Oh, poor Harry. He’s got the lousy end of the royal deal
ANALYSIS | As the duke swaps the English aristocracy for Hollywood meritocracy, he will struggle to fit in
The royal departure deal feels like a mini-abdication: no public funds, no HRH, no royal duties, no representing the queen, and the Sussexes have to pay rent if they want to go on living at home. Even my parents never made me do that.
It’s all very different from what the duke and duchess posted on their website a few days ago proposing a half-in, half-out business arrangement that, upon reflection, looks stunningly naive. The palace has obviously said: “Sorry, but it’s all or nothing,” and they get almost nothing except their celebrity and the freedom to cash in on it, which must have its consolations. In short: “You can host the Oscars but not as HRH.”
The deal offers something to everyone – almost. It’s good for the monarchy because it allows it to define its borders. If the Sussexes had been permitted to come and go at will, not only would their own status have been unclear but a degree of institutional integrity would have been lost, too: imagine a pope announcing that he’s pope on weekdays but would like the freedom to spend the weekends with his wife and children. The Church and the Crown are not “jobs”, they are vocations that define every part of your life for your entire life. This had to be made clear...