A Royal Mess
Harry wants to reconcile with his family, that’s what he says.
And yet he just released a tell-all autobiography full of explosive secrets about life inside the royal family. Prince Harry signed a multi-book deal with Penguin Random House believed to be worth around 40 million dollars. It comes on top of Harry and Megan’s six-part documentary series in a reported 100-million-dollar deal with Netflix. These eye-watering deals in exchange for airing the royal family’s dirty laundry have eroded public sympathy for the Sussex’s.
It was only back in 2018 when a YouGov poll found that Prince Harry was the United Kingdom’s most popular royal, even eclipsing the ever-popular Queen Elizabeth II. Now in the wake of the release of Harry’s autobiography ‘Spare’, his popularity has taken a nose-dive. As far as sensational tell-all’s go, Spare appears to have everything; sex scenes, drug use, fights with his brother, killing members of the Taliban, his experiences of his mother’s death, and his distrust of Camilla, it’s no surprise his book is setting all manner of sales records. These juicy stories will feed the tabloid press that Harry claims to hate so much.
Is he for real?
When Harry says he wants to reconcile with his family while simultaneously pocketing millions for trashing their reputations. Should we believe him? Many will find his reconciliation statements to be completely at odds with his damaging actions. Whilst I agree his actions make reconciliation less likely, I believe him when he says he wants to reconcile.
Harry is hurting.
How could someone want reconciliation and release a damaging tell-all? Very easily, Harry is hurting. He lost his mother in tragic and unjust circumstances, he is estranged from his family and his homeland. He believes his family and the press have unfairly misrepresented him and Meghan out of self-interest. He finds himself being loved by some and loathed by many. Harry is hurting and people say and do all kinds of destructively stupid things when they are hurt. This doesn’t make Harry an innocent victim or absolve him of any responsibility for the breakdown of royal relationships. His explosive tell-all appears to be Harry’s way of setting the record straight and letting the world know in his own words about the hurt he feels.
If Harry genuinely desires reconciliation what are the odds of achieving it? Not high but not so far-fetched to consider it impossible. Harry claims to have tried to reconcile privately and found an unwillingness on the part of his family. One party alone can’t achieve reconciliation no matter how strongly they may desire it. Ultimately if reconciliation is something both parties want, they’ll find a way to make it happen.
The starting point for reconciliation is connection. At present, Harry is disconnected from his family, talking about them in TV interviews rather them talking to them personally. If the royals can find a way to start talking again, just maybe they will remember the positives about their relationships and not simply the negatives. It can be hard to restart a connection that’s been broken, often pride about how right we think we were and how wrong we feel others were clouds our judgement and prevents us from reaching out and reconnecting.
In lieu of being able to reconcile with his family, the next best thing he can do is to focus on the journey of forgiveness. Jesus knows what it’s like to suffer unjustly. Harry’s family is the head of the Church of England and would have recited the Apostles Creed countless times, part of which reads:
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
Jesus knows all about the hurt and injustice that Harry is feeling. Jesus took injustice upon himself when he died for the sins of humanity. It was humanity itself that found itself disconnected from God and Christ’s suffering on our behalf was the very act that opened the doorway for humanity to be reconciled to God. Harry’s earthly family appears to have slammed the door shut but Jesus is knocking and inviting Harry into relationship and an even greater royal family.
More than a book deal.
Harry can’t control his family, he can’t make them talk to him, he can’t make them be sorry and he can’t undo all the past injustices he feels have occurred. What he can do is reflect on the faith he was raised in which teaches that his true identity is not as an English Prince or a spare heir or tabloid headline but rather as a loved child of God. The deeper his revelation of his true Christian identity the more he will be able to experience personal healing. With his identity grounded in God’s unchanging love and forgiveness, he’ll find the strength to forgive others. Reconciliation with the English royals looks a long way off but reconciliation with the heavenly king is available today and that’s worth far more than any book deal.