Voices: The Windsors? More like The Jeremy Kyle Show

Who’d have thought The Windsors would become an aristocratic version of The Jeremy Kyle Show?

Well, anyone, to be honest; the crown’s been slipping for years already. Long before Harry started snitching on his big brother, the royal family’s public exposés, scandals, betrayals, disclosures and petty humiliations have turned the conditions that created the late Queen’s infamous “annus horrriblis” of 1992 into business as usual.

After all, there’s only so much they can blame on Haz. Ranging from the Carry On sauciness of Fergie’s tabloid tickling toe-job in the early nineties to the truly tawdry Andrew and his sordid friendship with the notorious paedophile Jeffrey Epstein more recently, the royal family have racked up decades of muck without any help from Harry. The royal linen may be luxurious, but it’s caked in filth, and it’s been hanging out for all to see for years already – we’ve just grown used to the sight.

Harry’s really gone and done it this time.

In advance of the release of his highly anticipated – and highly publicised memoir – “Spare”, Harry recounts an incident between the brothers at Harry’s then home in London in 2019. Harry recalls William calling Meghan names until the row escalated to William getting physical. Harry writes, “William grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and … knocked me to the floor. I landed on the dog’s bowl, which cracked under my back, the pieces cutting into me. I lay there for a moment, dazed, then got to my feet and told him to get out.” In a move reminiscent of my own indignant post-sibling scrap reports to my mum, in Harry’s recollection, he is, of course, blameless. The artist formerly known as (a) prince claims that William wanted him to hit back, but Harry says he refused, before William left and then returned “looking regretful, and apologised”

So, Harry says that his brother knocked him over and broke a dog bowl. My first question is, what was the dog bowl made of? Royal Doulton? Next, it’s the mundanity of the incident that’s so shocking – aren’t the royals, especially the heir to the throne, supposed to be beyond this? Isn’t their breeding supposed to put them beyond reproach?

The reality is that the monarchy is considered socially superior simply because we allow it to be. The public accepts our role as inferior subjects because we buy in to the inherent supremacy of the royals – that birthright is enough to make some people matter more than others.

Knowing that there’s nothing special about The Windsors makes the narrative that allows us to keep believing in the myth of royalty that bit more difficult to swallow – so much so that, soon enough, we might be choking on the scale of the absurdity… that is, if many of us aren’t already.

When you think about it, in context of the scale and nature of royal scandals over the years, it’s astonishing that Harry’s latest “bombshell” is even making waves. I mean, what’s he really said? He had a bit of a scrap with his brother in the kitchen once. Bloody hell, if that’s news then wait until the press get to hear about the time my brother tried to master a World Wrestling Federation move by attempting to garrot me with the washing-line. My mum was appalled; it had taken her ages to peg the clothes out.

Why is this such explosive news when set alongside the other royal scandals? Surely, for example, it should pale in comparison to what we now know about Andrew and Epstein – why are we more exercised by Harry’s recollection than we are by the continuing scandal of Andrew’s protected privilege? Could it be because Harry’s showing us that the royals are just diamond-dusted versions of ourselves?

The defenders of the faith aren’t morally superior humans; they’re flawed people and it’s the banality of Harry’s story that’s truly shocking.

You see, Harry’s real infraction isn’t that he’s betrayed the characteristic secrecy and stoicism of the royal family, and it certainly isn’t that he’s bringing them into disrepute – they’d already smashed that job – no, his real crime against his family is that he’s shown them up to be… well, horrifyingly ordinary.

Harry’s “explosive allegations” pull back the wizard’s curtain to show us some distinctly average humans, who, when stripped of the titles, pomp, ceremony and dodgy diamonds, are just like the rest of us.

The silent stoicism of the Queen and the “don’t complain, don’t explain” tradition she employed during her reign did a fine job of maintaining the veneer that the royal family is somehow exceptional.

By allowing us a glimpse behind the scenes, Harry’s showing us that no amount of military uniforms and medals, pomp and ceremony, wealth and privilege can disguise the flawed humans behind the royal facade.

The emperor, Harry’s telling us, isn’t wearing any clothes. “Explosive allegation”? Nah, he isn’t saying anything we don’t already know – we just might not want to hear it.