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bitchy | Will Prince Harry do paid network commentary for the coronation?

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One of the things I loved about Prince Harry’s Spare is that he showed, repeatedly, that he didn’t give a f–k about the trappings of the monarchy. He was neglected and abused and brought up to believe that he was merely backup, so he was never in awe of the pageantry of the monarchy. He saw the other side of it, the micro-rooms, the shabby patched sheets, the lack of care for historic buildings. In Spare, he also showed that he really doesn’t know the history of his own family or the history of the monarchy. So… it’s funny that anyone would think that Prince Harry would be a good coronation commentator. Sure, he could probably sit down and do the research, but he’s not a historian. That’s not the way his mind works. Still, the Express is convinced that Harry has been “offered” special guest commentary positions at two American networks:

It is understood the monarch, 74, is keen for his younger son Harry to be on the guest list, but it is still not clear whether this will be possible. But two major US TV networks are said to be trying to lure Harry away with a mega-bucks deal to host their coverage of the event. They are preparing multi-million dollar offers for him to join their commentary teams if he decides not to attend the Coronation, according to highly placed studio sources.

The three days of events being planned for Saturday May 6 to Monday May 8 will be on a par with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend last June. Charles and Camilla will be crowned King and Queen Consort during a service at Westminster Abbey on the Saturday morning, followed by a procession to Buckingham Palace where they will appear on the balcony with family members.

If the Duke of Sussex takes the TV role it is tipped to be a guaranteed “ratings blockbuster” and “one of the biggest royal coups of all time”. CBS and NBC are expected to lead the chase to persuade him to join their live coverage teams. CBS – the network that aired his and Meghan’s infamous interview with Oprah – is in pole position. NBC interviewed Harry two weeks ago before his memoir Spare was published in a headline-grabbing edition of its flagship show 60 Minutes.

The insider told this newspaper: “Network bosses are hoping he doesn’t go – and are ready to pay a hefty, seven-figure sum to land one of the biggest royal coups of all time. One very senior executive told me it would be worth US $5million for the bragging rights alone.

“Watching a new King being crowned while his son is on the couch talking viewers through it would be ratings dynamite – even if Harry steers completely clear of controversy and the rift that exists between them.”

Our source added: “There is now a massive appetite in America for Britain’s Royal Family, with enormous audiences for recent coverage of the deaths and funerals of Prince Philip and the Queen, as well as her Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Whichever network manages to land Harry will be guaranteed a ratings blockbuster, with an advance advertising blitz that will draw millions more viewers who might otherwise have tuned-in elsewhere.”

[From The Daily Express]

The background for this is QEII’s coronation, when her Uncle David (aka King Edward VIII/the Duke of Windsor) was banned from the coronation so he picked up a paid commentary position with one of the overseas networks. The thing is, David actually knew a lot about the history of the monarchy and he could actually explain the background on all of the ceremonies, etc. What would Harry do as a commentator? Say sh-t like “yeah, that’s my father, we haven’t spoken in nine months, he was horrible to my wife?” It doesn’t make any sense. Now, I believe that there are probably various networks pitching this idea and offering money. But if Harry doesn’t go to the coronation, I suspect he’ll just stay home and throw a birthday party for Archie. This is more about the monarchy trying to make Harry sound like the Duke of Windsor, because they have zero historical precedent for what Harry is doing with his life now.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.



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