Prince Harry shares the spotlight and public/online platforms with his wife, Meghan, as they continue to raise awareness on several issues near and dear to their hearts. They are the dynamic duo who complement each other and do not detract from the other’s light. In other words, they are a perfect match who are in sync on many levels.
Affectionately known online as #thegingerstallion, #thegingeravenger, #peoplesprince, #kingarchiesdad, and #husbandgoal LOL, Prince Harry holds our respect, admiration, and love with the same zeal as we do for Meghan.
And like Meghan, Harry has his devoted friends who step up to defend and commend Harry’s character and integrity. The support that reaches global magnitude is a testament to their mutual commitment not only to each other, but to their shared vision to help make the world a better place.
Prince Harry Draws Ire
For his sincere efforts to improve lives and hold institutions accountable, Harry draws a lot of unsavory royal watchdogs’ criticisms questioning his mental stability or ability, his independence of Meghan’s influence, among other insulting elements and characterizing his advocacy as hypocritical.
Some regularly bring up the list of Harry’s past misdeeds that exist forever on internet. Events that were leaked and splashed across the media pages and television screens to create a “PR nightmare” for the palace. I say create because, given what we now know about how the palace works in tandem with the media, it is not out of the realm of possibility that Harry’s failings were so highly publicized to cast him in a mold that would suit the palace agenda of a wayward spare. Harry became the royal bad boy. He had privilege, but in the case of his scuffles with the photographers, he harbored deep-seated animosity for that lot.
In one case, Charles had ordered Harry to visit a rehab center for a day, sounds like America’s Scared Straight TV show, because he was caught smoking weed. Even this was alleged to have be crafted in a manner that would portray his father, Prince Charles, as a caring and responsible father – positive press that he so desperately needed in the wake of public backlash following the Diana-Camilla saga.
Harry has apologized for his misadventures as a young teen and twenty-something year old. More than an apology, he has demonstrated with his life, the growth and reformation that has taken place. Regardless, some still choose to invoke his past to discredit his actions and his work. It is the most stupid premise of an argument, in the face of evidence to the contrary. It makes you wonder why those same reporters and royal watchers, made so much about Charles sending him to rehab, if they didn’t expect it to result in reformation.
It seems to serve their purpose, to continue to portray him as not smart, rudderless etc., all while he keeps putting one foot in front of the other, creating an impressive legacy of work with real human impact. When are these old time monarchist going to snap out of their time capsule and stop throwing sticks at Harry the caricature at every opportunity? Talk about not evolving.
Prince Harry’s honesty about his Mental Health
Prince Harry has alluded to using mental health therapy( “talking to someone”) for his ongoing rehabilitation. I’m talking about the wounds that he’s suffered on this human journey that we all sustain in some measure in our own way. I also suspect that his life in the military provided a real opportunity for character refinement and a chance to create bonds of friendship and a brotherhood that weren’t a direct result of his aristocratic ties.
By openly talking about his mental health challenges, he demonstrated a level of emotional maturity and self-awareness that screams confidence and self-assurance. In the man Harry, that confidence permeates all aspects of his life and work. As a man who has a measure of himself, he handles his setbacks with steely resolve, and exhibits a determination for what, and more importantly, whom he wants in his life.
It has been reported that some in the royal household find public emoting embarrassing. Its not hard to infer who they’re talking about. They like to describe Harry as emotional. By being strong and confident enough to show his vulnerability, his humanity is evident. Ironically, that which the old guard try to use to denigrate Harry, is the very thing that makes him a human magnet.
What sweet irony! They try their best to make him irrelevant and inconsequential, yet the perceived faults are really his armor. His life experience, falls, bruises, cuts and all, give him credibility to be an impactful mentor, advocate, champion, – whatever- and be successful. But his detractors continue to try and use his past against him, and not to give him due credit for his accomplishments. After all, if he’s no longer the royal bad boy, who will be the villain against his brother’s manufactured image of future king?
In the meantime, Harry is laying Invictus and Endeavor bricks, giving wounded veterans their sanity and self-worth back, one sport at a time.
Prince Harry walks the talk; no empty promises
Claims that Harry is a hypocrite because he supports green measures for the travel industry yet has flown on private jets is playing with gotcha optics. His advocacy is not a moratorium on the necessities that he must undertake at his discretion. If the critics were well-intentioned, they would call foul on the rest of the royals who speak on their topics, but whose actions contradict their earnest messages. Harry is putting not only his voice, but his energy, intellect, convening power and financial investment to ensure the success of his vision to protect the planet and communities, through sustainable travel.
Though they came from vastly different worlds, Harry and his wife Meghan, both cut their philanthropic and activist teeth, far in advance of meeting each other. They bonded under their common belief that they had the power and moral obligation to help others, especially those suffering extreme hardships and injustices. Watching this beautiful couple, one can see how they enjoy giving back, sharing their talent and support to various causes, and being among the people rather than performing a distant sort of social activism.
A man of action himself, he was astute enough to recognize the potential and forge a partnership, one that transcends romance, with a woman who is equally a doer. Again, their detractors find a problem with them wanting “to do, rather than be”. They will have to keep playing catch up because, while they are busy strategizing how to scuttle Harry’s “doing”, Harry just keeps doing. That action and his credibility, begets the influence that he wields- that which seems to rattle them to the core.
Under Meghan’s influence—so what?
Another “weak/rudderless man” trope his detractors use to invalidate his self-efficacy and achievements, is that he is under the influence of his wife. To say that Harry is under Meghan’s influence is a lazy condemnation. The simpletons who live to destroy Harry’s credibility are attacking his identity and will power when we’ve seen not only through his misdeeds but his numerous accomplishments that he’s a pretty head-strong guy.
I mean, this is the same guy who co-founded a charity as a young adult, was bold enough to not hide behind the cloak of privilege and served on the battlefront with his comrades, despite tremendous risk to his own life. Yet, because he is a man who is unapologetic and unequivocal in his expression of love for his wife, somehow, he ceases to be a man’s man.
Even so, if he were under Meghan’s influence, so what? She is his wife. They make decisions together. She is part of the equation when he has to take action on behalf of his family. It would be an anomaly if she didn’t figure into his decisions. But for a mindset that believes women should be seen and not necessarily heard, it is unsurprising that they feel this way.
But we know that more than undermine Harry, they want to stereotype Meghan as a manipulative, even destructive, woman charming a prince to his ultimate demise. And they will clutch that fictional typecast to their chest forever and ever like a one-trick rodent on a hamster wheel.
It really boggles the mind to hear people who have supposedly known him all these years, and witnessed the steps he has taken in those years, resort to such lazy thinking. Whether it is a defense mechanism to shield them from the reality that the royal fall guy no longer fits the bill, or simply a failed appraisal of the situation, I say good! They can keep underestimating Harry because they will never see him coming.
Harry: “There is so much more still to do.”
Calling Harry woke in a negative sense, along with a being snowflake, or complaining about his discourse about his mental health says more about the parasitic pack than about Harry. Woke is simply an informal word that means alert to injustice in society, especially racism. Now tell me why people who are desperate for widespread acclaim, in a world that is increasingly diverse with a growing socially conscious generation would frame “wokeness” negatively?
Call it woke or whatever you please, Harry has shown that he is not afraid to recognize his privileged birthright, but he is willing to encourage discussion of difficult issues that matter to a world of people, and be part of the solution.
The misguided monarchists thumped their chest in dismay when Harry said,
When you look across the Commonwealth, there is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past. So many people have done such an incredible job of acknowledging the past and trying to right those wrongs, but I think we all acknowledge there is so much more still to do.
The royal defenders need to understand that the histories of America and the U.K. are intertwined and the racial scar upon its societies are under renewed scrutiny. Not that America has advanced its racial progress to satisfactory lengths, but the U.K. skirts any real or frank dialogue and thus the potential for action with aggressive solutions.
At the center of it all is the royal institution, the nucleus of the empire, from when the sun never set on it, to its diminished status on today’s global stage. The younger generations of our societies are less tolerant of social stratification and less acquiescent to softening the brutal past or the effacement of others’ contributions to building the society. For them to have any standing, any relevance at all in a decade or two, when the dogmatic old guard are wobbling of the stage, they have to honestly contend with this difficult and uncomfortable truth.
Harry is showing leadership here, by mustering the moral courage to be a change agent, assailment be damned.
Harry works to be part of solution
The reckoning that has come to pass in many countries will not disappear because the protestors are not on the street holding up signs. The reckoning will continue, in social settings, in places of work, at levels of leadership, at the ballot box, in every facet of our society. Harry recognizes this new chapter and wants to elevate those whose voices are often taken for granted or muted to be the vanguard. Meanwhile, others misguided in their traditions and royal ambitions will have missed the opportunity to be part of the solution instead of the problem.
What Harry has displayed, thus far, is wisdom, foresight, and dogged determination to be a relevant, value-imparting participant, not as a royal, but as a part of a bigger and brighter future. Underestimate him at your own risk.