Two hours. Two whole hours? Why on earth would anyone bother taking two hours out of their lives to watch two irrelevant Royals whinge about how mean everyone is to them and how hard their pampered, cosseted lives are?
I suppose we’re in the middle of a never-ending lockdown, and no-one’s made a new movie since Old God’s Time but I’d still rather watch paint dry.
RTÉ have paid good money – not their own of course, but rather ours, yours and mine, us long-suffering taxpayers – to get the rights to this Most Important Interview of All Time. It won’t cure cancer or help with Covid-19 but it’s great gossip fodder and what’s a better use of public funding than that?
Not that you can escape this escalating, increasingly vicious family feud. It’s all over our social media feeds, and on the front of most of the papers. This afternoon I sat in the waiting room of my local GP and it was headline news on whatever station I was forced to listen to. On and on the ‘news’ item went, about the suffering and anguish of Meghan and Harry and the vileness of the Royal Family.
There were, apparently, remarks made about Baby Archie’s skin tone. We’re not told exactly what was said, or even who said it, but despite the lack of detail to back up the assertion or tell what context it was made in, Harry and Meghan have done a pretty good job of painting their own family as lousy racists.
Through their buddy Oprah, they later clarified that it wasn’t the Queen who was a horrible bigot or Prince Philip, leaving everyone else implicated as a possible suspect. Well played.
Racism and suicidality are deadly serious issues, and no-one ever wants an expectant mum to feel she can’t get the help she needs in pregnancy. But there’s something very contrived about how this information has been made public. Most families don’t use the media – the same media they profess has made their lives a misery – to air their family grievances.
The House of Windsor, or so I’m told, is fighting back, with unnamed sources saying that Meghan is an awful bully who reduced staff to tears. Who knows what really happened, and why should anyone, outside those actually involved, really be party to it?
To be honest, I couldn’t care less about the in-fighting in the British Royal family, an archaic institution which should have been abolished long ago. But the British seem to be fond of their Queen, even if they find Charles a bit odd, and Kate Middleton also seems to have won the public’s affections by being fairly normal and relatable.
That might be part of the problem of course – Kate’s popularity against the perception that Meghan is demanding and not inclined to put duty before her own needs and desires.
Meanwhile, homeless people are dying on our streets and suicide rates are going through the roof. But RTÉ are paying good money to have us listen to this never-ending family row.
Most of the bad behaviour of the royals isn’t wild or intriguing anyway, it’s either nasty and self-serving like cheating on your spouse or shouting at the staff, or vile and revolting like pretty much all of Prince Andrew’s adult life. This is of endless interest to the papers and the paparazzi – and, also so the media insist, to the punters who are buying newspapers or watching telly.
I’m not so sure. It’s a self-serving prophecy isn’t it? The media endlessly talks up the interview, people tune in, and then the media continues to serve up more of the same. I couldn’t think of a hundred better subjects to spend our money on.