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I never thought I’d say this, but it’s time to bring Prince Harry home

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The ill feeling between the Windsor boys has gone on long enough. Their reconciliation will be good for their family and the country

These days, even Tories like myself are finding it hard to defend the hereditary principle. Personally, I have no taste for republicanism, due to my incapacity for envy. That emotion or weakness is quite absent from my makeup.

In the face of other people’s good fortune, I am as inert as a deaf person at a recital. But a Starmer government will find the fact that the Royal family has more money and more privilege than the rest of us interesting.

I increasingly feel that the future of the Royal family may depend on its ability to cheer the public, and what it lacks now is the requisite joyfulness.

The King and the Princess of Wales are effectively hors de combat, poor Camilla is 76, life bears heavily on William, and no one fancies a Pizza Express.

The Windsors are in grave need of some pizazz. Readers may succumb to the screaming abdabs, but the royal left standing who has most star power is Harry. It is easy to blame him and his puerile book for the continuing rift with his father and brother, but some courtiers of my acquaintance hold William equally liable.

Recently, I spoke to a former palace official who used to work for both princes before the good times stopped rolling. “There is a public misconception about William and Harry,” he told me. “It is William who was often the difficult one, and it is William who is preventing his father from having a proper reconciliation with Harry.” He continued, “This isn’t helpful at a point in time when the country would be buoyed up by seeing them together again, as would the King.”

It wasn’t helpful last week when the only family member to greet Harry with warmth was Earl Spencer. When it comes to his brother, William’s disgruntlement can at times seem mildly pathological.

I do not think there is any superior rationality in being discontented with one’s relatives. Take myself. My mother once sold disobliging stories about me to the tabloids, but after an impulse to do her bodily harm, I forgave her.

Yet where William is concerned, Byronic unhappiness has taken hold. I realise Harry has at times taken joy out of William’s life, and that he and Meghan can be a cause of irritation. It remains tempting to call the pair one-trick phoneys. But isn’t that what most royalling is all about? Phoney good will and faked enjoyment? Moreover, the Sussexes have youth and glamour, and the young regard them as a religion with no dilution of agnosticism.

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