SARAH VINE: So where is Meghan? She’s usually grafted to Harry’s side

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One thing really struck me about prince harry‘s media blitz last week. Not so much the careless inaccuracies in his various accounts of events, from the death of the queen mother to recollections of his first date with Meghan. Nor even his petulance (bordering on naked aggression) towards the few hand-picked journalists enlisted to help sell his narrative whenever any of them dared ask him anything even vaguely approximating a searching question.

No, the real question in my mind is this: where was Meghan?

I don’t mean in terms of the book – after all, her fingerprints are all over that. I mean physically, where is she?

We haven’t seen hide nor hair of her for days. Which, really, is most uncharacteristic.

The real question in my mind is this: where was Meghan?  Pictured: Meghan and Harry on their royal tour in Johannesburg, South Africa, October 2, 2019

The real question in my mind is this: where was Meghan? Pictured: Meghan and Harry on their royal tour in Johannesburg, South Africa, October 2, 2019

Normally she never leaves Harry’s side. Normally she’s practically surgically grafted on to him, hanging off him like an extra appendage.

Wherever he goes, she goes, him scowling darkly at anyone who ventures within ten feet of them, she with that fixed smile of hers firmly in place.

It’s most unlike Meghan to miss an opportunity to show the world her fabulousness. And after all, what better opportunity than this, the publication of her beloved husband’s long-awaited tell-all memoir, all eyes upon him?

You’d have thought she would have been front and center of events, with her couture outfits and twinkling jewels, on hand to squeeze his as he sat through various interviews. That she’d be keen to catch his eye, reassure him with an encouraging glance, place a guiding hand upon his back, as she so often has in the past – in short, to stand firmly by her man as he weathered the inevitable storm of criticism.

After all, he sat staunchly by her as she told the world her ‘truth’, whether it was recreating her first ever curtsy to the Queen or holding back the tears at the memory of yet another Royal-related trauma.

'It's most unlike Meghan to miss an opportunity to show the world her fabulousness.'  Pictured: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award Gala, New York, December 6, 2022

‘It’s most unlike Meghan to miss an opportunity to show the world her fabulousness.’ Pictured: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award Gala, New York, December 6, 2022

He goofed around in the chicken coop while she shared her secret sorrow with Oprah, juggled obligingly at the window as she delivered yet another one of her meaningful homilies to a grateful world.

You’d have thought the least she could do was throw on a bit of cashmere and show a bit of solidarity. Goal no. Not a whiff of the fragrant one, not even a glimpse of those exquisitely well-turned ankles.

It may, of course be, that there is a perfectly logical explanation. Perhaps one of the babies is under the weather, and she’s too busy administering Calpol. Perhaps she is not feeling well, in which case fair enough.

Who knows? One thing’s for sure, though, it’s not like her to dodge the limelight.

I really hope there’s a good explanation, as otherwise her absence is slightly worrying. Because it would be awful, wouldn’t it, if, having abandoned his home, trashed his entire family, burnt his bridges with the Army and let down the British public, Prince Harry found that he was no longer at the center of his world ?

When you think of all that’s he’s given up for her, of all the personal sacrifices he’s made to make her happy, it would be an unthinkable tragedy if that extraordinary bond between them were to loosen under the pressure of public exposure.

And the truth is that this memoir has not had the desired effect. Yes, it’s sold plenty of copies, yes it’s captured headlines around the world, but in terms of the Duke and Duchess’s poll rating it’s been an unmitigated disaster.

You'd have thought the least she could do was throw on a bit of cashmere and show a bit of solidarity.  Pictured: Harry & Meghan docuseries, Netflix

You’d have thought the least she could do was throw on a bit of cashmere and show a bit of solidarity. Pictured: Harry & Meghan docuseries, Netflix

An overwhelming majority of the public now want to see them stripped of their Royal titles. They’ve been roundly mocked on social media.

And according to a YouGov poll, the Prince’s popularity has tanked, with some sectors of the population even ranking him below Prince Andrew.

Plus, while 21 per cent of Britons buy the line that Harry’s motivation for publishing the book is to ‘tell his side of the story’, almost twice that number (41 per cent) think he’s only in it for the money.

This will be the real test for Harry and Meghan.

Relationships are easy when everything’s going well. Romance thrives under favorable conditions. The hard part is what happens when the going gets tough.

As much as Prince Harry’s behavior irritates the socks off me, I don’t want to see him get hurt. He’s proven his loyalty to her in public beyond all doubt. It would be only right for her to do the same.

Oh, to be cool like Coolidge

I just love Jennifer Coolidge. She’s everything that women her age – 61 – aren’t supposed to be, as we saw during her hilarious acceptance speech at the Golden Globes last week.

There’s so much pressure on us to age gracefully, stay slim, fill our wrinkles with goop, live like saints… but she does none of those things. And the fact that she can thrive in Hollywood against a background of hangry, tight-lipped actresses botoxed up to the eyeballs, gives me a strange kind of hope.

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, but if I did, this would be it: be more Coolidge.

I just love Jennifer Coolidge.  She's everything that women her age aren't supposed to be.  Pictured: Jennifer Coolidge with her award for best supporting actress for The White Lotus, Beverly Hills, California, US, January 10, 2023

I just love Jennifer Coolidge. She’s everything that women her age aren’t supposed to be. Pictured: Jennifer Coolidge with her award for best supporting actress for The White Lotus, Beverly Hills, California, US, January 10, 2023

Strike will only hit poor students

The University and College Union has joined other neo-Marxist organizations such as the British Medical Association (whose deputy chair of council is Dr Emma Runswick, a supporter of China’s disastrous ‘zero Covid’ policy) in announcing industrial action.

University lecturers will now strike for 18 days next month which, given that there are only 28 days in February and taking into account weekends, basically means the whole month off. Students, meanwhile, having already suffered endless disruption due to Covid and additional strikes last year, will still have to pay their tuition and accommodation fees which, for the vast majority of them, means racking up debts that will take years to pay off.

But of course none of that matters to the unions. All they care about is inflicting as much damage on the Government as possible – at the cost of the future of thousands of young people.

Keep the kids out of it, Harry

One of the aspects of Prince Harry’s revelations I find most distasteful is his referencing of the Prince and Princess of Wales’s children. Not only is it an appalling breach of a child’s privacy to reveal that Charlotte burst into tears over those stupid, overpriced bridesmaids’ dresses (I still can’t believe she got Givenchy to design them – the most absurd waste of money), he is also inflicting on his niece and nephews precisely the sort of scrutiny and pressure that he claims led to so much of his own suffering.

Unforgivable.

Former Labor MP Simon Danczuk, 56, is shown frolicking in a pool with his new amour, 28-year-old beauty therapist Claudine Uwamahoro. She maintains he is the ‘love of my life’, and he says he wishes they had met earlier. Not too much earlier, one hopes, otherwise he’d be dating an embryo.

The Brit Awards, Britain’s pop Oscars, has said separate male/female categories in a bid to become ‘more inclusive’. Nominated for the all-important Artist of the Year category is Central Cee (weirdly a ‘drill rapper’ that my kids used to go to school with in Kensington: a lovely polite boy as I recall), Fred Again (a DJ), George Ezra, Harry Styles and Stormzy. In other words, all males. Funny, isn’t it, how these days ‘inclusivity’ always seems to come at the expense of women.

Nominated for the all-important Artist of the Year category is Central Cee (weirdly a 'drill rapper' that my kids used to go to school with in Kensington: a lovely polite boy as I recall).  Pictured: Central Cee at Alexandra Palace on November 22, 2022

Nominated for the all-important Artist of the Year category is Central Cee (weirdly a ‘drill rapper’ that my kids used to go to school with in Kensington: a lovely polite boy as I recall). Pictured: Central Cee at Alexandra Palace on November 22, 2022

Gary Lineker says MPs should be paid more to attract ‘brilliant minds’. I dare say that if you get paid as much as he does, a basic salary of £84,144 must seem woefully inadequate. What a shame not all taxpayer-funded organizations are as generous as the BBC, eh?

I was amused to see, in a recent photograph of Prince Harry alongside a female friend taken at home in Montecito, that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have a monogrammed doormat. The epitome of sophistication – or too tacky for words? You decide.

Radio 2 in the afternoons used to be a gentle mix of dad jokes, musical nostalgia and cheesy japes. Then they replaced Steve Wright with Scott Mills, and now it’s a nightmare of frenetic dance music and trying too hard to be cool. In other words, indistinguishable from every other annoying radio station on air.

Poor Lisa Marie Presley, dead at just 54. She was proof that money can’t buy happiness. But in 2020 she suffered a devastating blow, when her son shot himself. I know she had addiction issues, but if you ask me her cause of death is simple: a broken heart.

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