Growing up in the shadow of a future monarch must be hard. Firstly, while raised as a prince/princess, it is a job that you may never fully fulfil. The chances of one day being sovereign are very slim and society expects you to find a career path to match their expectations of you.
You are expected to act with the same level of dignity as your elder sibling, but with none of the same responsibilities. Prince William was prepped from the beginning to one day become King, he would be invited for tea with his grandmother while his younger brother, Prince Harry was left to twiddle his thumbs. No child ever wants to feel left out.
Harry’s uncles were also once in this position, although there was a larger age gap between them and Prince Charles, they too were once considered the “spare”. Unlike Harry, they did not grow through this phase with the same social media outlets that exist today. Queen Elizabeth’s youngest son, Prince Edward has a relatively unscathed reputation. Sure he failed with a career in the Royal Marines and his production company Ardent Productions, but if you ask most people today, no one will bring up these points.
Prince Andrew, the second youngest of the Queen, can’t say the same with his fair share of controversies. His past comments on corruption and Kazakhstan, his failed marriage, and the connection with Jeffery Epstein which keeps coming back to haunt him keep Andrew in the headlines, but outside the UK few really care. As a Canadian, I can guarantee that if I walked outside my door right now and asked anyone about these points, 90% would have no clue what I am talking about.
This is all, unlike our dear Prince Harry. I fear that he may never get the peace away from the spotlight he looks for. Harry has risen to fame in the land of instant news that spreads across the world in a blink of an eye. The new generation entertains itself on shows like TMZ (for those who have never seen it, it basically involves celebs being asked random questions by a paparazzi member). It is TMZ who first released the infamous Las Vegas photos of Harry in 2012 after he had been working to rid himself of the playboy title he gained in his twenties and media outlets like this who will continue to search for stories on the prince (true or not) to report on will just keep coming.
While other heirs to the throne still make headlines, few turn their heads, but Harry is a worldwide sex symbol and everyone wants to know what he is up to. Technology isn’t going anywhere and the future of the monarchy will rely on their relationship with social media, a situation they are coming to realise. The monarchy needs the media to keep up support and as long as Harry is a senior member he will have to put up with the good and the bad headlines.
Yet there is a positive to all the attention the currently 5th in-line to the throne gets. Harry has found his passion, much like his mother Diana, Princess of Wales. Harry excels in helping those less fortunate. With his star power, he can bring attention to his causes like Sentebale and Wounded Warriors and for that reason alone, I don’t think Harry would ever want to fully disappear. Yes, I am positive he wants more privacy but he relies on the media to raise the profile of such causes. It is in helping others, Harry ultimately will help himself through self-gratification and satisfaction in the path he has made for himself as it is pretty obvious that the media will never just let him be.