Prince Harry: Much Ado About virtually Nothing
As Minette Marrin has tartly pointed out in the Sunday Times of 16 January 2005, the case of Prince Harry and the swastika armband does indeed call for an abject apology – from the national and international press, for their sadistic bullying of a silly and wholly inoffensive 20-year-old boy; for blowing up an intrinsically trivial incident into a huge, world-wide, front-page lead story; for their pomposity and hypocrisy; and in the case of the Murdoch press, for ruthlessly exploiting a minor clanger in order to pursue the proprietor’s vengeful vendetta against the royal family. No more needs to be said about this ridiculous matter apart from commending an equally good and sensible commentary on it in the Observer of the same date, by David Aaronovitch. Like him, I’m no royalist or monarchist; like him, I’m no defender of Nazism or fascism (and I’m not likely to be, with ancestors in what’s left of the Jewish cemetery in Krakow and almost certainly others reduced to a small proportion of the mountain of ashes at Auschwitz); like him, I regard the group of socialites with whom Harry seems condemned to spend his days and nights as obnoxious undesirables. But the media campaign of recent days, internationally as well as in Britain, has been even more odious. On this issue at least it’s time (as the Blairites say of Iraq, with no justification whatever in that case) to draw a line under it and to move on.