Another blundersome week for the royal crew who, still reeling from Harrys exodus and revelations about Andrew, now find out that the singer has no Asian heritage
Over the past few years, the royal helicopter took off comparatively infrequently from the field by Kensington Palace. Over the past month, however, it has been like an Oliver Stone movie out there. Its the Platoon of ribbon-cutting, the Nam of nursery visiting. Since Harry and Meghan decided to step back from their royal duties, the general stepping forward of other royals has resulted in a huge uptick in forms of dutifully giving a shit that take longer by train or car. At times its difficult to decide whether the Duchess of Cambridge is off to haul herself pointedly round another womens project, or whether theyre simply re-running the defence of Khe Sanh.
Indeed, the two activities arguably have much in common. The royal family has been somewhat under siege in recent months, with the departure of the Sussexes merely the chaser to months of fallout over Prince Andrews long friendship with an international underage-sex trafficker.
Lets begin with Prince Williams decision to lecture Sundays Bafta audience about the unacceptable lack of diversity in the awards categories, a topic that had been much discussed since the shortlists were announced. Not that theres anything wrong with the royals coat-tailing on what other people have been saying. But you do have to salute a family with countless highly paid image advisers who a mere TWO DAYS later nonetheless allowed Prince Charles to announce that his new ambassador for the British Asian Trust was Katy Perry. Look, she may not be British. But she has certainly dressed up as a lot of Asians in her time.
We can probably rule out Prince Williams next keynote speech being a hymn to his father entitled OK BOOMER. But with the best will in the world, arguably the most tangible impact he could have on diversity is having a word with his papa. Alas, people who know about these things say that behind the scenes, Prince Charles and his sons prefer to spend much of their time arguing about money quite understandable, given how much of it they all have.
For her part, Perry was hardly going to say no to the request to assist the charity in its fight against child labour in India, and prepared a short speech for her investiture in which she appeared to accede graciously to the royal bum-pinching role vacated by Dame Geraldine Halliwell some time in the early 00s.
In my own personal experience, he has an incredibly kind soul, Katy twinkled of a prince whose altruism famously extends to allowing his servants to squeeze the toothpaste on to the brush for him. So kind, that yes, sometimes he talks to his plants, she continued. And he asked me if I could sing to his plants. I will, in the future you have my word, sir. A reminder that all the best British Asians hail from California.
Against this faintly blundersome backdrop, then, it is in many ways no surprise to learn that a civil servant at the housing, communities and local government department has written to councils informing them that they are to fly the union jack above town halls in celebration of Prince Andrews forthcoming 60th birthday. My initial thought was that this might be some child-protection fishing expedition. As the ancient management saying goes: lets run it up the flagpole and see who salutes. But it seems that it is merely some established piece of protocol, still staggering on, zombie-like, despite the Duke recently being sacked by his mother, and accused of zero cooperation by US prosecutors leading the Epstein case.
He, incidentally, can call on the royal helicopter with significantly less frequency than he once did, which must make getting between golf courses on some crappy business pretext rather harder. Then again, perhaps its for the best, given his experiences with that particular craft. Andrew recently claimed that his experiences as a chopper pilot in the Falklands had seen him OD on adrenaline and consequently, somehow left him biologically incapable of sweating. Im not sure whether this was one of the plotlines in his de-stranged wife Fergies series of childrens book about Budgie the Helicopter. But I can tell you it was at that moment being advanced, on prime time television, as an explanation as to why he couldnt have been sweatily dancing in Londons Tramp nightclub with the woman who claims she was Jeffrey Epsteins teenage sex slave.
So not the most coherent and joined-up of weeks for the royal family. In many ways, all it was missing was Jeremy Clarkson deciding to eeny-meeny-miny-mo his way on to the subject of Meghan. Happily, this has now been remedied, and well conclude with the big guys thoughts. Explaining that everybody cries, Clarkson declared: But I mean, as a general rule, youve got to get a grip. I think the expression get a grip needs to come back into the lexicon as soon as possible. Everybody needs to get a grip. Meghan Markle … just get a grip. Strong words, which mean so much more coming from someone who, despite making many millions of pounds a year, still punched one of his underlings because he was too late to order a steak for supper one day. If only Clarkson could be king, as a number of rejected petitions have previously observed. Hes certainly hypocritical enough for it.
Down the aisle and up the solicitors?
Once again, the perils of watching celebrity life on tape delay are laid starkly bare. Many viewers will only have been catching up with Pamela Andersons announcement of her recent marriage, when the Baywatch legend cut in with a huge spoiler: the further announcement that it had ended after 12 days.
On Friday 24 January, Pamela shared the first photo of herself and her new husband, the movie producer Jon Peters. They had married in Malibu that week. By 2 February, however, she was confirming to the Hollywood Reporter that the pair had split.
Before we come to the details of the sundering, it should be noted that Peters himself had announced the wedding to the Hollywood Reporter just days earlier, declaring: Pamela has never seen her full potential as an artist. She has yet to shine in a real way. There is much more to her than meets the eye, or I wouldnt love her so much. There are beautiful girls everywhere. I could have my pick, but for 35 years Ive only wanted Pamela. She makes me wild in a good way. She inspires me. I protect her and treat her the way she deserves to be treated.
Whether the couple simply grew apart once the perishable items had flown their fridge is unclear. All we can say for certain is that by last weekend, Pamela was back on to the Hollywood Reporter.
I have been moved by the warm reception to Jon and my union, she told the publication. We would be grateful for your support as we Unpack the wedding presents? Go on a honeymoon? take some time apart to re-evaluate what we want from life and from one another. Life is a journey and love is a process, continued Pamela, reminding us that celebrities always regard their own dramas, however absurd, as teachable moments for the rest of us. With that truth in mind, we have mutually decided to put off the formalisation of our marriage certificate and put our faith in the process. Thank you for respecting our privacy. And with that, all that remained was for Pamela to offer the Hollywood Reporter a post-nuptial poem on her recently non-formalised husband.
Hes been there all along.
Never failed me
Im ready now
hes ready too.
Well, I think that about clears things up. My advice is to send a gnomically worded congratulations-and-commiserations card, then you wont be accused of taking sides in this brief but still highly complex marital event.