Articles about the Royal family are rather more the preserve of the Daily Mail than the Guardian, but there's a genuinely fascinating article in the paper today, in which Patrick Barkham looks at the two young Princes and attempts a serious study of their respective characters and prospects. When I was younger I was a fervent anti-Royalist, to the extent that I affected to loathe them, using their privilege and position as excuses to wish them ill. I didn't feel the slightest sense of loss when Diana died.
I'm still not a royalist by any means - I'd go for a republic in a heartbeat; but I have to admit that I now reserve my loathing for the institution, rather than the people within it. I suspect they live sad, lonely lives to be honest, and probably do a reasonable (even good) job of coping with the duties along the way.
Barkham's article is fascinating and well worth a read. It ends thus:
"William is nice but I can't help hearing him ask, 'Do I have to do it?'" [Judy]
Wade [, a royal reporter of 30 years] says. "You're a prisoner, not just of
the palace but the Foreign Office - telling you where you can and can't go. You
walk round all day talking to awestruck people who can't string two sentences
together. It's a terrible life. That's why William and Harry don't want to do
it. They want to put it off for as long as possible."
What a strange life.