Oh, you're a lad, Harry Windsor. Keep up the silly work
Uh-oh, Harry screwed up again.
Seems he (a few years ago) uttered a term that his critics deem racist. He referred to a fellow military sort as a Paki. Not quite as severe as the ‘N-word’ but not exactly considered a descriptive showing tolerance for ethnic differences.
Yes, it probably is offensive (though evidently his Pakistani soldier buddy didn’t take any umbrage) and Harry should know better. On the other hand, considering the verbal gaffes of his paternal grandfather, the kid comes by it naturally. Prince Philip has never been deemed a paragon of sensitivity. On him, people think it’s archaically quaint, on young Harry they attest it bespeaks loutishness and yobbishness. Maybe.
But, you know, if young Prince Hal is kind of a yob, it makes him rather endearing. He has spunk, like his late great-aunt, Princess Margaret and, I daresay, like his mother. He’s a hell of a lot more interesting than his bland older brother, William, who grows increasingly like his dull and silly father. It’s cool to be the ‘spare’ because you don’t have to tow the mark in the same way.
Anyway, as offensive as I find racism, I am neither condoning nor condemning the lad. That’s mainly because I don’t care.
I don’t care about the entire lot of this group of dysfunctional dynastic foreigners. The Brits pay for their upkeep and I, as a Canadian, remain antagonistic to the fact that the Windsor clan has any sort of even symbolic connection with my country, other than an historic one.
By this, I don’t mean I dislike the Queen. Everybody likes the Queen. She is a tirelessly hard-working woman well past the age most people have retired. She takes her role terribly seriously and serves her subjects superlatively. And, she’s kind of a mumsy old dear who I am given to calling ‘Mrs. Queen’ (not to her face, she doesn’t like that). But, to me, she is the queen of a foreign country, not my country. So, why is her head stuck on my money and my postage stamps?
Now, my heritage is purely Anglo-Saxon, English and Scots, a smattering of Welsh and, supposedly a bit of Jewish in that my maternal grandfather was distantly connected with Benjamin Disraeli, so none of this has anything to do with my forebears. I also lived in England for a year (and loved it) and have traveled there extensively, and have lots of relatives and even more dear friends there. I am an unrepentant anglophile.
But, and this is a big ‘but’, I am not English. I was born in Canada. My parents were born in Canada. My paternal grandfather came to Canada at age 12. That’s more than a century of my kin kicking up the turf this side of the Atlantic. The Queen is the Queen of England, Defender of the Faith and all that rot. She is also Queen of the Commonwealth, of which Canada is a part and this is supposed to give me a sense of connectedness. In that sense it means I am also supposed to have a sense of connectedness with Papua-New Guinea. That’s really kind of a stretch, culturally at least. There may be some rough sorts in the Canadian hinterland, but hardly any headhunters.
I truly don’t believe Canada will become a genuine grown up country until it chucks this archaic connection with a foreign family. Australia seems to have a significant republican movement that continues to gain momentum. What’s with us? Why don’t we have one? If anybody wants to trot out the illogical and sorry excuse that the monarchy is the ‘glue’ that holds this country together, then we’re a pretty sorry lot and must have no home-grown culture of which we can be proud.
Anyway, I say we hang in there until Mrs. Queen goes, but if anybody here thinks I am going to embrace Prince Chuck as my head-of-state, then I’ll seriously consider emigrating.
But thanks, tearaway Harry, for the entertainment.