Harry, the interview


12 January update
Read this too: https://edition.cnn.com/2023/01/12/opinions/spare-prince-harry-review-masculinity-culture-wars-staples/index.html

I think Harry is doing the right thing and I think that what he is doing will have a much broader impact than he imagines (because he moves in a small segment of society, I figured, but later in the interview, I realized that he does see that broader context very well).

He is right. Some things really need to change, how paparazzi behave being one of them. I sometimes see left-wing media do the same things that the tabloids do, twist things totally out of proportion and turn them into horror stories that get picked up abroad but that never really happened (not the way they were presented in those media). There’s too much mud-slinging and ethics are often absent.

He’s also on a healing journey. He is going through what some people go through after a horrendously bad relationship after they finally break away. He is owning his truth, his life. He’s choosing a life of his own.

I am one of the many many people who still remember what they were doing when his mother died. I was meeting a half-French friend of mine, in Amstelveen. I took the bus. I may have been late because of the news. I think so. (I think I called her before I left. Those were the days before mobile phones.) Together, we watched French TV. I don’t think we did much else than that that day, besides eat.

I too, until now, had always thought that the tunnel was a long one, like under the Meuse River or under the IJ.

I also still remember when my mother died. I was 14. Harry was 12 when his died. Mine had been ill for years. Harry’s perished because of a car crash.

Dads never know what to say, Harry. Mine woke me up, asked how I had slept and then said that my mother was asleep too (had fallen asleep?), something along those lines. I remember thinking “okay, that’s alright, then”, something like that. Next, my dad said that she was not merely asleep. “Oh.” I thought. “Oh.”

I went to school, stopped by at the office of the head of the school or whatever the guy’s role was, because I had been told to do so, and told him very calmly in a matter-of-fact tone: “ik kom u even vertellen dat mijn moeder vannacht is overleden”, sort of similar to how you and your brother felt when you had to shake all those people’s hands, I suppose.

(I think the guy was a little shocked because of my calm tone.)

(As if throwing a teary-eyed tantrum would have brought her back. Besides, she had been in a lot of pain and now all that pain was gone.)

One girl in my class asked me “maar vind je het dan niet erg dat je moeder is overleden?” and I thought to myself “how can you ask such a stupid question?”. (Did she ask that because I wasn’t crying non-stop?) My mother had been ill for years, seriously ill, but even then, it takes you a while to absorb it. That she’s really gone. It’s still sudden. The idea that someone close to you suddenly no longer exists is really odd when you’re still young. People have no idea. One of my mother’s sisters, my aunt, had passed away pretty suddenly shortly earlier. But she wasn’t part of our household. That’s different.

I didn’t go see her after she had died. At the funeral home. My sisters did. They were younger. I wanted to remember my mother the way she had been when she was still alive (and not ill). My sisters didn’t have the luxury of my memories.

But Harry needs to move on now, for his own sake. I think he knows that.

There are lots of people with the same (similar) story and there are lots of people who, like the paparazzi, just don’t get it. That’s life.

Maybe he can help change some things in society. Because of the impact he has, as a British prince.

I hope so.

Do English people see standing up for yourself (and others) as “complaining”? And is that seen as “weak” and “feminine”? Oh. (That’s possibly a whopper of an eye opener for me.)

But… English men tend to complain all day long! One calls it whingeing.

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