $10million dollar house Harry and Meghan are said to have looked at prior to their move
That’s pretty fast work, considering it is just over six months since Prince Harry was caught on camera making that embarrassing red carpet pitch to Disney boss Bob Iger to get his wife some voiceover work.
Ker-ching! It worked.
That is the thing about the Sussexes. Harry and Meghan claim to be on the side of the little people and the disenfranchised.
But they will grind home every advantage and privilege of their own with ruthless efficiency.
We’re supposed to think this is all marvellous because Meghan is giving her Disney fee to charity, as if she is somehow doing the company a huge favour.
Last year Disney donated over £274million to charitable causes, the tip of a corporate benevolence that also funds many college placements and children’s hospitals.
Every little helps of course, but it is clear that the cause the Sussexes support most keenly is their own.
Still, one must wish them well.
The Sussexes have made it abundantly clear that, for them, royal life in Britain was not a sanctuary but a prison – one that they have decided to escape and now exploit abroad.
Increasingly it is impossible to ignore the irony of historical momentum here, or fail to see the similarities between their situation and that of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
Both couples chose exile over duty, but it remains to be seen if the Sussexes will dissolve into the mortifying bog of inconsequence that engulfed the latter.
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