Prince Harry has hit most headlines this weekend. And rightly so. The Invictus Games have been an incredible achievement, and one which he has been at the heart of. Whilst when it comes to front pages photos the Duchess of Cambridge may be the papers’ Royal of choice, Harry is often referred to as the nation’s favourite Royal.
And why not? He has grown up in the public eye – in a time of media scrutiny which no other generation of heirs to the throne has known; in a world where every joke and jape can be caught on an iPhone, and distributed across the globe in minutes. And yet, despite his unique upbringing, and royal roots, he has remained the member of the Royal family with whom the public feel they have most in common. He jokes around, publicly calling his brother balding, and mocking his own ginger hair. He’s one of the lads – happily diving into any sport, and getting naked like any twenty-something on a lads’ holiday might. His time in the Army has seen him go to great lengths to do active service, so that he could properly experience the things he was trained for, and lead men with his head held high.
The older he’s got, the more he’s stepped out of his brother’s shadow. When I went to uni, I remember having a postcard of William tacked to the door of my room. ‘My future husband!’ read a PostIt stuck underneath. And then William lost his hair … and to some degree his looks … and suddenly his younger, ginger brother emerged the hunk.
It’s funny because as little girls, we’re all taught to search for a handsome prince. The idea of being a princess is a dream come true. And yet, I don’t know about you … but I think Harry’s least attractive feature is that he’s royal!
There’s no denying that he’s a great catch. Recently an entire TV spoof TV series was launched, because so many women would love to follow in Kate Middleton’s footsteps, and marry one of the ‘Wales’ brothers.
He’s well-mannered, polite, athletic, attractive, educated, and worldly. He’s wealthy (to say the least), but down to earth. And as the Invictus Games have proven, he’s dedicated, successful, and has an enormous heart.
All qualities I’m sure most of us would love in a future husband.
But for me, there’s an issue. And the issue is that he’s a Prince!
Yes, having seen him interacting with his cousin Zara, and her husband Mike Tindall at the Invictus wheelchair rugby the other day, I don’t doubt that he’s really down to Earth and lovely. I’m sure he’d treat any girlfriend or wife incredibly, and be a great husband. But look at the trappings which come with Harry’s Princess …
Kate Middleton grew up in a village a few minutes from where I consider ‘home’. In fact, she went to primary school in Pangbourne (where I lived before I moved to London). She’s a year and a half older than me, and went to pretty similar schools to the ones I went to.
And yet, nowadays our lives couldn’t be more different. Every night, I, can and do, jump online and speak freely about my opinions. I can walk to the shops in my pjs, and the only person who cares about it is me. I have tattoos on my wrists, because I liked them and I wanted them. I can use Facebook and Twitter as myself, and have whole weeks where I decide not to wear make-up, or to live in tracksuit bottoms.
When I get pregnant, I won’t have to tell the world that I’m pregnant, 4 weeks before my first official scan is due. People won’t speculate on the front page of newspapers that I’ve had a miscarriage, or create baby rumours because I’m having a fat day and chose to wear something a bit baggy for a change.
When I have a child, I’ll be able to leave the hospital looking like complete crap – as all new mothers do! I won’t need to bring in a hair stylist and make-up artist, and be greeted by the world’s media on the doorstep. I won’t have to be criticised by strangers for still having a baby bump 24 hours after I’ve given birth!
The media circus which has surrounded the announcement of Baby 2 is a perfect example of just how difficult it would be to be Harry’s wife. No, you wouldn’t be the mother of a future monarch, but that clearly wouldn’t stop any of the above.
I’ve never been great at having people tell me what to do. And I’m nothing if not honest about my opinions. I wouldn’t be able to keep a stiff British upper lip, and to simply smile and wave, and be diplomatic. If something upsets me, it shows in my face!
Which is why, whilst I love the Royal Family, and I think Prince Harry is incredible, I could never marry Harry. And why I have the utmost respect for Kate Middleton – because this isn’t a career she can one day step away from. She’s not an actress, who can just sack in her job, and go into hiding, or rehab for a few years. This is her life! When she said ‘Yes’ to marrying William, she was saying ‘Yes’ to one of the most surreal lifestyles going. A lifestyle which William and Harry were born into, but which she has actively married into.
Prince Harry is my pretty close to my ideal man. But I could never marry him. Sorry Harry – it’s genuinely not you … it’s me! 😉
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx