Royal Shakeup: King Charles Takes Drastic Measures, Prince Harry Cut Off Completely

This is certainly a new twist to the UK royal story. The heading above was reinforced by the accompanying graphic showing the King and Princes Harry and Andrew with somewhat pixellated black text “FINAL THE END FOR HARRY!” on a glaring yellow background.

The Execution of Prince Harry, 2023, after The Execution of Lady Jane Grey by Paul Delaroche, 1833.

I read on, intrigued, only to be progressively perplexed and disappointed, as the “astonishing turn of events” of “the controversial decision” for “ultimate blow to Prince Harry” (simultaneously involving “the unexpected bestowment of a significant privilege upon Prince Andrew” turned out to not hard news but merely “reported by daily [sic] Express from “sources within Buckingham Palace”.

We do not even find out what this “ultimate blow” is, as “details of the privileges revoked are yet to be fully disclosed,” but “insiders suggest they include ceremonial roles”, which as far as I can recall were revoked months ago, though it is now an “unprecedented move”. Simultaneously “reports indicate that King Charles has bestowed upon Prince Andrew a privilege previously held by Prince Harry,” though what this is remains another mystery. Any guesses? Marriage to Meghan Markle perhaps?

All of this gobbledygook is credited to feednews.com, which supplies frequent stories to the Opera browser news feed. The text is full of nothingnesses, such as “public reactions to the news have been mixed with some expressing support for King Charles’s decisive action, while others criticize the move”. That is what journalists write when they don’t know what they’re talking about, which in this case is axiomatic, as the “decisive action” has already been reported in the same story as “undisclosed”, which makes a nonsense of the statement there has been any reaction at all.

The level of argument might be expected from an average thirteen-year-old’s current affairs essay (I might be doing teenagers a disservice) and it makes The Sun newspaper look like a PhD thesis. It reads like the smooth non-sequiturs happily trotted out at length by AI (which in case you’ve missed it is Artificial Intelligence, a computer program purportedly reproducing human thought patterns, and actually succeeding in doing so for a drunk human).

Another stunning click-bait headline from feednews.com tells us “Buckingham Palace Shaken as Prime Minister Delivers Brutal Rebuke to King Charles”, an “unprecedented moment”, that “has sent shockwaves through the political landscape.” “Reports by Express” are in action again, though which Express is not specific. It is content that even the Slough Express (“Mum unhappy after discovery of large bone in fish”) would be ashamed of.

The anonymized Express details an “undisclosed Prime Minister” making the “sharp and biting comment”. There have so far been 19 prime ministers during the reign of King Charles III, mostly from Commonwealth countries such as Canada and the Solomon Islands, but as the article specifies “the highest echelons of power in the United Kingdom”, that narrows it down to Liz Truss, who had 45 days in office to deliver a “brutal slap down” and Rishi Sunak.

Presumably, the details of the altercation will clarify who is the protagonist, but both the royal household and the Prime Minister’s office have cited “the confidentiality of discussions”, disclosing nothing about this “verbal altercation” which had nevertheless “triggered fervent discussions and speculation among political analysts and royal observations”. It is a fervor that has so far eluded my attempts to find it elsewhere in the media.

The best I have been able to come up with is a YouTube clip from the Netflix series The Crown, where a prime minister is indeed shown berating a monarch by declaring it is the elected official who runs the country not the hereditary monarch, but the politician in question is Margaret Thatcher and the monarch is Queen Elizabeth II.

You will by now not be surprised to learn that the feednews.com story titled “What Charles and Kate Really Said About Archie’s Skin Color” does not tell us what they really said about Archie’s skin color, and that the story “Prince Harry’s chilling one-word thought when he saw Kate and William get married” fails to inform us what the word is.

“‘Cruel and Unfair’: Harry Loses His Title as King Charles Shows No Mercy” goes on to tell us about a new proposal by an MP Bo Seely to strip Harry’s title in a parliamentary process (Titles Deprivation 1917 Act Amendment Bill) that will probably get nowhere and does not involve King Charles anyway, merciless or otherwise.

I can’t refrain from pointing out the irony of critics supposedly arguing that the mooted legislation drawing “historical inspiration from laws enacted during the First World War” is “anachronistic” when the monarchy is 1200 years old.

Newsfeed.com tells it like it isn’t.

While feednews.com leads us into fantasy land with its own version of reality, the rest of the media is in blatant contradiction with, for example, the Daily Mail headline stating “King Charles will never strip Harry and Meghan of their royal titles despite calls to do so as he would not want to ‘humiliate’ the Sussexes, sources say”.

Surely Opera can come up with a better basis for their news stories. How about giving the Slough Express a go?

Notes.

Collage images cropped from Wikimedia. Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex: CCA2.0 Generic, Northern Ireland Office. Queen Camilla: CCA4.0 International, Mark Tantrum, New Zealand government. King Charles III, PD, US federal government.