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Off His Royal Tits

Andrew O’Hagan: On Prince Harry, 2 February 2023

by Prince Harry.
Bantam, 416 pp., £28, January, 978 0 85750 479 1
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... story or who see a ballet or a play when really they are looking at an aspect of life itself. Prince Harry’s mother died when he was twelve years old, and his search for the transitional object has been messed up ever since. In Tom Bradby’s interview with him for ITV, after Harry describes the crash in Paris he ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: ‘Anthrax’!, 7 July 2005

... a cardboard box; a lump of plasticine – near a member of the royal family. ‘I could have blown Harry to bits,’ the front-page headline proclaimed. ‘Sun man gets “bomb” into Sandhurst.’ A very low-resolution picture, taken by the Sun man’s hidden camera, showed a bunch of cadets, the head of one of them ringed in red. This, apparently, is ...

Short Cuts

Jonathan Parry: Harry Goes Rogue, 6 February 2020

... relief that we’re finally turning to more engaging topics: the rights and wrongs of Andrew and Harry. Not everyone has succumbed: there are still rationalist anti-monarchists criticising us for trivialising our discourse with unwholesome royal gossip. They’ve been making the same objections for two hundred years; indeed republicans’ arguments as a ...

Delightful to be Robbed

E.S. Turner: Stand and deliver, 9 May 2002

Outlaws and Highwaymen: The Cult of the Robber in England from the Middle Ages to the 19th century 
by Gillian Spraggs.
Pimlico, 372 pp., £12.50, November 2001, 0 7126 6479 3
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... noble birth are idle fiction. The myth of Robin Hood was well established by the time the sparkish Prince Harry, the future Henry V, was engaged in mischievous highway robberies, possibly little more than royal horseplay, along with that other ‘gentleman robber’ Falstaff (as unreliably described in Shakespeare’s Henry ...

Puffed up, Slapped down

Rosemary Hill: Charles and Camilla, 7 September 2017

Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life 
by Sally Bedell Smith.
Michael Joseph, 624 pp., £25, April 2017, 978 0 7181 8780 4
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The Duchess: The Untold Story 
by Penny Junor.
William Collins, 320 pp., £20, June 2017, 978 0 00 821100 4
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... At the age​ of 23 Prince Charles embarked with no great enthusiasm on a six-week training course at the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth. The course had been reduced from the usual three months for him, but it was long enough for Charles to realise that seafaring was yet another area in which he and his father had nothing in common ...

All hail, sage lady

Andrew O’Hagan: ‘The Crown’, 15 December 2016

... brilliance and intergalactic dunce-hood. I merely smiled in imitation of his lovely wife. Prince Philip is a pure catch for a dramatist. Imagine nearly seventy years in the mellow afterglow of someone else’s radiance, two steps behind, a man infantilised beyond belief, provided with everything in return for being a constant second. It’s not such ...

Bobbing Along

Ronald Stevens: The Press Complaints Commission, 7 February 2002

A Press Free and Responsible: Self-Regulation and the Press Complaints Commission 1991-2001 
by Richard Shannon.
Murray, 392 pp., £25, September 2001, 0 7195 6321 6
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... PCC’s reaction to the News of the World’s revelations of drunkenness and drug-taking by the Prince of Wales’s younger son is only the most recent demonstration of its uselessness. However unattractive a teenager Prince Harry may be, it is pretty clear that he has been the victim of some very intrusive ...

About as Useful as a String Condom

Glen Newey: Bum Decade for the Royals, 23 January 2003

... revenges. For the Royal Family, 2002 went bad faster than an over-hung widgeon. In September the Prince of Wales emerged as a nuisance letter-writer, badgering Government ministers with green-ink missives about the Human Rights Act and the hunting ban, and moans that Cumbrian farmers got a worse deal than blacks and homosexuals. In November the Princess ...

Memories are made of this

Patricia Beer, 16 December 1993

Aren’t We Due a Royalty Statement? 
by Giles Gordon.
Chatto, 352 pp., £16.99, August 1993, 0 7011 6022 5
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Yesterday Came Suddenly 
by Francis King.
Constable, 336 pp., £16.95, September 1993, 9780094722200
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Excursions in the Real World 
by William Trevor.
Hutchinson, 201 pp., £16.99, September 1993, 0 09 177086 6
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... sides at the list of those who supported Count Tolstoy (ha ha) in the recent painful court case: Prince Dmitri Galitzine, for instance, and Princess Tatiana Metternich (ho ho). He finds his jokes good enough to repeat, like the one about Sue Townsend: ‘creator of Adrian but no mole’. Confronted with such a merry madcap I see that I have no sense of ...

Miracle on Fleet Street

Martin Hickman: Operation Elveden, 7 January 2016

... cell? Would it be any more or any less improper to pay someone for handing over a photograph of Prince William wearing a bikini? The court cases were scarcely covered by the Fleet Street newspapers, save to complain that they were taking place at all (the Daily Mail described Elveden as ‘a disgraceful attempt by police and prosecutors to intimidate ...

The Ballad of Andy and Rebekah

Martin Hickman: The Phone Hackers, 17 July 2014

... of the World, then edited by Coulson, intercepted the voicemail messages of Princes William and Harry. Goodman was arrested, and the police found 15 confidential palace phone books at his house in Putney. They also found five thousand names mentioned in 11,000 pages of handwritten notes at the home and in the office of Glenn Mulcaire, the private eye ...

Disappearing Acts

Terry Eagleton: Aquinas, 5 December 2013

Thomas Aquinas: A Portrait 
by Denys Turner.
Yale, 300 pp., £18.99, May 2013, 978 0 300 18855 4
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... order, but shocked them by becoming a Dominican instead. It would have been a little like Prince Harry signing up for the Socialist Workers Party. A band of his brothers forcibly retrieved him from the Dominicans and placed him under house arrest for a year in the family castle. With touching fraternal solicitude, they also tried to subvert his ...

Royal Bodies

Hilary Mantel, 21 February 2013

... them, and however airy the enclosure they inhabit, it’s still a cage.A few years ago I saw the Prince of Wales at a public award ceremony. I had never seen him before, and at once I thought: what a beautiful suit! What sublime tailoring! It’s for Shakespeare to penetrate the heart of a prince, and for me to study his ...

Always the Same Dream

Ferdinand Mount: Princess Margaret, 4 January 2018

Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret 
by Craig Brown.
Fourth Estate, 423 pp., £16.99, September 2017, 978 0 00 820361 0
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... as though the only real freedom lay in the dance. There was a Princess Margaret Set, just as the Prince Regent had the Carlton House Set, Edward VII had the Marlborough House Set, and Edward VIII had the Fort Belvedere Set: three playboys, only one playgirl. It is 15 years since she died, and memories of her are not as sharp as they were. Which makes Craig ...

In the Body Bag

Adam Mars-Jones: Ian McEwan’s ‘Nutshell’, 6 October 2016

by Ian McEwan.
Cape, 198 pp., £16.99, September 2016, 978 1 911214 33 5
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... neither to a generation nor a world of social connection. It’s just about possible to imagine Prince Harry saying of Prince William (the two pairs of brothers must be close contemporaries), ‘He thought I was an insignificant scab,’ but even he would be likely to express himself in words that don’t smell so ...

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