Brand Royal: Mother – Diana, Queen of Hearts; Son – Harry, Prince of Parties
He can still close down the 2012 Olympics in London in suit and tie and full princely decorum, give away his brother in full ceremonial military uniform, win the heart of Jamaica’s dissenting Prime Minister with an impromptu welcoming hug (she had vowed to drop links with the UK and establish the island nation a republic!), and represent his mother, the Queen of England, in her Diamond Jubilee year by partying across the Caribbean. The Firm (“We’re not a family, we’re a firm”, so said King George VI) knew what they were doing when they selected the young Prince for this particular tour of duty! Brand Harry is global and fairly indestructible at the moment.
Whether it’s naked in Vegas, where Lynx deodorants and Vegas casinos leapt to hitchike on to the back of the Playboy Prince; gameplaying in a helicopter in Afghanistan where the Taliban leapt at the opportunity to condemn what they see as his casual Playboy attitude to killing them; or when the British Army brass bristled at his attitude to his job (no officer, no gentleman this Playboy Prince) – the brand remains good.
The Playboy Prince hasn’t changed since he was a seriously boisterous teenager at all those polo parties – in those days protected by his more sober brother. But Big Bro Wills has other things to occupy his concerns – a pregnant wife who has had a bit of a difficult start to her pregnancy .
Harry’s on his own now.
So far OK. But history would suggest that Playboy Princes have a sell-by date. We forgive the Playboy Prince’s antics when he is young, but age tends to tarnish the image – witness the young Bertie, future King Edward VIII. A serial playboy who married divorcee Mrs Simpson, abdicated – and instantly lost the hearts and souls of the British public.
Time and Tide waits for no man – not even for Prince Harry I suspect.