As I said, below, Matthew is reminding us that Harry might become King, and that this should give pause to monarchists. And yesterday I was busy endorsing his campaign to point this out again and again (see below for links). But after sleeping on the matter, I now suppose he is wrong, in fact, and that I’m wrong to endorse his campaign.
Because if Harry were to threaten to succeed to the throne, and if he were to be deeply unpopular among the elites in this country, then he wouldn’t succeed. It’s as simple as that. Edward VIII was pushed into abdication, after all, and it’s not too difficult to imagine circumstances in which the Cabinet, Parliament, media, top civil servants, even senior courtiers (what a word!), or permutations and combinations among them, would move decisively against the prospect of King Harry, but precisely in order to save the institution of monarchy, in which they are generally so heavily invested, rather than to undermine it.
The point, however, is to undermine it.
And that requires continually refocussing arguments away from the personal failings of these inadequate and objectionable human beings (fun though it is to dwell on these) onto the complex institution of the British Monarchy and the forces that sustain it, in order to create a world in which nobody can utter a word in its defence without the experience of deep embarrassment.
We’ve got a way to go, but we’re going to win this one in the end.
(Roll on the bourgeois republic!)