Being a king or queen is a tough job, and it seems the only one prepared to tackle those royal duties is the current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. That is, if we’re to believe what Prince Harry said in his latest interview. And considering how open and honest he is about everything else in his life (with the exception of girlfriend Meghan Markle, about whom he remains closed-lipped), guess we have to take Harry’s word for it.
“We are involved in modernising the British monarchy,” he told Newsweek. “We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people.”
He continued: “Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time.”
As for the future of the monarchy, a source told the magazine that the younger royals want to focus more on particular charities. Instead of the thousands supported by the royal family — of which the Queen is patron of more than 600 — they want to “concentrate on specific charities that they research thoroughly” and “get involved in on a regular basis.” Some might call it lazy; others prefer the more focused approach, as a way of getting with the times.
“The monarchy is a force for good and we want to carry on the positive atmosphere that the queen has achieved for over 60 years, but we won’t be trying to fill her boots,” Harry explained. We use our time wisely. We don’t want to turn up, shake hands but not get involved … The Queen has been fantastic in letting us choose. She tells us to take our time and really think things through.”
Which makes it sound like Her Majesty is on board with the direction they’re going. But as far as Harry is concerned, there may be immense responsibilities that come with this life he and his brother William were born into but they try to keep things as normal as possible, something they learned from their late mum, Princess Diana.
“My mother took a huge part in showing me an ordinary life, including taking me and my brother to see homeless people,” he said. “Thank goodness I’m not completely cut off from reality. People would be amazed by the ordinary life William and I live. I do my own shopping. Sometimes, when I come away from the meat counter in my local supermarket, I worry someone will snap me with their phone. But I am determined to have a relatively normal life, and if I am lucky enough to have children, they can have one too. Even if I was king, I would do my own shopping.”
While there are a great many things that come with being a royal, there are some facets of the life that just, well, suck.
“My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television,” Harry remembers. “I don’t think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances. I don’t think it would happen today.”
While the future monarchy Harry speaks of sounds great, that “tricky balancing act” of trying to live an ordinary life while helping people and doing good may not be realistic. Because only supporting some bigger-name charities instead of focusing on all the people, even if it’s merely to shake their hands, will cause an uproar in England. Harry, William and Kate will need to find a way to balance both, at least for the foreseeable future.