Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may need to sign up for Airbnb.
The Duke and Duchess of Montecito — I mean, Sussex — are no longer official occupants of Frogmore Cottage. It seems King Charles III told them to “vacate” the property, which is a highfalutin way of saying, “Get the hell out.”
Not that they were really in. And not that you can blame the King.
Don’t you love the name? Frogmore Cottage. It sounds like a bucolic fixer-upper, as if Harry and Meghan slept in a tin shack on the outskirts of Narnia where they grew carrots and did laundry in a slop bucket out back while befriending talking mice.
The royal eviction made global headlines this week with unnamed sources filling in the blanks. Apparently, landlord Charles made the call in January, a day after the publication of Harry’s explosive memoir, “Spare.” According to the Daily Mail, Harry and Meghan were “stunned” by this “cruel punishment” and gobsmacked to discover Prince Andrew may be Frogmore’s new inhabitant.
That’s like driving by your old house and seeing Megatron in the window.
I won’t pretend to grasp the protocols and rigmarole inside the Firm. But I’m confused as to why the couple is “stunned.” Didn’t they leave royal duties in 2020? I quit working at the Bay in university and haven’t got a staff discount since. When you move on, those you’ve moved on from can also move on.
Now, if Harry and Meghan fled to California on a high road, this Frogmore heave-ho might have been avoided. They originally expressed a desire for privacy. But they are clearly addicted to the spotlight. In a previous life, I worked in PR. At no point would I have advised a client to seek privacy by running their yap to Oprah, releasing a verité Netflix series or penning a tell-all that makes their famous family look like monsters.
All of this is catnip for the tabloids. And this jarring contradiction between saying you want one thing and then doing everything to achieve the exact opposite is why Harry and Meghan were eviscerated in a recent episode of “South Park.”
They didn’t just lose Frogmore Cottage — they are hemorrhaging popularity.
It’s a fall from grace worthy of a royal parachute.
And they should both take a crash course from Catherine, Princess of Wales.
I know. Harry gets sensitive when “the media” pits Prince William’s wife against his. But when it comes to protocols and rigmarole, Kate Middleton has put on a clinic in how to be universally adored. She is impossible to dislike.
A YouGov poll at the end of 2022 found Kate had the highest approval rating, at 68 per cent, of all living royals. By contrast, Harry was at 40 per cent. Meghan has plummeted to 29 per cent, second last to only radioactive Andrew.
You know that parlour game when someone asks if you’d want to have a beer with so-and-so politician? Kate is the only royal I’d meet for a drink, even if it’s a gross Pimm’s Cup. The inverse correlation between Harry and Meghan’s relentless drama and Kate’s quiet devotion to duty is now off the charts.
Kate is a publicist’s dream. When she makes headlines, it’s for something sweet, as when she beat William in a spin class this week or playfully slapped his backside at the BAFTAs last month. She could look graceful face-planting into a rose bush.
She has a stiff upper lip that keeps giving way to a dazzling smile.
She has tapped the power of wallflower.
You could counterargue and say, well, the only reason she seems so nice is because she is a subservient vessel who never had to endure the nightmarish chop of royal life Harry and Meghan have alleged. Maybe. Or maybe Kate understood the rules of engagement and masterfully never rocked the boat. We all have grievances. But unlike Harry and Meghan, Kate’s gripes never define her public image.
It’s time for Harry and Meghan to be more like her. After getting evicted from Frogmore Cottage, the only winner in this royal melodrama is Kate Middleton.
There aren’t enough slop buckets in the world to wash the dirty laundry Harry and Meghan keep flinging out back for the mice to scrub. That’s their call. But they can’t have it both ways. If you’re claiming you were mistreated by a racist and treacherous institution, don’t be “stunned” if the head of that family asks for your keys.
Harry, if you keep kicking your dad in the nutsack, he won’t buy you tea biscuits.
Yes, losing Frogmore Cottage is a symbolic kick in the teeth. But practically speaking, it’s no big deal since the ex-royals were never there and might not even return for Charles’ coronation in May. Losing Frogmore Cottage is more of a wake-up call.
The Duke and Duchess of Montecito have spoken their truth and settled scores. Fine. They have detailed and monetized grievances. Good. But they have also traded the Crown for the Hollywood sign and, along the way, burned bridges not even the United States Army Corps of Engineers can repair. I wince at the tattered ruins of Harry and William’s childhood bond, one that was galvanized by tragedy.
Family is the true E equals mc2 in the universe.
This is something Catherine, Princess of Wales, understands.
And it is something a stunned Prince Harry and Meghan Markle miscalculated.
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