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THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY

What are Harry and Megan trying to achieve? It is a conundrum. Their campaign against the rest of the Royal Family seems to be orchestrated: an interview about perceived racism, with Oprah Winfrey; the Netflix series; and now, Harry’s book Spare. Surely it can’t all be about money, though the couple are said to have been paid millions of dollars for it all. It all looks very carefully orchestrated. But by whom? And to what end?

History itself tells us that it is not easy being the younger brother of the heir to the throne. All the glory and the limelight, all the hopes and expectations, fall on your older brother. And what are you supposed to do with your life, except wait around, just in case! Harry has obviously suffered much, not only by being ‘the spare’, but through the failure of his parents’ marriage and his mother’s death. But, unlike Prince Edward for example, Harry has not found a role for himself, or a wife who understands the intricacies of being part of the British Royal Family.

Still, one has to ask, what is Harry trying to achieve with all these latest revelations about his relationships with Prince William the King, and Camilla? If one is seeking the reconciliation and the restoration of these relationships this is the very worst way of going about it.

The Lord’s Prayer teaches us, first, to seek forgiveness for our own sins, and then, to forgive those who have sinned against us. If reconciliation with the Royal Family is Harry and Megan’s aim, then the first step for them is to confess and apologise for their own sins, not to publicise and broadcast the supposed sins of other members of the Royal Family. The second step is then to forgive the others, and not to perpetuate the sense of resentment and animosity that they are expressing at the moment.

I believe that both the King and Prince William and their wives made positive efforts in the days after the death of the Queen to reconcile Harry and Megan to the rest of the Royal Family. The King made several gestures of love towards the couple, not least in the first speech that he gave to the nation. William and Kate invited the Sussexes to accompany them to inspect the flowers and greet the public on the Long Walk outside Windsor Castle. Surely this was the royal family reaching out to Harry and Megan to make a new start. But apparently in vain.


There are lessons here for us all. For, surely, we all experience broken or damaged relationship among our families and friends from time to time.

First, it does no good at all to go round gossiping about the bad things that other people have done to us. This can only antagonise the other parties and make reconciliation even more difficult. We may need to challenge those whom we believe have done us wrong, but face to face, in the hope that they will understand our hurts and grievances and apologise. At that point we must be prepared to forgive them and be reconciled. On the other hand, we must be prepared to acknowledge that we ourselves have been part of the problem and to ask for forgiveness from them. Direct personal conversations of this sort are the only way to make peace. Once there is forgiveness on both sides then discussion can take place in order to try to avoid such confrontations and quarrels in the future.

No-one pretends that such conversations are easy, or that in the end they will be successful. Just as it takes two to make a quarrel, so it takes two to make peace. But the first step is always to discuss what we think has gone wrong in our relationship, to seek forgiveness for our own part in it all, and then to try to amend our lives in order to avoid the need for such confrontations in the future.

We need to pray for both sides in this royal dispute, and an end to all these pointless and harmful accusations.

_____


Next week: child sacrifice!

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