Every Tom, Dick and Prince Harry
Brother, can you spare a duke?
By Ed Goldman
What do you think of Prince Harry and his book?” a number of readers have asked me. Remember, three is a legitimate number.
The short, if compound answer is: (a) I don’t think about Prince Harry and (b) I haven’t read his book. What I have done is watch the Anderson Cooper interviews with Harry, also known as the Duke of Sussex and The Man Who Won’t Be King.
I also watched his charming chat with Stephen Colbert as the two sipped tequilas-on-the-rocks and Harry spoke directly to the studio audience, demonstrating a quick wit and a natural comic’s ability to work the room. I pictured a young Henry VIII having the same gifts:
“All right! Anyone here from Sherwood Forest? That’s where I met Robin Hood and Maid Marian. Robin didn’t like it that I made Marian, but what can I tell you? It’s good to be king!
“Hey, did you hear about Sir Thomas More? We’re gonna change his first name to Ain’tNo. Know what I’m sayin’? The man for all seasons was so opposed to my marriage that he lost his head! Result? More is less! See what I did there?”
Harry’s memoir-cum-therapy session, “Spare,” is selling like cocaine-laced kippers. By now you know that Spare is the derogatory nickname he was given to indicate that when his dad, King Charles, either steps down or dies—I’m assuming we’ll be able to spot the difference but am guaranteeing nothing—he’d be tapped to be king only if something also happened to his eldest brother, William, who’s next in line to the throne.
If something happened to both William and Harry, youngest bro’ Andrew—who also has an unfortunate nickname, Randy Andy—would be crowned. His memoir, if he wrote one, could be called “Last-Ditch Effort.”
As you might have guessed, I’ve never been a fan of Britain’s royal family. But I’m always surprised to learn how many Americans avidly follow the doings of the House of Windsor.
Is it just to remind them of the monarchy which the Founding Fathers and their Founding Families (which may have included Fathered Foundlings) fled in the 1770s?
Or is it something more akin to the catharsis ancient Greek audiences enjoyed while watching ancient Greek tragedies depicting the downfalls of high-born ancient Greek people? (For younger readers: “Catharsis” roughly translates as sticking out your collective tongue and chanting, “Na-na-na-NA-na!” Or, to upgrade slightly, saying, “Sorry it’s you/glad it ain’t me.”)
In summary, are we sympathizing with or laughing at Chuck, Willy and H? (H is one of Harry’s many nicknames, he told Colbert. Don’t know why nobody thought of calling him Hank, the name of a guy you’d instantly trust to change your oil or date your daughter.)
I mean, we wouldn’t be empathizing with any of them unless we, too, were born and raised as royalty. The only people I know who might be able to relate are some Jewish boys I grew up with who became cardiac surgeons, international lawyers and world-class embezzlers. Their mothers treated them as royalty—but in their case, it was less about the boys having estates and servants than their getting notes from their moms to skip gym class.
So when people ask me if I’ve read or intend to read “Spare,” I politely demur. But when they ask the more global and possibly rhetorical question about why Harry would write such a condemnation of his family and the British press, here I must reply as career criminal Willie Sutton allegedly did when asked why he robbed banks:
“Because that’s where the money is.”
Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).
A Weekly Blog by Virginia Varela
President, Golden Pacific Bank, a Division of SoFi Bank, Inc.
photo by Phoebe Verkouw
BRAVOS FOR THE SACRAMENTO PHILHARMONIC SYMPHONY AND ORCHESTRA (AND ALL THE ARTS)!
I’m pleased to support the arts community, and especially proud to have been a part of the Sacramento Philharmonic Symphony and Opera (“SPO”) for many years. I’m the past President of the SPO Board of Directors, a Director, and, along with GPB and my family, a proud patron.
What makes the SP&O so special?
Unique and inspiring, the SP&O has reclaimed its place as one of the region’s leading performing arts organizations. In the past several years, the SP&O is an incredible turnaround story, and, as publicly stated by the organization itself “…made tremendous artistic, community, and fiscal strides through a business model that has solidly moved from one of instability to one of stability.” I’m happy to be a small part of that process and success.
As noted by SPO, “Today, the SP&O serves as a vibrant cultural community asset – one that is shaped by Sacramento, whose offerings are uniquely of Sacramento, and whose vision for the future is designed for Sacramento.
“The SP&O continues its stellar concerts, operas, and community engagement programs that bring the passion of classical music to schools, hospitals, shelters, and more. We look forward to continually benefiting this region through our work and expanding our impact and how we’re able to serve this growing, thriving community.”
This 2022 to 2023 season, SP&O has already wowed its Sacramento audiences with “The Firebird!” “Mozart’s Magnificant Mass,” and just last weekend, “Beethoven’s Eroica.”
This Saturday, January 28, join us for “Bolero!” for a real treat, conducted by internationally recognized Francois Lopez-Ferrer, joined by the magnificent cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan.
The SP&O is unique because it offers not only wonderful philharmonic performances, but also l’opera! Join us on May 20, 2023, “…featuring one of the most frequently performed operas of all time: Giacomo Puccini’s La Boheme. This famous love story will be conducted by the dynamic and charismatic Sascha Goetzel as he leads members of the Sacramento orchestra.”
Meanwhile, the world’s most beloved tenor, Andrea Bocelli, joins SP&O for one night of enchanting musical performance on Friday, May 12, 2023. It promises to be an amazing musical experience.
All performances start at 8pm. Performances are at the SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center, with the exception of Andrea Bocelli—that performance will be at the Golden 1 Center. Start rehearsing your “Bravos!” now.