Friday, January 27, 2023
Jan. 27, 2023

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Estrich: I’m glad I’m not related to Harry


Thanks, Harry.

I’m not a fan of the privileged prince, to say the least, but with his latest book, I feel like we all owe a debt of gratitude to the spoiled prince.

After all, most of us come from less-than-perfect families, like the prince. The difference is that we deal with it privately, quietly, hopefully in a way that allows us to work through our differences.

Not Harry.

Harry writes a bestselling memoir hanging out all his dirty laundry in public.

Why am I grateful?

Simple. I’m grateful that Harry is somebody else’s brother, son and husband, not mine. I’m grateful that he’s willing to do what no one in my family would do, which is to heap public humiliation on the people he supposedly cherishes most.

Harry has surely had his share of sadness, beginning with the tragic loss of his mother. I mean no disrespect. But writing a book that trashes his family is no tribute to his mother’s memory.

Nor is it really an answer to say that his relationships with his brother and father are so bad that they couldn’t get worse. These things can always get worse, and this book will surely do that.

The explanation for the book seems painfully simple. Money.

Prince Harry and his wife have figured out how to monetize their identities, whether in a Netflix series or in a memoir or in Hollywood voiceovers. No one begrudges them their right to earn a living, but at what cost?

Even princes can’t have it both ways. Having decided to hang his dirty laundry in public, he can’t hide behind his royalty and claim princely privilege. Seriously, did he and his wife really think that the royal family and the media wouldn’t wonder about the color of their child’s skin? Were they shocked — shocked — to discover that the monarchy didn’t understand the niceties of unconscious bias, a concept that Harry himself acknowledges that he didn’t understand.

Why is he holding his family to a standard that he himself could not meet? Why was his reaction to attack and destroy rather than to educate and improve? Exactly who does he think he is?

And the idea that Hollywood is somehow the ideal alternative? The nonracist panacea? Who is kidding whom? Hollywood is the answer to the racist royals? Not in this lifetime.

This is the same industry that has spent the last two years in intense self-criticism for its lack of diversity, a problem it has yet to begin to solve. Racism is not the exclusive preserve of the monarchy. Moving to California, relocating to Hollywood, hardly means escaping racism.

At the end of the day, the “spare” will sell a lot of books.

It won’t change the monarchy. It can only hurt the family.

Is there a positive good that will come from this book? I can’t say, because I have only read the news clips. But my guess is that the takeaway from this book will be measured not in changed views of the monarchy, or of Harry and Meghan, but only in the bank account balances of the Sussexes, which is the bottom line.

Shame on them.