The headlines said it all: “Prince Harry shattered over Remembrance Day snub”; WREATH SNUB FOR HARRY; “Prince Harry snub: The Duke of Sussex ‘deeply saddened’ as ‘wreath request refused’”; “Harry ‘heartbroken’ following BRUTAL snub!”
In case you were for some reason following certain other news stories, the “wreath rift”—something of a visual tongue twister, as it’s almost impossible not to type “wreath wrift” (and just try saying it, or even typing it, three times fast)—played out last weekend. It was reported that the Duke of Sussex’s request that a wreath be laid on his behalf at London’s Cenotaph for Remembrance Day had been denied. Ouch. Harry, after all, served 10 years in the military and has been laying Remembrance Day wreaths for even longer. The Duke and Duchess instead marked the day by bringing flowers to the Los Angeles National Cemetery during what they portrayed as a “private visit”—albeit one involving an official photographer, naturally—and soon enough, images of them, dressed in black and looking studiously somber among the headstones, were made available to the media. “It is easy to see why Harry and Meghan wanted a new life for themselves, and who can blame them?” wrote Jan Moir in the Daily Mail. “Yet Harry cannot have it both ways, especially when it comes to matters of protocol and privilege. He wanted to be an ordinary citizen and he got his wish. There is no way back on to the royal balcony now.” This appeared under another headline that said it all: Here lie the ruins of their reputation.