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Friday, April 19, 2024

Prince Harry causing controversy over coronavirus


On 12 June, Prince Harry spoke as President of the NGO African Parks. Affirming his ecological commitment, he also returned to the coronavirus pandemic. These remarks seem to disregard the duty of reserve of members of the royal family.

Prince Harry doesn’t censor himself. On 12 June, the Duke of Sussex expresses himself in a letter accompanying the annual report of the NGO African Parks, an organisation that manages African national parks and of which he is president. It is an opportunity for him to recall his commitment to the ecology which is dear to him.

A fight motivated by the birth of his son Archie: if he wants to fight, it is to “give our children the future they deserve,” he explains. But in his text, Meghan Markle’s husband also allows himself to comment on the covid-19 pandemic that is affecting the planet.

“We are living through a species extinction crisis and now a global pandemic that has shaken us and brought the planet to a standstill,” he writes. “On the species extinction crisis, science is clear that we have perhaps a decade to act before it is too late.

“On this pandemic, while much is uncertain, there is some evidence that the origin of this virus may be linked to our exploitation of nature.” An assumption that seems to run counter to the duty of reserve on political matters of members of the royal family. A few days before, his wife, Meghan Markle, was already being accused of the same thing. Far from the royal family, would the Sussex people assert a more committed voice?

Harry and Meghan: more political speeches?

On May 25, the former Suits actress reacted to the death of George Floyd, an African-American who died during a police stop. A strong but surprising gesture, far removed from the habits of the royal family, which is still quoted on the subject.

Some have even described this intervention as a real diplomatic accident. Dickie Arbiter, former press attaché to Elizabeth II, expressed his disapproval to the Newsweek newspaper. He said: “If Meghan and Harry had stayed in the United Kingdom as active members of the royal family, this speech would not have been possible”. A comment that seems to apply to the Duke of Sussex’s last words.

Now rid of their royal duties, would Meghan and Harry allow themselves more committed speeches? Possibly. At the time when they were still under the aegis of the crown, they were already being reproached for their not always diplomatically correct attitude.

By snubbing the American president during his visit to London, Meghan Markle had already made a great deal of noise. Especially since the former actress’s opposition to Donald Trump is well known to all. An attitude which, if it became commonplace, could well put Queen Elizabeth in a panic.

Photo credits : Backgrid USA / Bestimage

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