Got to get a word in edgeways on Harry and Megs
Now I’ve got to get a word in edgeways because everyone else has so much to say. To me in southern Africa, this is one of his many gems: Anyone who calls the Okavango in our neighbouring Botswana “a river” is like calling Windsor castle ‘’ a house,” he says.
So overwhelmed was he by the Okavango, especially when the whole delta engorges after rains in its upstream catchment, that it gave him a lasting love of Africa.
Many reviewers have slagged off the book and many opinions have been formed on that alone. The other side of the coin from The Atlantic, a top wrung American magazine. “The prince’s memoir, Spare, is a scorching account of life in a golden cage,” writes Helen Lewis, a fine and respected British journalist.
“The first surprise, after the glutinous Oprah interview and the syrupy Netflix series, is that Spare is a gripping read—where else would you find charging elephants, hallucinations about talking trash cans, Afghan War stories, royal fistfights, and a prince’s frostbitten penis in a single narrative? Yet the overall tone is one of unrelenting misery. Harry’s paranoia, obsession, and anger ooze out of every page. He hates the press (oh, how he hates the press,)” she says.
Having worked on tabloids myself, I get it. As a schoolboy Harry breaks and thumb and goes to hospital to have it reset. The tabloids have him on his death bed.
On one of my tabloid shifts on a quiet Saturday afternoon I was sent to Windsor to see Prince Charles playing polo. The paparazzi were there. It’s only a fucking story is he falls off his fucking horse and breaks a fucking arm or kisses someone behind the fucking stables, cried the news editor as I walked out of the door on this assignment.
We endlessly ‘’doorstepped” (stalked) Koo Stark**, an elusive American photographer said to be having an affair with Randy Prince Andy. We identified her arriving at a luxury Hempstead townhouse in full motorcycle gear – helmet and all – from a ring on one hand when she took the gloves off as she went inside. We had found the ‘love nest” at last. We didn’t have cellphones then and one of the paparazzi ripped out the handset of a nearby phone box so others of us couldn’t alert or dictate anything to our offices.
On another occasion, a blistering summer day, I was asked to fry an egg on the bonnet (hood) of a London black cab. We couldn’t, so we bought rubber fried eggs from a joke shop and had the cabbie sprinkling on salt and pepper. At least the photo caption was an ambiguous one.
“Can you believe it? Cabbie Ted Simpson cooks an egg on the hottest day of the year. Pull the other leg, Ted. It’s got bells on.” It was a change from “Phew, what a scorcher” pics of secretary birds taking off their blouses in St James’s Park in the lunch hour.
** Koo Stark. Above: Magician Simon Drake reading a paper that’s too hot to handle: Koo in TV Sex Shock, in her portfolio Contrasts. Two more photos from it. She calls one “No Comment” and the other “The Three Monkeys of Fleet Street” – Arthur Edwards, Sun photographer, Jean Rook, Daily Express writer and Nigel Dempster, Daily Mail gossip columnist.