Remember when we wanted them to be more like us?
To climb down from their 24-carat-gilded, probably real ivory towers and understand what it is to be ordinary?
After the death of Princess Diana, the Royal Family were lambasted for being aloof, unfeeling and utterly detached from the lives of the people they were paid vast sums of money to be figureheads for. Why couldn’t Queen and Co learn to be more like her?
Whether it was Lord Spencer living up to that famous funeral eulogy promise, or their father’s influence, William and Harry did turn out to be less stiff-upper-lip, more fun-loving and decidedly more down-to-earth.
It’s what we wanted; yet this week, when Prince Harry gave the candid and pretty stupid interview any young soldier would give if a sea of cameras were thrust into his face as his latest stint in Afghanistan drew to a close, he was savaged. Why wasn’t he coming out with the sanitised Army or Palace propaganda line?
Had he killed anyone, he was asked. What a set up that was. Of course he had; the lad had just finished a four-month tour of duty in Afghanistan.
He walked straight into the booby-trap, naïvely described gunning down Afghans from his Apache as “a joy for me, because I love playing PlayStation and Xbox,” He even tried to make a joke: “With my thumbs I like to think I’m probably quite useful...” he said. Oh dear.
But the fact that a soldier trained and paid to kill on command and without sentiment deals with it by comparing it to a lengthy stint on Call Of Duty Black Ops II was, to me, totally unsurprising. I’d like to bet my lad’s FIFA 13 virtually every soldier out there is wired the same way.
He became a soldier to belong to something he felt he could believe in; to find a purpose other than being an official spare part. He lives the same life as the men around him. He thinks and acts their way (take his Vegas pool party cavorting as prime example).
But guess what? He’s not acting like a royal. He’s a prince, therefore he should know better. He may be a PlayStation wizard and an Apache ace, but he can’t win with the public.