A FORMER adviser to senior US politicians on British relations tells The Sun that his fellow Americans will soon turn on Prince Harry and his wife Meghan.
Lee Cohen was an expert on Anglo-American matters for the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.
He is now a senior fellow at the UK think tank the Bow Group and the Danube Institute, and writes:
LAST year I met a New York-based British journalist who was aghast to learn that I – an American – harboured extreme doubts about our American-born Duchess, Meghan Markle.
I shocked him when I said that I could not immediately embrace someone like her — not because of background or ethnicity — but because she gave no hint of interest in the public role upon which she was embarking, or the great heritage into which she was marrying.
Time has not removed my reservations.
It's now not so much Markle's disinterest and incomprehension of royal service that damns her in my mind, but her wholly ego-centric stance which has brought her to deliver assault-after-cringing-assault, culminating in March's Oprah interview in which she and her husband besmirched a Family, a great heritage, and a nation that welcomed them with hope and enthusiasm.
She and her husband besmirched a Family
Certainly many of my countrymen, like Harry and Meghan themselves, remain convinced that the withdrawal of the Sussexes from royal life was caused by (take your pick): a bigoted system, poor parenting, unresponsiveness to mental illness – you name it.
In short, the blame must lie anywhere but with them and their inability or lack of will to rise to their roles. With recent events, though, even on this side of the Atlantic, more critical, assessments are starting to be voiced.
Immediately after the Oprah interview, the couple's popularity plummeted in Britain, while US polling showed the reverse.
Americans' support of Meghan surged from 45 per cent to 67 per cent, while Harry's shot up from 46 per cent to 69 per cent, post-interview.
This reflects the different stages of press commentary. In the UK, press and public had already, long since, had enough.
In the US, their novelty had them still in a honeymoon period.
On both sides of the Atlantic, everyone loves the Cinderella story. But as they have gotten to know Meghan, the Brits saw what she really was – an ambitious self-promoter with a social justice agenda.
Now Americans are getting a chance to see what the couple are really about and the fairytale, replete with evil in-laws and half-siblings, is wearing thin.
Over the past few days US headlines have been crying fury
Over the past few days, US headlines have been crying fury, and this can be expected to feed through to general opinion.
To many Americans, on substance, the latest episode in the Sussex circus is revealing – and quite serious.
Speaking on the Armchair Expert podcast with Dax Shepard, the Duke claimed in consecutive sentences that he both knew and didn't know what he was talking about on the subject, but even so the First Amendment was "bonkers".
At the very least, this proclaims a deep lack of common sense – and lack of self-preservation instinct: the First Amendment is part of the bedrock of America's core beliefs, protecting freedoms of speech, religion, the press, right to assemble, and the right to petition the government – rights, by the way, inspired directly by English traditions of personal liberty and Common Law.
One wonders how often previously Harry has been saved from putting his foot in his mouth by adherence to the Royal Family's convention of avoiding controversy.
With his departure from royal service and British shores, the protection in that restraint has fallen away.
It doesn't seem yet to have dawned on Harry that whether or not he's representing his birth country, criticising his host country is unlikely to bring him many admirers there.
US commentators did not hold back across social media.
Former NBC personality Megyn Kelly: “'Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.' (Lincoln or Twain or someone smarter than Prince Harry.)"
Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw: "Well I just doubled the size of my Independence Day party."
TV personality Meghan McCain: "We fought a war in 1776 so we don't have to care what you say or think…That being said, you have chosen to seek refuge from your homeland here and thrive because all of what our country has to offer and one of the biggest things is the 1st amendment – show some utter respect."
There will always be elements – the same ones which seek to punish American institutions and historical figures for perceived social justice conflicts – that will passionately defend the fallen royal couple no matter their behaviour.
But with each new muddled Sussex observation, unsubstantiated claim and disloyal act, ever more Americans will come to realise that the couple's failures rest on their own shoulders rather than on the British nation or the institution of monarchy.
In reality, this tawdry pair are now just another celebrity couple – let them be Hollywood royalty for as long as that lasts, but should they continue to enjoy the highest of honours from a country they've abandoned?
While it would be as wrong for an American to insert himself in the affairs of a sovereign nation as it was for Harry to criticize his host country’s law, nevertheless, I can only admire the growing chorus of Britons demanding the removal of the special status the Sussexes still are accorded from Harry’s birth into royalty.
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