News coming out of Buckingham palace today suggests that there is an uncomfortable atmosphere amongst the royal family after an announcement by Prince Harry of his engagement and wedding plans was met with almost total indifference.
Having recently proposed during a trip to Las Vegas, Harry told his family of his plans to marry long term on-off girlfriend Chelsy Davy over dinner at the weekend and is understood to be upset over their reaction.
Former royal correspondent Jennie Bond tells how the royals are much like any other family. “They may live lifestyles that the average person would struggle to imagine and have lavish homes up and down the country, but in many ways they are just like you and I. They have the same rivalries, jealousies and infighting as thousands of other families. And they get together to eat Sunday dinner together whenever they can, the Queen makes a mean roast and her cauliflower cheese is simply divine.”
It was over one of the queen’s famed Sunday roasts that Harry announced his wedding plans. When he eagerly told his family that he had set a date in mid-October, because he thought the public would appreciate another bank holiday around that time, an awkward silence ensued. While Harry sat waiting for the anticipated congratulations and excitement everybody suddenly became very interested in their plates. Luckily Prince Phillip, who hadn’t been paying attention, broke the silence with a casually racist remark about the current troubles in the Ivory Coast, but the damage to Harry’s feelings had already been done.
"The news that Wills is getting married gets a load of media attention, a bank holiday and shed loads of complete and utter tat produced with his face on it. What do I get? Ignored, that's what."
This is not the first time that Harry has been left feeling like his brother William is the family’s favourite. The most famous incident of Harry feeling that he was firmly regarded as second best came with William already studying art history at St Andrews. Harry was looking at several potential universities to continue his studies, only to be told by Prince Charles that he couldn’t afford for both of them to go to university and that Harry would have to join the army instead.
In fact, the rivalry and jealousy is believed to date back as far as 1994 when the then 12 year old Prince William got a “really cool trainset” for Christmas, while a 10 year old Harry was simply given a bottle of brown hair dye.