Extraordinary to ordinary: Harry pays a royal price - GulfToday

Extraordinary to ordinary: Harry pays a royal price

Extraordinary to ordinary: Harry pays a royal price

Prince Harry

When extraordinary people opt for an “ordinary” life, they sometimes end up paying a royal price.

That sort of sums up the “Megxit” crisis, which began on Jan.8 when Prince Harry and his wife Meghan announced plans to seek a “progressive new role” in North America — without having finalised the plans with Queen Elizabeth.

When the Duke of Sussex decided to take “a leap of faith” in stepping back as a senior royal, the idea was perceptibly to cut the palace’s purse strings and lead a normal life, staying away from media glare.

But questions remain whether that’s easy as it sounds.

Ordinary lives come with their own baggage, thorny paths and uncertainty.

Besides, financial issues are a challenge for common people and despite their celebrity status, Harry and Meghan may not be devoid of this factor.

Buckingham Palace and the Queen have made it clear that the couple  would no longer be working members of the royal family.

Under the terms of the deal, Harry and Meghan will no longer receive public funds and they won’t use their “royal highness” titles once they stop performing royal duties — although they will formally retain them.

They will no longer represent the Queen, and Harry must relinquish his honorary military appointments, including his role as Captain General of the Royal Marines.

In their new life, the couple will no longer receive public money and will repay the cost of refurbishing their British home in Windsor, which official figures show amounted to 2.4 million pounds ($3 million).

The conditions of the deal evidently represent a starker break with the monarchy than the couple had envisioned, with Harry openly speaking of his sadness at being forced to give up his royal duties, though as he himself put it,  “there was no other option but to seek an independent future.”

Harry has also made it clear that the press is a major reason for the decision to step back from royal life.

In a personal speech that referenced his mother, Princess Diana, who died in a car accident in 1997 while being pursued by paparazzi, he said he had no other option but to step away.

He has accused the media of directing a wave of abuse and harassment at the biracial Meghan, including “racial undertones” in articles. Both he and Meghan filed lawsuits last year against press outlets over alleged intrusion into their private lives.

Harry even gave an interview drawing parallels between the treatment of his wife and the media frenzy that contributed to the death of his mother.

The question whether the couple would be able to avoid the media altogether remains a million-dollar question.

In fact, Harry spending the first full day of his new life in Canada on Tuesday after jetting in from Britain to join his wife already turned out to be a hot topic for the media.

Added to all the above are the security concerns for the couple that need to be addressed.

Local reports indicate that Harry and Meghan are looking to buy a beachside house in Vancouver, or possibly in Toronto, where US former television actress Meghan spent several years while acting in the legal drama series “Suits”.

A new chapter has begun for the family. All that the couple seeks  is a balanced and peaceful life. They deserve all the support in their pursuit of happiness.

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