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My Prince Harry moment I know how it feels to be hidden behind a role

I believe in me. Credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AFP/Getty

I believe in me. Credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AFP/Getty


January 12, 2023   4 mins

I became a priest on a hot summer’s day at Lichfield Cathedral. I was as prepared as I thought I could be for the vows I was about to take. What I wasn’t prepared for, though, was the whole paraphernalia of ecclesiastical haberdashery. It seemed so unimportant. Friends had been trying on cassocks and dog collars for weeks before. I hadn’t given it a second thought.

How naive I was. Putting on a clerical collar changes how people treat you. It is such a powerful symbol, so freighted with meaning, that you instantly become an object of projection. Put on a little circle of plastic around your neck, and the person gets obliterated by the parson. I felt I had disappeared. In time, I came to hate wearing it. I still do.

So, despite the many and various ways in which I have been outraged by Harry’s attack upon his own family, the one batsqueak of sympathy I have for him is my understanding of what it feels like to be hidden behind one’s role. Not just hidden, but almost obliterated by it. In Spare, he explains that one of the things that attracted him to former girlfriend, Chelsy Davy, was that she had not been struck down by “throne syndrome”. Unlike so many others, she didn’t see a prince, she saw Harry.

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In the months after I started wearing all the churchy kit, I noticed some strange and rather foolish changes to my behaviour. For one thing, I started swearing more. Nothing too wildly offensive — at least not with parishioners — but enough to attempt to disturb the grip that this little magic ring of plastic had on other people’s imaginations. I also over-shared. It sounds childish to state it so bluntly — and it was pretty childish — but I wanted people to see me. I felt the need to re-assert the identity that I felt had been surrendered to the office.

Though the priesthood carries with it a whole world of expectation, my experience of projection is nowhere near that experienced by members of the Royal Family. Nonetheless, it does give me a small insight into the temptation that Harry has unfortunately given in to: the temptation to draw back the curtain and tell the world who you really are. “See me!” this poor troubled man is screaming, “See my pain!”. In Harry’s case this act of defiant self-disclosure has been turbocharged by the whole Californian culture of authenticity. Of being true to yourself. This couldn’t be more different from the “never explain, never complain” iron curtain philosophy of his family.

To those who admire the “be true to yourself” mantra, Harry is a hero of self-expression; to those who don’t, he is a self-absorbed cry baby. Mostly, I don’t.

The philosopher Charles Taylor has written with great insight about how this difference chimes with a centuries-long shift in European culture about where meaning is to be found. It used to be the case that meaning was found beyond oneself. As the psalmist put it: “I will lift up mine eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my help.” Meaning is to be discovered out there, in God’s order, in nature. Our purpose is to follow the star, or something beyond oneself. God doesn’t really mean some big quasi-person from whom you receive instructions; it means something more like an understanding of things — universe, human existence — as seen from the widest possible angle. But secularisation has shifted this emphasis: meaning is no longer out there, but in here. You follow your own star. Your star, your truth.

The tragedy of Harry is how badly he has been let down by this expressivist philosophy. Because the problem with “see me” is that not everyone will see the same thing. And not everyone will like what they see.

In that fascinating movie The Two Popes, there is the following little exchange:

Pope Benedict: This popularity of yours, is there a trick to it? 
Pope Francis: I just try to be myself. 
Pope Benedict: Huh. Whenever I try to be myself, people don’t seem to like me very much.

I doubt Pope Francis would ever say anything so crass as “I just try to be myself”. But in so far as this is a fictional conversation between personifications of modernity and pre-modernity, it captures the difference rather well. My sympathies are with the fictional Benedict because, like him, I often don’t feel particularly likeable — which doesn’t matter so much if meaning and affirmation is to be found outside the self. But Harry’s overwhelming desire to express all the details of his inner life puts him straight into the jaws of the tabloid press, who can make anyone look unlikable. “See me” is a dangerous thing to utter when the audience is Rupert Murdoch.

Benedict, by contrast, knows that his God is a very different kind of judge. And his rueful shrug at not being as popular as Francis contains a kind of freedom from fear that “I just try to be myself” has not yet discovered. There is enormous liberation — and not only in the priestly vocation — to be found when you realise “it’s not all about me!”. The psychological hell of Harry Windsor is that he has made it all about him. And the poison of this position is leaking everywhere.

None of which is to disparage the workings of the inner life. As it happens, I had the same psychotherapist as Harry’s mother, and she pretty much saved me from emotional disaster. At its best, therapy is not about “my truth” but about reality and how one learns to live with that reality when it doesn’t necessarily have your ego’s best interests at heart.

Harry may think that telling his truth is all part of his healing process. But many of us will only remember an entitled brat dissing his father and his brother, and telling us too much about his frostbitten penis. No healing will come from this.


Giles Fraser is a journalist, broadcaster and Vicar of St Anne’s, Kew.

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Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
1 year ago

Two thoughts:
1) One of the core reasons for the ongoing fascination with the Royals (even among republicans) must be that their dramas and turmoils are, in their essence, relatable and force us to confront a range of questions which are relevant for society as a whole. Look at this article: one minute Harry is talking about his frostbitten “todger” (sorry, but a man calling his privates a todger would be good enough reason for me to run for the hills – what is he, 8?) and suddenly we’re engaged in a discussion about where and how to find meaning in life.
2) One of the dominant thoughts in my mind over the last few days is about the role of a partner/spouse and to what extent/in what situations we need to wade into our partners’ affairs. If you love your partner (which I hope all of you who have partners do), then I think most of the time, you just let them be themselves and do what they want. You might disagree with them, but it’s not for you to baby them or tell them what to do. You are a partner and not a parent. That’s how it works in this house anyway and – bar the occasional mild dispute and slammed door – it works nicely.
However, if their actions become either a risk or a burden to you or if they are obviously damaging themselves – I consider that a reason (if not an obligation) to step in and – at the very least – have some choice, strong words with them about it and perhaps spell out some consequences for the relationship if it goes on. The very thought turns my stomach, but if I was Harry’s wife, I’d be stepping right in and intervening right now as neither the book, nor all of this cavorting in the media, nor alienating his family is doing him any good whatsoever. That there is currently no sign of Meghan doing this does rather make me think his best interests aren’t her priority: the dollars are.

Sam Brown
Sam Brown
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

The problem with that idea is that she is even more psychotic than him.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I really like your attitude. But while this circus may not be in Harrys best interest, it is a little mean just to assume that MM is deliberately sacrificing him for money. Do we know her? Alternatively she is on board with the whole crusade because this kind of sharing and self-expression is what she sincerely sees as the best thing to do – and they hooked up because they both want this and can confirm each other. Harry may not be the best judge of what their best interests are, but possibly MM is not either.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

No, we don’t know – but based on my attitude, that’s certainly how I see it. If I saw my other half acting like Harry is – hurting both himself and a lot of people who (once) genuinely care(d) for him – you can bet your bottom dollar (no pun intended) that I would be wading right in and doing my level best to a) get a time out, and b) get my other half into some kind of – urgh, I cringe to write it – safe space.
I thought that is what the entire point of leaving the UK was – getting out of the madness to achieve peace & quiet. That’s why I supported them initially – at least as far as leaving per se was concerned. They’ve got out of one type of madness and simply plunged themselves headfirst into an even more hysterical sort of circus.
I just cannot imagine how any loving partner could look at this spectacle and say “Yay! Amazing! Go for it, darling!”

Last edited 1 year ago by Katharine Eyre
JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I quite agree with both your comments Katherine, but in this sorry case it is the woman in his life who is driving all this. She wants that fame and fortune, and he is the instrument by which she can achieve it. She may or may not love him; but he is her way of getting what she wants now. She would never as a second rate actress have got these “rewards”.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

Maybe – but surely MM is also Harrys way of getting what he wants now. Otherwise why did he marry her? He is not a child, or a left-behind incel, or a starry-eyed 19-year-old as his mother was, and it is too easy to blame the woman for his choices. If MM is driving his life, we should assume that it is because he wants to be driven there.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
ER
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

His mother was no starry eyed innocent.
The sister of one of my former colleagues was at school with her. Not in the same social circles – no title.
The main objective in life for Di and here circle was to bag a royal. They all apparently had eyes on Andrew but Di managed to hit the jackpot.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

Interesting. I’d believe you – you know more than I. But she was probably young and vulnerable enough that maybe she was not fully capable of evaluating what she was getting into – or dealing with it. Harry has not got that excuse.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Or maybe she was part of a generation in the upper classes that forgot the meaning of duty and was seduced by her own ego.
The world they inhabit is very different from the rest of us. In their world marital fidelity means sod all, a bourgeois affectation. There is no real world consequences for them. The only expectation is that you be discreet.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
1 year ago

Sounds rather civilised

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
1 year ago

Sounds rather civilised

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Or maybe she was part of a generation in the upper classes that forgot the meaning of duty and was seduced by her own ego.
The world they inhabit is very different from the rest of us. In their world marital fidelity means sod all, a bourgeois affectation. There is no real world consequences for them. The only expectation is that you be discreet.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

Interesting. I’d believe you – you know more than I. But she was probably young and vulnerable enough that maybe she was not fully capable of evaluating what she was getting into – or dealing with it. Harry has not got that excuse.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Sad man of limited intelligence seduced by calculating beauty. Not the first time

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
ER
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

His mother was no starry eyed innocent.
The sister of one of my former colleagues was at school with her. Not in the same social circles – no title.
The main objective in life for Di and here circle was to bag a royal. They all apparently had eyes on Andrew but Di managed to hit the jackpot.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Sad man of limited intelligence seduced by calculating beauty. Not the first time

Rasmus Fogh
RF
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

Maybe – but surely MM is also Harrys way of getting what he wants now. Otherwise why did he marry her? He is not a child, or a left-behind incel, or a starry-eyed 19-year-old as his mother was, and it is too easy to blame the woman for his choices. If MM is driving his life, we should assume that it is because he wants to be driven there.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I quite agree with both your comments Katherine, but in this sorry case it is the woman in his life who is driving all this. She wants that fame and fortune, and he is the instrument by which she can achieve it. She may or may not love him; but he is her way of getting what she wants now. She would never as a second rate actress have got these “rewards”.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

They both truly see themselves as victims. Megan Markle married Harry naively believing she could enjoy all the perks of royalty without any of the responsibilities. Lacking any of the graces of the British royal family she treated her staff like Walmart grocery clerks who of course quickly grew to resent her. Sensing the hostility toward her, she was quick to label it racism and from there things quickly deteriorated to the debacle we are witnessing today.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I would not know – but it sounds about right.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I would not know – but it sounds about right.

Katharine Eyre
KE
Katharine Eyre
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

No, we don’t know – but based on my attitude, that’s certainly how I see it. If I saw my other half acting like Harry is – hurting both himself and a lot of people who (once) genuinely care(d) for him – you can bet your bottom dollar (no pun intended) that I would be wading right in and doing my level best to a) get a time out, and b) get my other half into some kind of – urgh, I cringe to write it – safe space.
I thought that is what the entire point of leaving the UK was – getting out of the madness to achieve peace & quiet. That’s why I supported them initially – at least as far as leaving per se was concerned. They’ve got out of one type of madness and simply plunged themselves headfirst into an even more hysterical sort of circus.
I just cannot imagine how any loving partner could look at this spectacle and say “Yay! Amazing! Go for it, darling!”

Last edited 1 year ago by Katharine Eyre
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

They both truly see themselves as victims. Megan Markle married Harry naively believing she could enjoy all the perks of royalty without any of the responsibilities. Lacking any of the graces of the British royal family she treated her staff like Walmart grocery clerks who of course quickly grew to resent her. Sensing the hostility toward her, she was quick to label it racism and from there things quickly deteriorated to the debacle we are witnessing today.

pessimist extremus
pessimist extremus
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

well said. As for 1) – fascination with the Royals – it’s probably also that it’s just ‘one of the kind’, if it’s ok to say so. For me, from outside GB, it’s like a fairytale – the history, the tiaras, the beautiful, just beautiful as women, late Queen, and Kate; the stoic Camilla… the diamonds to admire, knowing they need the special environment to be the true sparklers (well, for personal items I prefer the semi-precious stones of more charater, so it isn’t envy, I think).
2) spot on. Harry may well be influenced by his magic mushrooms, but M seems to have been ‘smart’ from the beginning. I checked the first interview of the ‘fab four’, pure curiosity as Tom Bower said it was all ‘there’ – it was, the campaigner who had to be reminded ‘wedding first’ by H, eager to ‘hit the ground running’. Or the ‘racism’ issue, think about how carefully M worded her response: ‘They were concerned that if he were too brown, that would be a problem? Are you saying that?’, asked Oprah Winfrey
‘If that’s the assumption you’re making, I think that feels like a pretty safe one, which was really hard to understand, right?’ said Meghan Markle.
‘...you’re making.’ Not her. And now H seems to be insisting if the word ‘racism’ was not used, they didn’t say that (and it was Oprah, anyway, although that has not been spelled out yet). Same with kill count – if he did not say the word ‘proud’ or ‘boast’, it was just self-healing, and the demonic Br press…
3) the real cynicism in my mind is that people think H knows what he’s talking about (vs yellow press who’s gossiping), but it really does not seem so. Based on reporting, I haven’t read the book (Jeezz, 400+ pages!). Now the blurred lines of memory and fact have been admitted even, but of course, who cares – the harm is done (question is, who to most, of course, and to be extra paranoid – to totally discredit and ditch H in the longer run, maybe?).
4) I don’t agree about feeling sorry for the role dominating a person – isn’t it about personalities? About whether one wants to be the ‘influencer’ reporting every tiny bit on their plate, vs – well, dunno, the Pope, for example, who can be comfortably hidden behind his image as a symbol? After all, you have to think about your ‘role’ in most cases, be you a company executive, a priest or a shop-assistant? Or a popstar, who has to be ‘wild’ which goes with their reputation.

Mary Bruels
MB
Mary Bruels
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Have you noticed Meghan has gone eerily silent in the past few weeks? It’s as if she’s leaving Harry all by himself in the firestorm she encouraged him to start. What a witch.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Jeez sounds like you have a domestic idyll Katharine! It’s much more dramatic in my house, and due to lifelong family illness, and differing from your view, there is huge compromise required that involves accepting significant limits. I think that’s what people call love etc.
Meghan appears to have allowed Harry to hang himself. I think she’ll divorce him in a year or two.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Stewart
Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Yes, our house is very harmonious – whereby a crucial part of the harmony is having pretty sporty discussions about all kinds of things 😉 I am very lucky to have this situation.

Last edited 1 year ago by Katharine Eyre
Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

My wife pretends to listen to me talking politics, and I pretend to listen to her moaning about H&M. It seems to work most of the time.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

My wife pretends to listen to me talking politics, and I pretend to listen to her moaning about H&M. It seems to work most of the time.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Yes, our house is very harmonious – whereby a crucial part of the harmony is having pretty sporty discussions about all kinds of things 😉 I am very lucky to have this situation.

Last edited 1 year ago by Katharine Eyre
Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I think the fact that only one member of her family attended her wedding indicates that the value of family ties comes pretty low down on her scale of values. He is certainly generating column inches and TV interviews which is what someone obsessed by celebrity craves never mind the fact that celebrity translates into dollars. By her metric he is doing a splendid job. Even if he crashes and burns her connection to him will still generate more celebrity than she could ever have gained as a Toronto based TV actress.

Jeff Cunningham
JC
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Excellent comment.

Sam Brown
Sam Brown
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

The problem with that idea is that she is even more psychotic than him.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I really like your attitude. But while this circus may not be in Harrys best interest, it is a little mean just to assume that MM is deliberately sacrificing him for money. Do we know her? Alternatively she is on board with the whole crusade because this kind of sharing and self-expression is what she sincerely sees as the best thing to do – and they hooked up because they both want this and can confirm each other. Harry may not be the best judge of what their best interests are, but possibly MM is not either.

pessimist extremus
PE
pessimist extremus
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

well said. As for 1) – fascination with the Royals – it’s probably also that it’s just ‘one of the kind’, if it’s ok to say so. For me, from outside GB, it’s like a fairytale – the history, the tiaras, the beautiful, just beautiful as women, late Queen, and Kate; the stoic Camilla… the diamonds to admire, knowing they need the special environment to be the true sparklers (well, for personal items I prefer the semi-precious stones of more charater, so it isn’t envy, I think).
2) spot on. Harry may well be influenced by his magic mushrooms, but M seems to have been ‘smart’ from the beginning. I checked the first interview of the ‘fab four’, pure curiosity as Tom Bower said it was all ‘there’ – it was, the campaigner who had to be reminded ‘wedding first’ by H, eager to ‘hit the ground running’. Or the ‘racism’ issue, think about how carefully M worded her response: ‘They were concerned that if he were too brown, that would be a problem? Are you saying that?’, asked Oprah Winfrey
‘If that’s the assumption you’re making, I think that feels like a pretty safe one, which was really hard to understand, right?’ said Meghan Markle.
‘...you’re making.’ Not her. And now H seems to be insisting if the word ‘racism’ was not used, they didn’t say that (and it was Oprah, anyway, although that has not been spelled out yet). Same with kill count – if he did not say the word ‘proud’ or ‘boast’, it was just self-healing, and the demonic Br press…
3) the real cynicism in my mind is that people think H knows what he’s talking about (vs yellow press who’s gossiping), but it really does not seem so. Based on reporting, I haven’t read the book (Jeezz, 400+ pages!). Now the blurred lines of memory and fact have been admitted even, but of course, who cares – the harm is done (question is, who to most, of course, and to be extra paranoid – to totally discredit and ditch H in the longer run, maybe?).
4) I don’t agree about feeling sorry for the role dominating a person – isn’t it about personalities? About whether one wants to be the ‘influencer’ reporting every tiny bit on their plate, vs – well, dunno, the Pope, for example, who can be comfortably hidden behind his image as a symbol? After all, you have to think about your ‘role’ in most cases, be you a company executive, a priest or a shop-assistant? Or a popstar, who has to be ‘wild’ which goes with their reputation.

Mary Bruels
Mary Bruels
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Have you noticed Meghan has gone eerily silent in the past few weeks? It’s as if she’s leaving Harry all by himself in the firestorm she encouraged him to start. What a witch.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Jeez sounds like you have a domestic idyll Katharine! It’s much more dramatic in my house, and due to lifelong family illness, and differing from your view, there is huge compromise required that involves accepting significant limits. I think that’s what people call love etc.
Meghan appears to have allowed Harry to hang himself. I think she’ll divorce him in a year or two.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Stewart
Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I think the fact that only one member of her family attended her wedding indicates that the value of family ties comes pretty low down on her scale of values. He is certainly generating column inches and TV interviews which is what someone obsessed by celebrity craves never mind the fact that celebrity translates into dollars. By her metric he is doing a splendid job. Even if he crashes and burns her connection to him will still generate more celebrity than she could ever have gained as a Toronto based TV actress.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Excellent comment.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
1 year ago

Two thoughts:
1) One of the core reasons for the ongoing fascination with the Royals (even among republicans) must be that their dramas and turmoils are, in their essence, relatable and force us to confront a range of questions which are relevant for society as a whole. Look at this article: one minute Harry is talking about his frostbitten “todger” (sorry, but a man calling his privates a todger would be good enough reason for me to run for the hills – what is he, 8?) and suddenly we’re engaged in a discussion about where and how to find meaning in life.
2) One of the dominant thoughts in my mind over the last few days is about the role of a partner/spouse and to what extent/in what situations we need to wade into our partners’ affairs. If you love your partner (which I hope all of you who have partners do), then I think most of the time, you just let them be themselves and do what they want. You might disagree with them, but it’s not for you to baby them or tell them what to do. You are a partner and not a parent. That’s how it works in this house anyway and – bar the occasional mild dispute and slammed door – it works nicely.
However, if their actions become either a risk or a burden to you or if they are obviously damaging themselves – I consider that a reason (if not an obligation) to step in and – at the very least – have some choice, strong words with them about it and perhaps spell out some consequences for the relationship if it goes on. The very thought turns my stomach, but if I was Harry’s wife, I’d be stepping right in and intervening right now as neither the book, nor all of this cavorting in the media, nor alienating his family is doing him any good whatsoever. That there is currently no sign of Meghan doing this does rather make me think his best interests aren’t her priority: the dollars are.

Sam Brown
Sam Brown
1 year ago

Harry has simply forgotten (or more likely been “re-educated” about by his vamp of a wife) what the essence of Britishness is. Despite the onslaught of vapid, opinionated nobodies preaching self-truth on social media, at the heart of what it means to be British, and what the British people still admire, is self-restraint, reserve, stoicism, gratitude for the open and free society we have, underpinned by a sense of fair play and the rule of law. None of these things Harry displays following his years of Californication. As a result he and is views of life and his truth are alien; good reason why he should be left to live as one in tinseltown, forgotten and unmissed.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Brown

Exactly. As a millennial, I’ve spent time wondering whether the values of our elders – fortitude, stoicism, mustn’t complain – were right or whether they were damaging and emotionally illiterate. At age 40, and watching the appalling glorification and commercialisation of victimhood that goes on today, I have to say that the British stiff upper lip never looked so good.
Our elders had it 80% right in my view. The remaining 20% is my opinion that the destigmatisation of mental illness has been a positive development.

Katharine Eyre
KE
Katharine Eyre
1 year ago
Reply to  Sam Brown

Exactly. As a millennial, I’ve spent time wondering whether the values of our elders – fortitude, stoicism, mustn’t complain – were right or whether they were damaging and emotionally illiterate. At age 40, and watching the appalling glorification and commercialisation of victimhood that goes on today, I have to say that the British stiff upper lip never looked so good.
Our elders had it 80% right in my view. The remaining 20% is my opinion that the destigmatisation of mental illness has been a positive development.

Sam Brown
Sam Brown
1 year ago

Harry has simply forgotten (or more likely been “re-educated” about by his vamp of a wife) what the essence of Britishness is. Despite the onslaught of vapid, opinionated nobodies preaching self-truth on social media, at the heart of what it means to be British, and what the British people still admire, is self-restraint, reserve, stoicism, gratitude for the open and free society we have, underpinned by a sense of fair play and the rule of law. None of these things Harry displays following his years of Californication. As a result he and is views of life and his truth are alien; good reason why he should be left to live as one in tinseltown, forgotten and unmissed.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago

I felt sorry for Harry and Meghan in the beginning of their marriage (especially Meghan). It must have been difficult adjusting to the straight jacket of royalty (can’t really believe that she didn’t have an inkling about what she was signing up for though – staggeringly stupid).
The reason I felt sorry is for her is that the media shredded her and that must have been difficult. When they announced they were going to leave the UK, I thought good on them… go… build the life you want. Have your privacy. Enjoy. That is not what happened – continually airing your own and your family’s dirty linen in minute detail in public is disgraceful, is not going to mend the family relationships and does not signify any wish for privacy.
I am sick to the back teeth of them.

Last edited 1 year ago by Lesley van Reenen
Dominic A
DA
Dominic A
1 year ago

If I remember correctly, the media loved her before they shredded her. What was that about? Whilst it was no doubt difficult for Meghan to adjust to Royal life, I suspect she has been living as a princess for since her teens.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Your recollection is correct Dominic – she was top of the pops in the media for a long time. Don’t know why Lesley says the media shredded her – the media responded to her actions. She is no retiring flower – she has agency – and she has authored this outcome. I think she may be very happy with it too – and she’ll abandon Harry in due course to complete her project.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Your recollection is correct Dominic – she was top of the pops in the media for a long time. Don’t know why Lesley says the media shredded her – the media responded to her actions. She is no retiring flower – she has agency – and she has authored this outcome. I think she may be very happy with it too – and she’ll abandon Harry in due course to complete her project.

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago

If I remember correctly, the media loved her before they shredded her. What was that about? Whilst it was no doubt difficult for Meghan to adjust to Royal life, I suspect she has been living as a princess for since her teens.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago

I felt sorry for Harry and Meghan in the beginning of their marriage (especially Meghan). It must have been difficult adjusting to the straight jacket of royalty (can’t really believe that she didn’t have an inkling about what she was signing up for though – staggeringly stupid).
The reason I felt sorry is for her is that the media shredded her and that must have been difficult. When they announced they were going to leave the UK, I thought good on them… go… build the life you want. Have your privacy. Enjoy. That is not what happened – continually airing your own and your family’s dirty linen in minute detail in public is disgraceful, is not going to mend the family relationships and does not signify any wish for privacy.
I am sick to the back teeth of them.

Last edited 1 year ago by Lesley van Reenen
Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago

Oh Giles, can you not see that the whole point of the dog collar is so the parson does indeed obliterate the person? When I talk to a clergyman – or a policeman, nurse, traffic warden, anyone else in uniform – I am addressing the immediately present representative of the institution and I want a response that carries the authority of that institution.
I don’t want to be talking to an ordinary human being with problems and opinions of his own and, quite possibly, fallible judgement. If I’m seeking absolution I need it from the Reverend Giles on behalf of the Church of England, on behalf of God. Absolution from good old Gilesy is worthless.
The tragedy is that Harry doesn’t see that all the interest in him, approving or disapproving, is only because he wore, and still seems to want to wear, the “uniform” of royalty. Harry Doe from Nowheresville, Minnesota, would not be getting a $20M book deal.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago

Very astute observation. Uniforms are there to eliminate the individual and emphasise the role, so that people outside see just that; I am sure that friends and family look past the uniform and see the person. Also, the uniform is removable and, when done, the person can interact on a normal human basis. But, for a person like Harry there is no removal of the uniform, he (and the other royals) are the role. Perhaps he could have shed this role, but it would have meant completely removing himself from public view, not impossible, it had been done, I believe, by one of the Scandinavian princesses (I can’t remember her name though).

Phillip Arundel
Phillip Arundel
1 year ago

When the Judge walks into the court we all stand up for the robes, not the person.

Linda Hutchinson
LH
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago

Very astute observation. Uniforms are there to eliminate the individual and emphasise the role, so that people outside see just that; I am sure that friends and family look past the uniform and see the person. Also, the uniform is removable and, when done, the person can interact on a normal human basis. But, for a person like Harry there is no removal of the uniform, he (and the other royals) are the role. Perhaps he could have shed this role, but it would have meant completely removing himself from public view, not impossible, it had been done, I believe, by one of the Scandinavian princesses (I can’t remember her name though).

Phillip Arundel
Phillip Arundel
1 year ago

When the Judge walks into the court we all stand up for the robes, not the person.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago

Oh Giles, can you not see that the whole point of the dog collar is so the parson does indeed obliterate the person? When I talk to a clergyman – or a policeman, nurse, traffic warden, anyone else in uniform – I am addressing the immediately present representative of the institution and I want a response that carries the authority of that institution.
I don’t want to be talking to an ordinary human being with problems and opinions of his own and, quite possibly, fallible judgement. If I’m seeking absolution I need it from the Reverend Giles on behalf of the Church of England, on behalf of God. Absolution from good old Gilesy is worthless.
The tragedy is that Harry doesn’t see that all the interest in him, approving or disapproving, is only because he wore, and still seems to want to wear, the “uniform” of royalty. Harry Doe from Nowheresville, Minnesota, would not be getting a $20M book deal.

Roger Sponge
RS
Roger Sponge
1 year ago

I’m bored with Prince Harry. Barring a massacre, he’ll never be King. He’s chosen not to return from abroad.
I find it difficult enough to know what’s going on in my own marriage and our children’s and their families. Let alone make any judgement about the ins and outs of the Royals. I’m sorry Harry lost his mother aged 12 in awful circumstances. So have children in Ukraine, Lebanon, Yemen…(fill in your country of choice).
He complains of being the Spare. Yet born into life-long wealth, security, contacts and a good school, he’ll never go hungry, worry about the rent, affording his children’s clothes or living four in one damp, mouldy room with him & his wife with two jobs each to survive.
He seems unaware of thousands of groomed, drugged, gang raped school girls in England and children scrabbling mining rare metals for mobile phones at 50p a day.

Roger Sponge
Roger Sponge
1 year ago

I’m bored with Prince Harry. Barring a massacre, he’ll never be King. He’s chosen not to return from abroad.
I find it difficult enough to know what’s going on in my own marriage and our children’s and their families. Let alone make any judgement about the ins and outs of the Royals. I’m sorry Harry lost his mother aged 12 in awful circumstances. So have children in Ukraine, Lebanon, Yemen…(fill in your country of choice).
He complains of being the Spare. Yet born into life-long wealth, security, contacts and a good school, he’ll never go hungry, worry about the rent, affording his children’s clothes or living four in one damp, mouldy room with him & his wife with two jobs each to survive.
He seems unaware of thousands of groomed, drugged, gang raped school girls in England and children scrabbling mining rare metals for mobile phones at 50p a day.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

Interesting reflections from Giles. I admit that some of Giles’s own journalistic reflections have constituted an over-sharing of some rather unlikable opinions although the authenticity of his persona makes me generally look on him favourably. It isa pity I can’t say the same of the Spare.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jeremy Bray
Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I find myself rushing to find the end of the “stuff about me” parts of Giles articles. It would be better to see more justification for the relevant opinions than mere self-reflection.
I wonder if Giles has more “Harry moments” than just the one …

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Barton
Gill Holway
GH
Gill Holway
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Im sure we are all subject to ‘Harry’ moments but learn quite quickly that theres a time and a place for everything. I find myself wondering who taught him that monetising these moments is a positive rather than negative state of affairs.

Gill Holway
Gill Holway
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Im sure we are all subject to ‘Harry’ moments but learn quite quickly that theres a time and a place for everything. I find myself wondering who taught him that monetising these moments is a positive rather than negative state of affairs.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I find myself rushing to find the end of the “stuff about me” parts of Giles articles. It would be better to see more justification for the relevant opinions than mere self-reflection.
I wonder if Giles has more “Harry moments” than just the one …

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Barton
Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

Interesting reflections from Giles. I admit that some of Giles’s own journalistic reflections have constituted an over-sharing of some rather unlikable opinions although the authenticity of his persona makes me generally look on him favourably. It isa pity I can’t say the same of the Spare.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jeremy Bray
B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago

Oh Please.
“what it feels like to be hidden behind one’s role”???
Is there anyone — any adult that is — who does not feel that their ‘authentic self’ (whatever that is) is somehow hidden or obscured or constrained or disguised by the role(s) we all are expected to play? Of course not. The act of personal restraint… that structuring, that obscuration of the ‘natural’ self is essential to life in a civilized world.
But the 2 year old hides nothing. He wears no masks. When he’s hungry, he’s hungry. And if he’s too hungry he cries and grows cranky. When he needs to go to the bathroom he feels no need to actually find a bathroom. He does not care; nor is he at all affected by what the world may think of the fact he just filled his diaper. He’s totally indifferent — until it becomes uncomfortable — and then, that too makes him cry. The always-authentic 2 yr old is hell to get along with, actually. Unless he’s yours in which case he’s pretty much always adorable.
But adults? We all learned long ago that our ‘authentic’ self, the unmoderated, unmitigated, raw-appetite-maw of self must absolutely be ‘hidden’ by the roles we all must play. Want to drive a car? Get a job? Get a date? Find a partner? Buy groceries? Visit the in-laws? Go to a meeting? Make a decision? Reach an agreement? Rent an apartment?Graduate from school? Meet a stranger? Or maybe…have a conversation with someone who does not think you’re perfect? Well then — you’d better learn how to behave. You’d better learn what is expected of you in order to find even a modicum of acceptance in a world which does not have time to parse all of our so-called ‘authentic’ idiosyncracies.
As for the roles played? Few of us are princes or priests…or periwigged charioteers, for that matter. But we are older brothers — there’s a role. Or younger ones. Or sons or daughters or grandsons. We’re all employees. Or maybe students. Or sons-in-law, maybe? or shooting guards? or good neighbors? or bosses? or HOA presidents? or Netflix subscribers? Or lovers, boyfriends, husbands, cheaters, liars, thieves, tinkers, tailors, soldiers, or spies. And each and every one of those is a ROLE which ‘obscures’ the appetites and opinions we otherwise might feel.
But all that is a very good thing. That’s what makes us adults — the conscious structuring of a Self which transcends appetite. That’s what allows us to be competent and effective and actually accomplish something beyond a full belly and warm toes. When Copperfield wondered if he would be the hero of his life, he did not expect or want that heroism to be nothing beyond ‘being the most authentic David’.
Prince Harry may just now be figuring this out.
And maybe he’s learning — perhaps in a very embarrassed way — that the role of prince & brother that he traded away for that handful of Hollywood beans…the media role of ‘outlaw’, ‘rebel’, disgruntled royal, Windsor Insider / Whistleblower, Glamor-Spouse sitting next to Oprah (for now, while his stock value is high)…was a bad, indulgent, and very childish trade that will end only in regret.

B Davis
B Davis
1 year ago

Oh Please.
“what it feels like to be hidden behind one’s role”???
Is there anyone — any adult that is — who does not feel that their ‘authentic self’ (whatever that is) is somehow hidden or obscured or constrained or disguised by the role(s) we all are expected to play? Of course not. The act of personal restraint… that structuring, that obscuration of the ‘natural’ self is essential to life in a civilized world.
But the 2 year old hides nothing. He wears no masks. When he’s hungry, he’s hungry. And if he’s too hungry he cries and grows cranky. When he needs to go to the bathroom he feels no need to actually find a bathroom. He does not care; nor is he at all affected by what the world may think of the fact he just filled his diaper. He’s totally indifferent — until it becomes uncomfortable — and then, that too makes him cry. The always-authentic 2 yr old is hell to get along with, actually. Unless he’s yours in which case he’s pretty much always adorable.
But adults? We all learned long ago that our ‘authentic’ self, the unmoderated, unmitigated, raw-appetite-maw of self must absolutely be ‘hidden’ by the roles we all must play. Want to drive a car? Get a job? Get a date? Find a partner? Buy groceries? Visit the in-laws? Go to a meeting? Make a decision? Reach an agreement? Rent an apartment?Graduate from school? Meet a stranger? Or maybe…have a conversation with someone who does not think you’re perfect? Well then — you’d better learn how to behave. You’d better learn what is expected of you in order to find even a modicum of acceptance in a world which does not have time to parse all of our so-called ‘authentic’ idiosyncracies.
As for the roles played? Few of us are princes or priests…or periwigged charioteers, for that matter. But we are older brothers — there’s a role. Or younger ones. Or sons or daughters or grandsons. We’re all employees. Or maybe students. Or sons-in-law, maybe? or shooting guards? or good neighbors? or bosses? or HOA presidents? or Netflix subscribers? Or lovers, boyfriends, husbands, cheaters, liars, thieves, tinkers, tailors, soldiers, or spies. And each and every one of those is a ROLE which ‘obscures’ the appetites and opinions we otherwise might feel.
But all that is a very good thing. That’s what makes us adults — the conscious structuring of a Self which transcends appetite. That’s what allows us to be competent and effective and actually accomplish something beyond a full belly and warm toes. When Copperfield wondered if he would be the hero of his life, he did not expect or want that heroism to be nothing beyond ‘being the most authentic David’.
Prince Harry may just now be figuring this out.
And maybe he’s learning — perhaps in a very embarrassed way — that the role of prince & brother that he traded away for that handful of Hollywood beans…the media role of ‘outlaw’, ‘rebel’, disgruntled royal, Windsor Insider / Whistleblower, Glamor-Spouse sitting next to Oprah (for now, while his stock value is high)…was a bad, indulgent, and very childish trade that will end only in regret.

Mark Vernon
MV
Mark Vernon
1 year ago

Thanks Giles. And yes, have been there with the dog collar (and I didn’t last). Plus I think different US/UK approaches to therapy play into Harry’s story too.

In the US, it’s more shaped by what’s called Self Psychology, which values narrative, unconditional empathy, the self. In the UK, it’s more shaped by Object Relations, which seeks awareness of conflicts and defences, without and within.

The differences shape the two cultures as well, part of the “divided by a common language”. There’s more about it here if anyone’s interested. https://youtu.be/_pVwBVAe9Gg

Penny Rose
Penny Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Vernon

That’s really interesting. Given the goals and principles of most of the therapy available in the UK I was struggling to understand Harry’s behaviour as influenced by it. Now it makes a lot more sense.

E. L. Herndon
E. L. Herndon
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Vernon

A useful analysis, thank you. Recently I find my wondering what, if anything, the late Alan Watts would have had to say on this up-market Bildungsroman. Watts, a quondam clergyman, and then an author relating Zen to modern life, certainly had epigrammatic talents. “Wanting to get out of pain is the pain.” He posited that the Ego was “a historical fiction”. Perhaps someone will send the unhappy couple a copy of Psychotherapy: East and West”…

Jane Watson
Jane Watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Vernon

“Unconditional empathy”? Not much of that from Harry, though he expects it from everyone else.

Phillip Arundel
Phillip Arundel
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Vernon

”And yes, have been there with the dog collar (and I didn’t last)”

Giles means the white plastic slip in kind… haha…

Penny Rose
Penny Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Vernon

That’s really interesting. Given the goals and principles of most of the therapy available in the UK I was struggling to understand Harry’s behaviour as influenced by it. Now it makes a lot more sense.

E. L. Herndon
E. L. Herndon
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Vernon

A useful analysis, thank you. Recently I find my wondering what, if anything, the late Alan Watts would have had to say on this up-market Bildungsroman. Watts, a quondam clergyman, and then an author relating Zen to modern life, certainly had epigrammatic talents. “Wanting to get out of pain is the pain.” He posited that the Ego was “a historical fiction”. Perhaps someone will send the unhappy couple a copy of Psychotherapy: East and West”…

Jane Watson
Jane Watson
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Vernon

“Unconditional empathy”? Not much of that from Harry, though he expects it from everyone else.

Phillip Arundel
Phillip Arundel
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Vernon

”And yes, have been there with the dog collar (and I didn’t last)”

Giles means the white plastic slip in kind… haha…

Mark Vernon
Mark Vernon
1 year ago

Thanks Giles. And yes, have been there with the dog collar (and I didn’t last). Plus I think different US/UK approaches to therapy play into Harry’s story too.

In the US, it’s more shaped by what’s called Self Psychology, which values narrative, unconditional empathy, the self. In the UK, it’s more shaped by Object Relations, which seeks awareness of conflicts and defences, without and within.

The differences shape the two cultures as well, part of the “divided by a common language”. There’s more about it here if anyone’s interested. https://youtu.be/_pVwBVAe9Gg

Ashley
Ashley
1 year ago

My father was a forces chaplain. He told a story of going into the bar of the training school for new recruits only to be met by ‘Shhh, it’s the padre. You can’t tell that joke’ or something similar. He claims he went to the bar, ordered a drink, turned to the chap in question and said ‘oh, f**k off’.
He only wore his dog collar when he was working & I suspect had a similar feeling about it as you do.

Ashley
R
Ashley
1 year ago

My father was a forces chaplain. He told a story of going into the bar of the training school for new recruits only to be met by ‘Shhh, it’s the padre. You can’t tell that joke’ or something similar. He claims he went to the bar, ordered a drink, turned to the chap in question and said ‘oh, f**k off’.
He only wore his dog collar when he was working & I suspect had a similar feeling about it as you do.

Henry Haslam
Henry Haslam
1 year ago

I once had a boss who was apt to overreact: if someone upset her, she would fire off a furious letter. Sometimes she would send her draft to me – and I would re-write it for her, toning it down. She knew what was needed, and she knew who to ask.
It is sad that Prince Harry (and I could say the same of Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak) seems to have no candid friends whom he can turn to for good advice.

Henry Haslam
HH
Henry Haslam
1 year ago

I once had a boss who was apt to overreact: if someone upset her, she would fire off a furious letter. Sometimes she would send her draft to me – and I would re-write it for her, toning it down. She knew what was needed, and she knew who to ask.
It is sad that Prince Harry (and I could say the same of Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak) seems to have no candid friends whom he can turn to for good advice.

JR Stoker
JS
JR Stoker
1 year ago

Excellent article, thank you once again Giles.
But the advantage for the man or woman of wearing the dog collar is that we the public can see who they are, know that they have been trained in a certain way, that they speak in matters of faith with some authority. Maybe we should judge by words or deeds, but it helps to have indicators to speed up the acceptance process.
About twenty years ago, working in the CIty, I grew a beard (which I have kept). I was amazed how it changes one’s reception amongst others – among working men there is a seeming real camaraderie of beardies and unshaven. In the City there was often an initial suspicion which I was nervous of, being an ambitious type. But then I realised it got me remembered (there were practically no beards in the City) and that on the whole was a big advantage. Maybe I should have tried a dog collar as well!

Last edited 1 year ago by JR Stoker
Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

and I wish that there were still no beards in The City, and barring sailors, lighthouse keepers, and submariners, everywhere else too.

Linda Hutchinson
LH
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago

Ah. Another person suffering from pogonophobia. A well kept beard always looks good, and I don’t mean “designer stubble” that’s just not making a decision – man up, I say, grow it or loose it.

Phillip Arundel
Phillip Arundel
1 year ago

I have not had any form of shaving for over 40 years – just a couple times a year cut it back a bit. But then, as Nicky points out, some can get away with it – I do construction, and so it is proper that I look like I do, or at least is OK. I have no tattoos, but think I would not be incorrect if I did – unlike all these young fools, men and woman, who do not work hard with their hands and are all inked.

I look very much like a construction worker – it is my look and matches who I am, people know what they are dealing with; with me as I wear the role. (Part of the reason No one bothered me for refusing the mask, I think.)

Phillip Arundel
Phillip Arundel
1 year ago

I have not had any form of shaving for over 40 years – just a couple times a year cut it back a bit. But then, as Nicky points out, some can get away with it – I do construction, and so it is proper that I look like I do, or at least is OK. I have no tattoos, but think I would not be incorrect if I did – unlike all these young fools, men and woman, who do not work hard with their hands and are all inked.

I look very much like a construction worker – it is my look and matches who I am, people know what they are dealing with; with me as I wear the role. (Part of the reason No one bothered me for refusing the mask, I think.)

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago

Ah. Another person suffering from pogonophobia. A well kept beard always looks good, and I don’t mean “designer stubble” that’s just not making a decision – man up, I say, grow it or loose it.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
NS
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

and I wish that there were still no beards in The City, and barring sailors, lighthouse keepers, and submariners, everywhere else too.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
1 year ago

Excellent article, thank you once again Giles.
But the advantage for the man or woman of wearing the dog collar is that we the public can see who they are, know that they have been trained in a certain way, that they speak in matters of faith with some authority. Maybe we should judge by words or deeds, but it helps to have indicators to speed up the acceptance process.
About twenty years ago, working in the CIty, I grew a beard (which I have kept). I was amazed how it changes one’s reception amongst others – among working men there is a seeming real camaraderie of beardies and unshaven. In the City there was often an initial suspicion which I was nervous of, being an ambitious type. But then I realised it got me remembered (there were practically no beards in the City) and that on the whole was a big advantage. Maybe I should have tried a dog collar as well!

Last edited 1 year ago by JR Stoker
rob drummond
rob drummond
1 year ago

But the question I always ask – since everyone (literalyl) says ”its HIS truth” – is ”Really Harry? are you and M not over egging the pudding just for sensational effect, on the basis your targets cannot/will not answer back?” (and fo coruse to sell your myth to the highest bidder)

You provide scant (no) evidence of your claims, many of which are actually proved to be incorrect in the first instance – you even contradict your own words and blame the press for changing them – how do you expect us to believe you?

1 example: you said effectively ”I killed 25 chess pieces” (how you know that is another matter) then you say you didnt say that, it was all taken out of contenxt and blown up by the media. well sincce you are such a litigeous person – why dont you sue them?

Last edited 1 year ago by rob drummond
rob drummond
rob drummond
1 year ago

But the question I always ask – since everyone (literalyl) says ”its HIS truth” – is ”Really Harry? are you and M not over egging the pudding just for sensational effect, on the basis your targets cannot/will not answer back?” (and fo coruse to sell your myth to the highest bidder)

You provide scant (no) evidence of your claims, many of which are actually proved to be incorrect in the first instance – you even contradict your own words and blame the press for changing them – how do you expect us to believe you?

1 example: you said effectively ”I killed 25 chess pieces” (how you know that is another matter) then you say you didnt say that, it was all taken out of contenxt and blown up by the media. well sincce you are such a litigeous person – why dont you sue them?

Last edited 1 year ago by rob drummond
Richard Slack
Richard Slack
1 year ago

With trepidation I challenge a beneficed Clergyman but I feel The Revd Fraser has misunderstood the first line of Psalm 121 “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills: from when cometh my help”. It is not a comma but a colon in the middle of that line in the psalm. As Fraser has put it, it implies that the Psalmist is expecting his help to come from the hills. In fact the first line is, if you like, a gesture of despair and “From whence cometh my help is a question born of that despair, answered in the next verse my “my help cometh even from the Lord, the followed by re-assurances of the nature and reliability of that help.

Richard Slack
Richard Slack
1 year ago

With trepidation I challenge a beneficed Clergyman but I feel The Revd Fraser has misunderstood the first line of Psalm 121 “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills: from when cometh my help”. It is not a comma but a colon in the middle of that line in the psalm. As Fraser has put it, it implies that the Psalmist is expecting his help to come from the hills. In fact the first line is, if you like, a gesture of despair and “From whence cometh my help is a question born of that despair, answered in the next verse my “my help cometh even from the Lord, the followed by re-assurances of the nature and reliability of that help.

Maurice Austin
Maurice Austin
1 year ago

I’m Australian, and I had never read the expression “batsqueak” before today. I don’t know whether it is common UK colloquialism or a new coinage, but I like it a lot. I’ll use it, if I may.

Maurice Austin
Maurice Austin
1 year ago

I’m Australian, and I had never read the expression “batsqueak” before today. I don’t know whether it is common UK colloquialism or a new coinage, but I like it a lot. I’ll use it, if I may.

Andrew Daws
AD
Andrew Daws
1 year ago

“As the psalmist put it: “I will lift up mine eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my help.” 
come now, you should know better. It reads …from whence cometh my help? My help cometh even from the Lord.

Richard Slack
Richard Slack
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Daws

The setting by Herbert Howells in his Requiem perpetuates the mis-reading

Richard Slack
RS
Richard Slack
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Daws

The setting by Herbert Howells in his Requiem perpetuates the mis-reading

Andrew Daws
Andrew Daws
1 year ago

“As the psalmist put it: “I will lift up mine eyes to the hills, from whence cometh my help.” 
come now, you should know better. It reads …from whence cometh my help? My help cometh even from the Lord.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

Is not Prince Harry a living metaphor for the Church of England?

Phillip Arundel
Phillip Arundel
1 year ago

With Welby – you could be right.

Phillip Arundel
Phillip Arundel
1 year ago

With Welby – you could be right.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

Is not Prince Harry a living metaphor for the Church of England?

Will Will
Will Will
1 year ago

My father flew operations in Bomber Command. They wore inter alia silk underwear, a heated electric suit (which usually didn’t work), sheepskin trousers and jacket, and several pairs of gloves to avoid frost bite.

Will Will
Will Will
1 year ago

My father flew operations in Bomber Command. They wore inter alia silk underwear, a heated electric suit (which usually didn’t work), sheepskin trousers and jacket, and several pairs of gloves to avoid frost bite.

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
1 year ago

Really interesting article, thank you. I think we all to a certain extent put on an image, to reflect what we aspire to be, or to hide what we are not. A uniform reflects a role than is greater than the person wearing it, which should encourage humility but can bring out the worst in us too. It wasn’t that long ago that we grew up with our role models, people we wished to emulate. I was very fortunate to have a whole galaxy of them – parents, grandparents, teachers, and (with a head in books) a raft of literary and historic heroes. And my favourite saints. I don’t expect to emulate them, really, but at least looking upwards stops you looking downwards and is that the distinction between Giles’ older world and Harry’s new world?

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
1 year ago

Really interesting article, thank you. I think we all to a certain extent put on an image, to reflect what we aspire to be, or to hide what we are not. A uniform reflects a role than is greater than the person wearing it, which should encourage humility but can bring out the worst in us too. It wasn’t that long ago that we grew up with our role models, people we wished to emulate. I was very fortunate to have a whole galaxy of them – parents, grandparents, teachers, and (with a head in books) a raft of literary and historic heroes. And my favourite saints. I don’t expect to emulate them, really, but at least looking upwards stops you looking downwards and is that the distinction between Giles’ older world and Harry’s new world?

Andrew Daws
AD
Andrew Daws
1 year ago

“God doesn’t really mean some big quasi-person from whom you receive instructions; it means something more like an understanding of things — universe, human existence — as seen from the widest possible angle.”
so no point in praying and going to church, then.

Andrew Daws
Andrew Daws
1 year ago

“God doesn’t really mean some big quasi-person from whom you receive instructions; it means something more like an understanding of things — universe, human existence — as seen from the widest possible angle.”
so no point in praying and going to church, then.

j watson
j watson
1 year ago

The whole saga has generated a plethora of Psychology/Therapy genre type journalism (as well as a lot of rubbish too of course). Whether that’s the sort this Author conveys where Giles admits Harry has stimulated some self-reflection, or the common nature of sibling tensions, parental relationships, the need of all of us to have ponder a ‘digital diet’ and even how soldiers handle guilt. Watch out for much more this weekend too as more get to actually read the book.
Regardless of what one thinks about Harry’s version of ‘his truth’, is a broader reflection and the discussion stimulated on some of these human dynamics entirely unhelpful? I suspect not although there are limits to self-absorption’s well-being benefits. Anecdote of course but I’ve already seen some fractured families and siblings reflecting they are not alone in much of this is and that can be of some solace.
So whether intended or not, and I think some was intended but not all, the more thoughtful may find something in this saga to take that is positive.

Alka Hughes-Hallett
Alka Hughes-Hallett
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

“The whole saga has generated a plethora of Psychology/Therapy genre type journalism (as well as a lot of rubbish too of course)”

Every journalist wants to put his/her two bit in on the subject of H&M warranting public’s emotional participation , kind of mob psychology. Leading them to anger or disappointment. It only goes to show what you are lacking in your own lives. How about – Live & let live.

As far as I can see- Harry is just saying and doing what many would do but we just won’t be noticed . If he’s making money, it’s because there is dirt in the beloved institution that needed exposing & we are soaking it up and at the same time berating him.

As the author says -There is something bigger than us out there, however in my understanding it also lies within us. I call it faith, love, tolerance & understanding.

Last edited 1 year ago by Alka Hughes-Hallett
Alka Hughes-Hallett
Alka Hughes-Hallett
1 year ago
Reply to  j watson

“The whole saga has generated a plethora of Psychology/Therapy genre type journalism (as well as a lot of rubbish too of course)”

Every journalist wants to put his/her two bit in on the subject of H&M warranting public’s emotional participation , kind of mob psychology. Leading them to anger or disappointment. It only goes to show what you are lacking in your own lives. How about – Live & let live.

As far as I can see- Harry is just saying and doing what many would do but we just won’t be noticed . If he’s making money, it’s because there is dirt in the beloved institution that needed exposing & we are soaking it up and at the same time berating him.

As the author says -There is something bigger than us out there, however in my understanding it also lies within us. I call it faith, love, tolerance & understanding.

Last edited 1 year ago by Alka Hughes-Hallett
j watson
j watson
1 year ago

The whole saga has generated a plethora of Psychology/Therapy genre type journalism (as well as a lot of rubbish too of course). Whether that’s the sort this Author conveys where Giles admits Harry has stimulated some self-reflection, or the common nature of sibling tensions, parental relationships, the need of all of us to have ponder a ‘digital diet’ and even how soldiers handle guilt. Watch out for much more this weekend too as more get to actually read the book.
Regardless of what one thinks about Harry’s version of ‘his truth’, is a broader reflection and the discussion stimulated on some of these human dynamics entirely unhelpful? I suspect not although there are limits to self-absorption’s well-being benefits. Anecdote of course but I’ve already seen some fractured families and siblings reflecting they are not alone in much of this is and that can be of some solace.
So whether intended or not, and I think some was intended but not all, the more thoughtful may find something in this saga to take that is positive.