While living in France, I was struck by how often the same item of news would appear, on the same day, in both British and French media. And not just international headlines but local news. For instance on one occasion I saw a report about the difficulty of renting apartments in Paris on both British and local French television.
Yesterday the UK news media were in a feeding frenzy about a young man named Harold Windsor (aka Saxe-Coberg or Wettin), who has just returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan – to a mixed press. Then, there he was on our local CBS Channel 19 six o’clock news, here in Texas. Can’t get away from him.
This blog has commented before on the behaviour of various members of the Windsor family (see here and here). What this current episode brings to mind is that all the interviews, pictures and videos are part of a global marketing campaign.
This news is about promoting a positive, robust, youthful image of the UK Royal Family. Pictures of Harry running to a helicopter, Harry with a gun, asking if Harry had killed anyone (apparently ‘yes’) – essential elements of an international sales campaign for a Royal Prince.
Of course, Harry was not there ‘just like the other lads’. Having served ten years in the Royal Marines, I can assure you that the ‘other lads’ are treated very differently from even the youngest officers, never mind the grand-son of the boss.
Which does raise the subject of whether Harry killed for personal gain. Unlike other members of the armed forces, it is ultimately his family that have declared war on Afghanistan. His family that is heavily invested in the arms industry and thus his family that will benefit financially from a successful war. Is killing under such circumstance legal?
At least we do not have to worry about Harry suffering from remorse or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Wettins are bred to feel remote from even their own kind, never mind brown-skinned foreigners a long way away.