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SARAH VINE: Is Prince Harry really happy to be loafing in La La Land?

SARAH VINE: Is Prince Harry really happy to be loafing in La La Land?
Under normal circumstances, the fact that today is the first day of Harry and Meghan's new life as 'ordinary' citizens would have dominated the news.
But most people have more pressing matters on their minds.
Against a background of economic meltdown and the life-and-death battle against this damned virus, the plight of Harry and Meghan pales into insignificance.
What do the concerns, real or imagined, of this pampered pair matter in a world where thousands are dying every day? Where an unseen enemy is keeping friends apart, and tearing families to shreds?
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (left), Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (2nd left), Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (3rd left), Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (3rd right), Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (2nd right) and Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (R) depart Westminster Abbey, London, March 9
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (left), Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (2nd left), Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (3rd left), Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (3rd right), Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (2nd right) and Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (R) depart Westminster Abbey, London, March 9
Ordinary people are having to endure the unimaginable; yet this is a couple who barely gave their relationship with the British public 18 months before chucking in the towel.
No wonder, as the royal biographer Penny Junor put it, they now seem 'pretty irrelevant'. For months, other members of the Royal Family, not to mention friends, advisers and those of us in the Press reckless enough to incur the wrath of the pro-Meghan trolls, have been urging them to get some perspective.
Now events have done that for them and their decision to abandon Britain in favour of life in LA has been exposed for what it is: ill-judged, premature — and, in many ways, rather sad.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, 38, who dropped the royal from their titles on Monday after giving up their positions as senior members of the Firm, posted a message to Instagram on Monday evening
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, 38, who dropped the royal from their titles on Monday after giving up their positions as senior members of the Firm, posted a message to Instagram on Monday evening

Because, make no mistake, Harry and Meghan could have had it all. Correction: they did have it all; the fancy wedding, the lavish lifestyle, the adoration of the British public — and, of course, the status that comes with being an HRH.
As of today, they are just another celebrity couple touting for work in La La Land. And work they will have to. Thanks in part to their disobliging comments about Donald Trump, the U.S. President is in no mood to bankroll their security detail, so they will have to find a minimum of around £4 million a year just for that.
Add to that the cost of even a starter mansion in Malibu (give or take £25 million) and their well-publicised private jet habit, and it's hard to see how they will have much change out of £30 million for their first year of freedom.
Luckily, Prince Charles has said he will fund Harry in the short term. But the Duke will have to get a job, as will Meghan.
I don't imagine she will have any trouble. But Harry? Even assuming he can get a Green Card to live in the States permanently, he has never known anything apart from the Army and royal patronage.
Britain's Prince Harry (right), Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive to attend the annual WellChild Awards in London on October 15, 2019
Britain's Prince Harry (right), Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive to attend the annual WellChild Awards in London on October 15, 2019
Now he is thousands of miles from home, surrounded by people not renowned for their sincerity or kindness — while his own people, the British public, face the greatest challenge of a generation and are crying out for that chutzpah and cheek we used to love.
Harry may be many things, but he is not a shirker. His unique capacity for empathy, inherited from his late mother, would have proven invaluable in boosting the morale of frontline staff. Instead he is reduced to spouting Americanised platitudes on the pair's Instagram feed and communicating via emoji.
I can only imagine the shame he must (surely) feel as he watches his brother consider returning to work as an air-ambulance pilot to help the NHS, while he's loafing about on the other side of the Pond.
One day, when he's all grown up, Archie may ask Harry: 'What did you do in the war against Covid-19, Daddy?' The answer, dearest Harry, is up to you.
I rather like my quaranteens!
Life with my two 'quaranteenagers' is full of surprises, not all of them as unpleasant as I had anticipated. Here are the unexpected pluses of family life in lockdown.
1: My daughter has auto-tidied her room for the first time in about five years — and it's stayed that way. Even she, it turns out, cannot live like a tramp full-time.
2: My son — at the tender age of 15 — has acquainted himself with the whereabouts of the dishwasher. Next stop: the washing machine.
3: I have time to do proper cooking. As my daughter noted, she hasn't eaten so healthily in ages. Instead of crisps and sandwiches after school, it's fruit smoothies and home-made soups and quiches. They still won't eat my bean stew, though. Although soon they may have no choice . . .
4: I've realised what a massive rip-off the supermarkets are. I've been buying fruit and vegetables from wholesale restaurant suppliers (Wellocks, in case you're interested) at about a third of the normal cost. It's going to be hard to go back to paying £1.99 for a tiny packet of potatoes.
5: The dogs have never been so well exercised. With four humans desperate for fresh air, they're fitter and leaner than ever. Our dear old Bichon, Snowy, whose nickname is Fat Sheep, is practically turning into a whippet.
6: None of my children's friends are allowed to visit. No teenagers traipsing through the living room, denuding the cupboards of food, stealing my gin or leaving fag butts on the bathroom windowsill. Bliss.
7: We never miss a delivery. No more annoying 'sorry you were out cards', or items left on the doorstep in the rain.
8: No more social Fear Of Missing Out tears or tantrums. Everone's a sad stay-at-home now — and it's great.
9: We eat together as a family again. Normally I have to practically bribe my children to come to the kitchen table; now they congregate naturally at mealtimes and, instead of scuttling straight back to their bedrooms, they hang around and — gasp — chat.
10: No football. I know, this is a very bad thing to say. But goodness it's nice.
 
Claudia Schiffer (pictured) had to employ a security guard to stop her underwear from being stolen
Claudia Schiffer (pictured) had to employ a security guard to stop her underwear from being stolen
Claudia's undiecover guard
Forget being too sexy for her shirt, during her modelling heyday Claudia Schiffer had to employ a security guard to stop her underwear from being stolen during runway shows. Impressive. Although it does rather beg the question: what was she doing leaving her knickers lying around backstage in the first place?
Not all police officers are busybody jobsworths tracking walkers with drones, vandalising popular beauty spots and harassing people for buying Easter eggs. In Hyde Park this weekend I was stopped by two mounted officers and asked to put my dogs on the lead (new regulations, apparently). They could not have been nicer or more civilised. Especially since, during the course of our subsequent conversation, one of them told me how some people had been spitting at them in a bid to infect them with Covid-19. If that's the kind of disgusting abuse they have to put up with, is it any wonder some of them go a bit over the top at times?
Prue Leith accuses herself of being a bad grandmother for putting work first and failing to turn up at the touchline. I disagree. There is no right or wrong way to be a grandparent, but there's no doubt that being a successful working woman in her 80s is one hell of an inspiration for any child. 
You can't really blame shoppers for wanting to get stuck into some home improvements while on lockdown — never before has the old adage that an Englishman's home is his castle been more apposite. Besides, it'll help restart the economy: after the restrictions are lifted, all those tradesmen currently not able to work will be in high demand fixing months' worth of botched DIY. 
Woe for Wimbledon
Now Wimbledon — just about the only sporting event that grabs my interest — is set to join the list of fixtures cancelled because of the coronavirus.
Weird, because I would have thought tennis was the one sport that could be played without breaking social distancing rules.
Either way, you just absolutely know this will be the one year we don't get a single drop of rain in July.
.
 
Head of the World Health Organisation tweets that he's had 'a very good call with @ ladygaga'

Head of the World Health Organisation tweets that he's had 'a very good call with @ ladygaga'
 Bad enough that we have to put up with pampered celebrities broadcasting platitudes from their gilded cages; now the head of the World Health Organisation tweets that he's had 'a very good call with @ ladygaga', who is apparently ready 'to support @WHO in any way possible in the fight against #COVID19'. I yield to no one in my admiration for Lady Gaga's contribution to popular music, but last time I looked she wasn't exactly renowned for her expertise in contagious diseases.
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It was deeply moving last week when my street burst into applause in honour of frontline NHS workers. But while it was a wonderful and no doubt much appreciated gesture, a far better one would be for the Government to put its money where its mouth is — and award all of them a financial bonus.

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