A spectacular own goal from the Mandelas of Montecito

A spectacular own goal from the Mandelas of Montecito. By Jacquelin Magnay.

Who else had a laugh this week when the comedy duo Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrived at the UN in New York City for what should have been a moving speech, heavy with gravitas, reflect­ing on the peace and freedom ideals promoted by Nelson Mandela?

Harry, after all, had escaped the gilded cage of British royalty, the lavish taxpayer-funded renovations of Frogmore House (which he has now repaid), a legion of doting fans on an Australian tour, to lead the quiet life across the Atlantic in a nine-bedroom $20m pad in Montecito, California, in tow with his attention-seeking wife.

And who on earth thought Harry, a person who inherited a royal title (and hasn’t given it up), would be the best positioned to lecture everyone on democracy delivered in a series of cliches to a country that firmly rejected the monarchy back in 1776?

Walking past protesters, one of whom held up a sign “Why are they here?’’, Harry was to honour Mandela, South Africa’s first black leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient who died in 2013, at a near-empty plenary session of the UN.

Offering no solutions but harking on about the failures of the world including climate change, Harry channelled Meghan’s well-known views on the US Supreme Court’s Roe v Wade ruling and distastefully linked it with the Russian war in Ukraine as being a global assault on democracy and freedom. …

Mandela’s grandson Ndaba Mandela was asked by Piers Morgan on TalkTV news if the Sussexes were facing similar struggles to that faced by his grandfather.

“Of course not!’’ he responded. “There are no parallels at all, Piers. Because you’ll see one is obviously fighting for the dignity of black people against a vicious tyrant like apartheid, as opposed to one finding their identity outside of a staid institution.”

That identity for Harry, and also 40-year-old Meghan, who even flew to Uvalde, Texas, by private jet on May 26 to put herself front and centre of national grief to honour 19 children and two teachers slaughtered at the Robb Elementary School, is about producing “moments’’ for Netflix, which paid them around $US100m ($145m).

The streaming giant reportedly was irked by the careful manoeuvres of the palace that prevented the couple being photographed anywhere near the Queen during last month’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. …

Oh the stories:

In the drip-feed of publicity about the book in Britain, contacts regaled me with anecdotes about their own brushes with Meghan. …

Another recalled how in the months before Meghan was preparing to marry Harry she had an in-depth discussion with royal aides about what her “appearance fee” should be for when she carried out royal duties.

“She couldn’t understand that being a royal involved long selfless days of charity work and attending openings, and she was wanting to be paid to turn up,” a royal insider told me. “She believed she was now an international celebrity, and didn’t understand that it was different to being a royal, and she believed she should get financially compensated.” …

One more:

When Harry first started dating Meghan, he introduced her to his Eton school friends at a weekend at Sandringham. Bower writes how Harry’s friends were reprimanded for making the slightest inappropriate comment.

Bower writes: “She lacked any sense of humour. Driving home after Sunday lunch, the texts pinged between the cars: “OMG, what about HER?” said one. ‘Harry must be f..king nuts’.”

Read it all.