Prince Harry on 60 Minutes — what’s his story? Good guy? Spoiled brat? What?

I’ve got 60 Minutes on right now but am not really paying attention. It’s on in the background while I’m working on something else. I’ll watch it again later when I can pay attention.

My question is more about Harry and his life than it is about the AC interview. That’s why I put it in P&E instead of CS. For someone who doesn’t follow the Royal Family closely, is Harry manipulating for sympathy with this interview? What gives?

What’s your take on Harry?

I’m answering from the UK. The most common reaction over here is to complain that, although he left the country because he said he wanted more privacy, he’s now written a book and is doing several major network interviews. He obviously didn’t want more privacy, instead he wanted more attention.

Of course he’s spoiled, he grew up in one of the wealthiest families in the world. It’s not his fault that he’s spoiled, there is no way for someone in his situation to avoid that. No doubt he will make millions from his book, but it may also cause a permanent rift with his relationship with his family, which was already on very shaky ground.

Right on the money! Both he and his wife are attention hogs, and what better framework to operate than the Royal Family? The rift you mention will not be permanent. No, the mere prospect of a “permanent” rift with the rest of the family is what keeps the attention (and money) flowing. I’ve grown weary of these two and they can both STFU - they’ll get as much attention from me as the rest of their family, which is about none.

Contrary opinion: Harry and Meghan have been subjected to overt and ongoing abuse by the tabloid press in particular for years, allegedly with the aid of senior members of Palace staff, and now that they no longer have their statements tightly controlled by senior members of the Palace staff they are attempting to counter the constant stream of negative press stories with narratives of their own. Those narratives are obviously going to be heavily biased in Harry & Meghan’s favour, but they are at least better informed and likely to have more basis in reality than the spewings of the Daily Mail and Daily Express.

Is Harry “manipulating for sympathy”? If you mean, “Is he trying to put out a version of his story that portrays him in a better light?” then absolutely - but remember that he’s doing this in an environment that has very very successfully manipulated a lot of people into irrationally hating him and his wife. If he says nothing, he lets the same tabloid media that literally hounded his mother to her death have free reign over how they are portrayed in the public sphere. And if he attempts to counter the propaganda against them, we’re told they are “attention hogs” and “clearly he was lying about wanting privacy”. The media that has bullied them constantly is now bullying them constantly for daring to talk about how much the media have been bullying them constantly. Harry can’t win, but the haters always will.

As for what he’s like in general: IMHO the answer is “kind of fucked up”. Yes, he had no material wants and grew up in opulence but that’s not necessarily a good thing. He’s been in the limelight since childhood and forced to adhere to ridiculous standards of behaviour. Every mistake or idiotic action has been plastered across the globe instantly, there’s the whole horrorshow with his mother, and his parentage has been publicly questioned since birth. And his access to people who could help him constructively deal with all that has been severely limited for most of his life.

He may also have some trauma from combat but that’s just speculation - I get the impression he really enjoyed his time in the Army as it was the closest thing he had to living a “normal life” and getting treated like a “normal human being” by others around him, and it upset him to be “outed” (by the tabloid media, naturally) and forced to leave Afghanistan. He and Meghan are clearly in love and he clearly wants to protect her from the bullshit that Diana was subjected to.

So he’s a bit of a good guy, a bit of a spoiled brat, a fair bit of an emotional mess, and on the whole doing his best to find his own way in a fucked-up world.

It seems very strange to suggest you want a reconciliation and then proceed to dish the dirt at length on the people you want to reconcile with.
And to complain about the trappings of the royal family but not to voluntarily give up your titles seems equally strange.
Also talking openly about the number of people you killed? again, strange.
The confrontation with his brother seemed to amount to “he pushed me”. Not a great look for an ex-soldier Harry.

He clearly seems a traumatised and troubled man. Growing up in the royal family, losing your mother at a young age and seeing horrors in combat, all of that might do it to you. Combined it has the potential to send anyone over the edge. That may be what we are seeing here.
He knows that whatever he says the family are highly unlikely to defend themselves so we are left with one side of the story. Who knows how much of what he says is either true, misunderstood, misremembered or outright fabricated.

Whether or not he’s the good guy or a spoiled brat, I’m sorry that there’s a rift between Harry and his brother, and Harry and his father, especially given that his mother and paternal grandparents are gone.

Like his uncles Andrew and Edward, he’s in a weird place, in that he’ll never inherit the throne and unlike his brother, he doesn’t have a duchy as a source of wealth.

I’m not following the Harry/Meghan story closely, but one can hardly avoid seeing stuff about them.

I understand and agree that the royal family treated Diana badly. And he may never get past that or forgive them. He’s made that point, made it clear, no one has to wonder how he feels about that issue. Points made.


Time to show some class and dignity and stop making a spectacle of yourself. I don’t see what harping on his personal grievances is accomplishing except embarrassing him.

Witty and on-point essay here (gift link):

Also, Ronald Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis has another good Times editorial about this – on the value of silence.

I don’t know if America has fallen for H&M, I certainly haven’t. Certainly I can sympathize with Harry for losing his mother at an early age and the way the press treated her was a contributing factor. I blame the tunnel designers a lot more, the columns in the median should not have been exposed and a barrier filler wall might have saved her life. But I digress, losing your mother as a child is very hard indeed. On the other hand, he’s a wealthy guy through no work of his own so life hasn’t always been unkind to him.

If Harry indeed wants to reconcile with his family, he’s going about it the wrong way. Airing you dirty laundry in public is never a good idea. That rift may well be permanent, and I think the blame for that lies with him.

And not with the people who have been spreading stories about him for years?

I think there’s a big component of Meghan having alienated the Royal family by not playing the role of a Princess-by-marriage the way they’d like, as well as the sin of being a woman of color and an American.

Then with the tabloid abuse and nonsense against her for no good reason which was very reminiscent of the abuse his mother suffered from the press, I’m sure Harry felt much like he was in a no-win situation- he and his wife were being attacked from all sides, or at least attacked from one, and unsupported from the other. At that point he had a choice- stick to his family and uphold the Royal traditions and suffer whatever relationship damage that incurred, or stick to his wife, and suffer whatever relationship damage that incurred.

So he chose his wife, they basically cut him off, and now he’s got to make his own way. What better way to make $$$ when you’re Prince Harry than to use that to your advantage by publishing books, tv series, etc… about yourself? And if it pisses off the people who didn’t have your back, that’s tough.

He doesn’t have his own duchy for wealth, he’s fifth in the line of succession after his niece and nephew, and as such is extremely unlikely to succeed to the throne in his own right.

I think the whole reconciliation thing is a bit of a canard, in that I’m sure he wants to be on better terms with Charles and William, but I don’t think he wants to have to conform to all the Royal BS in order to do so. Which means he’s basically saying “I’m ready to have a relationship with you again, once you are willing to accept my wife and myself as we are, not as you think we should be.”

I don’t really buy that though. Why would he have to have anything to do with the Royal BS in order to have that reconciliation? That makes no sense. He could have given up all his royal titles and withdrawn himself completely from that life and lived as a private citizen. None of that compromises a reconciliation.
Airing dirty laundry certainly does though.

I guess I’m an American who’s “fallen” for them because I think the celebrity status of British royals and “famous-for-being-famous” reality tv celebrities is equally vapid and if Harry wants to trade one for the other that’s his prerogative. I don’t really care how sincere his statements about reconciling with his family are and while it’s a bit silly for any of us to get these competing narratives about all of the family drama no one is forcing us to follow it.

I get the impression that a lot of whatever angst/anger there is, is intertwined with Harry’s status as part of the Royal family.

I also have a feeling that the reason he didn’t just vacate all his titles and everything is because putting “Prince Harry the Duke of Sussex” on the top of the book sells a lot better than “Harry Mountbatten-Windsor”, and looks better on foundations, etc… It’s a branding exercise, and one that the Royal family doesn’t particularly like because they can’t control it.

That’s the sense I have, too. I only watched part of the 60 Minutes interview, but what I did catch included him describing that it took until he was in his mid 20s to finally accept that Diana was really dead – up until then, he still was clinging to the idea that she had somehow survived, engineered her own disappearance, etc.

You think there is a financial calculation to his actions? come on. What could a couple desperate to prop up a media company and sell books, shows and interviews possibly need from such branding or shocking headlines?

Such cynicism in one so young!

I think that sadly there is a hard bedrock of cold, calculating revenge in all this and it really isn’t a good look for Harry.

At first, I wondered why he was making so many statements when he said he wanted privacy, but according to a quick google search, he and Megan didn’t say they wanted privacy, but to have more control over the public’s access to their lives, and I think that’s a fair request.

If it is true that his family has been feeding negative stories about him and his wife to the press and refusing to defend him while defending other relatives, it makes sense to me that he’d come out and combat the narrative, especially since he blames the media for his mother’s death and feels he nearly lost his wife over negative press.

Because he wants the truth to be known, after so many lies have been told about him and his wife?

I don’t. I think he’s genuinely angry, which is not the same thing.

That may be how he sees it but we aren’t actually further forward in knowing what the real truth is seeing as we are only getting one side of the story. The Royal family won’t comment.

Well his anger appears to be manifesting as one-sided attacks on the people that he professes to wish a reconciliation with and who won’t answer back. It certainly looks like there is an element of revenge there. I suspect any definitional nuances are lost on those he is attacking.

Not on the record, anyway.