HARRY’S UNCLE TAKES A STAND! Charles and William Face Awkward Reality as Spencers Publicly Embrace Harry, Exposing Cracks in Royal Family’s United Front

Earl Spencer, Prince Harry,King Charles and Prince William

 

Just when it looked like the Sussexes didn’t have a friend in London, just when it seemed as if Prince Harry would be shunned by his entire extended family every time he came to the UK — a one-man pestilence to be avoided like a contagion, sidestepped like a puddle, dodged like a bullet — something remarkable happened. Enter the Spencers.

 

King Charles and Prince William

The late Princess of Wales’ younger brother Earl Spencer, elder sister Lady Jane Fellowes and other sundry family members rocked up to support Prince Harry at his Invictus Games anniversary service in St Paul’s on Wednesday.

Ruddy of face, snowy of hair and thick of calf, the elder Spencers entered the cathedral like a shire farmer and his clan visiting a county fair to give the sugar beets a good old squeeze.

And Prince Harry could not have been more delighted to see them. Inside the great cathedral, in almost biblical scenes of redemption, he hugged the Spencers, he kissed them, he fell upon their necks like the return of the prodigal son.

Earl Spencer and Prince Harry

Indeed, we haven’t seen Harry looking so happy in public since he trundled down the waterslide at Thorpe Park, all those years ago. Yet underneath the bucolic bonhomie and the cheerful smiles, a thunder of advancing hooves could be detected, if you listened hard enough. For the Spencers were a cavalry galloping to the rescue.
And do you know what? I’m so very glad they were there for him. It’s too sad to think of Harry flying over here, fretfully offsetting his carbon footprint, clutching his little box of medals, thrumming his fingers on his temples, his anxiety levels rising as the dog-bowl threat and the road less travelled rise up to meet him yet again.

The Spencer support is perhaps the least we should expect from loving relatives in a complicated family situation. Like delivering balloons and gifts on birthdays or cheering on the dud nephew making a pig’s ear of playing a sheep in a nativity play; this is what uncles are there for, this is the code of the auntie road.

One wonders what King Charles and Prince William might think about this high-profile intervention, which has the potential to cast them in a cold and unflattering light by comparison; the perennial bad cops to the Spencerian good cops.

Yet who is snubbing who in these endless, exhausting skirmishes of transatlantic royal snubs and non-speaks? The truth is that if his father and his brother won’t see him nor support his pet causes when he visits London, then Prince Harry has only himself to blame. Who could ever trust him again?

That is one reason why I don’t see the Spencers as heroes here, but equally, neither as a unit who want to pick a side or a fight. After all, being there for Harry is no sacrifice for them.

The Spencers don’t have to forgive the Sussexes or accommodate their peeved intransigence or just seethe and suck it up. For Prince Harry has no beef with his Uncle Charles, nor has he ever hoisted his sauceboat of hot sulk to pour the usual grievance gravy over lovely Aunt Jane.

He hasn’t accused either of them, or anyone in their immediate family, of being racists, bullies, sneaks, liars and downright stinking rotters. He hasn’t trashed them or betrayed them in books, podcasts or on television interviews watched by millions around the world. He hasn’t caused reputational damage to their family, like he has elsewhere, ahem.

He even thanked Earl Spencer and Lady Jane in the acknowledgments section of his autobiography, Spare — an honour accorded to absolutely no one in his inner blood circle.

So their support was nice, and so was the small, cheering crowd of blimps who turned up for him, too. Not everyone hates Prince Harry for smearing his family — and by extension the entire country — as a racist backwater full of repressive thickos unable to see the bigger picture or wake up and smell the roses, like him and his sainted wife.

Speaking of which, such a shame that the Duchess of Sussex was not at Harry’s side this week, patting him like a puppy as per, holding his hand, sharing in the dim glow of this rare show of public popularity.

Certainly, it is not like Meghan to miss a full on, super-swank opportunity like this; she’s usually all over Invictus ceremonies like a regimental mascot on parade. It brings out her inner drum majorette, it gives her a sham regal sheen — so why the unexplained absence?

Spencers or no Spencers, the Duchess hasn’t got a proper excuse for avoiding the UK this week and the truth is that she doesn’t even need one any more. The cavalry has been and gone, the dust has settled and we all know where we stand.