Who remembers The Story of Augustus, Who Would not have any Soup? It’s a cautionary tale about a ‘ruddy lad’ – Augustus – who was the inspiration for much admiration due to his ‘ruddy cheeks’ (‘everybody saw with joy the plump and hearty, healthy boy’).
Until Augustus decided he did not want the soup, the soup that made him so attractive. So he stamped his foot and swore and spluttered (‘not any soup for me I say, oh take that nasty soup away’).
This particular cautionary tale, which many of us will remember from childhood, is beginning to echo Prince Harry. His life has in many ways been the stuff of fairy tales. But Prince Harry doesn’t appear to like his life as much as you’d imagine. Like Augustus and the soup, Harry doesn’t want it.
In a shocking interview with Newsweek, the fifth in-line to the throne asked: ‘Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time.’
He also revealed that ‘I sometimes still feel I am living in a goldfish bowl.’
Well, Harry, cry me a river.
Yes, his life has been scarred by moments of intense unhappiness that (fortunately) some of us can only imagine: ones we know of (such as the tragic and untimely death of his mother, the late Princess Diana, in 1997 when Harry was 12) and ones, I’m sure, that we will never hear about. And, yes, before you say it, I know his life is not without some basic restrictions that ‘ordinary’ folk take for granted.
But on the most basic level, Harry has got it all. Think about it.
He was educated at two of the best and most exclusive schools in the world – Wetherby School followed by Eton College. He has a personal fortune that runs into millions of pounds having inherited from his late mother £10 million on turning 30. He holidays at the world’s most luxurious destinations, favoring sparkly ski resorts and privately-owned Caribbean islands. He weekends at some of the most beautiful stately homes in the British Isles. He has access to pretty much anyone, anywhere at anytime if he wants it. He is treated with reverence and respect by a large of majority of the public wherever he goes. He has beautiful women at his fingertips having previously dated some of the most glamorous girls in the world. His current squeeze is the actress Meghan Markle.
Harry, in short, has a life that you or I could only dream of.
But that isn’t enough, apparently. It is difficult to fathom Harry’s motives behind the bizarre over-emotional interview. Were his words genuine? Was this another step in the young royals’ tireless quest to ‘normalise’ and ‘modernise’ the royal family?
Whatever his reasoning, we don’t want to hear it.
True, we all know that material things do not create happiness, but they do make a person’s passage through life a damn sight easier.
And we also know the grave importance of remembering where we came from. Prince Harry, like Augustus, would do well to remember that now.