The spare

One’s children cannot all have the Big Job. Since the cradle the Heir’s siblings have known they would be onlookers in history – although George VI had to step in from the bleachers when his brother succumbed to his flaws. And George was not a classic example of the more extravert, younger upstart – yet another of Fate’s ironies. Perhaps that epithet fits Margaret and Andrew better. And Harry, who clearly wishes to kick over the traces and feels frustrated by his obligations.

To misquote the NT: the royal family is in the world but not of it. But since WWII they have gradually accepted and even sought a more public rõle, to try to keep in step with other changes: the weakening class divisions, global travel, television, the internet, social media……and the cult of celebrity, with their total exposure and lack of privacy. And the Spares have naturally claimed more freedom to roam, attracted more media attention for their trouble and agonised over the ambiguity of it all.

No novelist could have invented Harry’s story. He ticks every psychological and social box and will probably continue to keep us enthralled. It’s what spares do.


Author: janus

I'm back......and front - in sunny Sussex-by-the-sea

19 thoughts on “The spare”

  1. Well actually quite a few of the British spares have all ended up with the top job.
    The throne passed laterally to siblings after George III died. Ended up with Victoria.
    James II’s both daughters had it.
    As did all of Henry VIII’s children.
    Lateral claims to the throne pretty well caused the War of the Roses
    William the Conqueror’s children too.

    Doesn’t take much even these days with terrorists and air accidents.
    I do think the one thing that would dent his popularity would be to marry the current girlfriend for obvious reasons. I rather think he knows it too.

  2. Have to agree, Christina. Perhaps Harry ought to have a quiet word with his Dad or Uncle Andy about choosing the wrong bride.


  3. When most of the country voted for Brexit pretty well on the subject of hordes of coloured immigrants of one hue or another I rather think that could be the end of the monarchy if Harry was to marry a mixed blood girl and then ascend to the throne.
    Instant republicanism would sweep the country plus the White Commonwealth where the monarchy only just hangs by a thread already.
    I suspect the only reason William and Kate receive public approbation are because she has no pretensions to aristocracy etc, despite her family. Even so there are plenty of comments re they don’t work hard enough.

  4. I agree with you, Christina. Harry has to find someone else. But he is not in direct line of succession, although young George has a bit of a way to go.

  5. Indeed. In the pre-equality era, a prince would keep a Ms Markle on the side and marry a suitable gal. There’ll be tears before bed-time.

  6. Most English / British Kings married foreigners – true with a better pedigree than Ms Markle. I tend to think that was the problem facing the Royals with a choice of a bride for Charles – where was a Foreign, Protestant Princess to be found for him to marry?

    The present ‘Revelations’ in the press seem to me to be a deliberate attempt to topple the monarchy.

  7. For better or worse the monarchy is just another old ‘authority’ that people challenge and demean. Why? Because they can and because it’s nice to be naughty. There are no limits to intrusion and misrepresentation. All in all I don’t see the monarchy surviving the next 50 years.

  8. Janus: At the same time republicanism has largely discredited itself. The monarchy has survived more trying and volatile times than this.In the early 19th century there were serious doubts about the future of the monarchy as well. If anything, I see the increasingly shrill left leading to more, not less, stasis.

  9. Aye weel, Janus. It is almost certain that neither you, nor I, will be around in 50 years’ time to check on the extantness of our Monarchy.

    Care for an escrow bet, with young CausT holding the stakes and donating the proceeds to the Republican or Royal charity of his choice?

    I am supremely confident that the United Kingdom will still be a Monarchy in 2067 (and, for that matter, still a United Kingdom) and that Queen Charlotte I will be doing a grand job.

  10. OK, JM! After the eight consecutive socialist victories and the commissioning of the new-fangled on-line voting system which will empower the newly-enfranchised 16 year-olds, the Windsors will be put out to grass and new Presidents elected by the combined Houses of the Commonwealth. My chosen charity is Homes for Distressed Royals.

    Young Charlotte will be spared the tribulations of the Queen of that name who luckily for the monarchy preceded modern communications and exposure. 🙂

  11. Janus: Bollocks. There will be a “talent show” called “Britain’s Got Presidents”. The president will be elected by telephone vote. The reanimated corpse of Simon Cowell will be the head of a four-person panel deciding who can progress past the initial stage.

    I tend to agree with JM. Shrill leftists dullards kick up a fuss but they rarely perform as well as they think they’re entitled to. Even in Australia, where the republican movement has had a prominent voice for decades, the actual momentum simply isn’t there. When faced with the choice of a largely functional status quo or a politician’s republic the status quo wins.

  12. To Hell with any ‘newly entitled’ 16 year-olds! They all think Tim Farron, the illiberal, non-democratic former leader of the LibDems, or even the closet Marxist Jezza Corbynista, is the real deal and will say so on the Book of Face, having had no experience whatsoever of the actual cost of life, never having to work for a living only to have their endeavour and skills arbitrarily penalised by a faceless state which taxes real wealth creators to pay for the fecklessness of others (like themselves, funnily enough) who feed voraciously with a skewed, but deluded, sense of entitlement on the public nipple.

    And breathe. I shall now go and have a quiet lie down in a dark corner of The Cave


  13. I 2nd OZ, lets put the voting age up to 25!
    16 year old moronic over entitled brats. Most of who couldn’t get out of a wet paper bag let alone bed!

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