Kate Hawkesby: Harry and Meghan's tone deaf coronavirus move

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 1 Apr 2020, 9:42AM
Photo / Getty Images

Kate Hawkesby: Harry and Meghan's tone deaf coronavirus move

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 1 Apr 2020, 9:42AM

COMMENT:

Of all the things you could do when your dad gets diagnosed with coronavirus and your country is in the grips of a pandemic, fleeing to LA on a private jet wasn't one I'd have picked.

But it's what Harry and Meghan chose.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have not let a worldwide catastrophe alter their plans for American celebrity domination.

They managed to flee Canada on their jet just moments before the US-Canada border was shut.

Canada had said of course it wasn't interested in picking up their hefty security bill, rumoured to be around £8 million a year - that's $16 million in our money. It covers a roster of nine highly skilled British officers paid for by taxpayers through the police budget.

But if they thought the US would pick up that cost, they were sadly mistaken.

No sooner had they touched down at their new Malibu mansion, than President Donald Trump tweeted that the US would not be footing their security bill either.

Trump tweeted that he is "a great friend and admirer of the Queen & the United Kingdom…" but that "the US will not pay for their security protection. They must pay!"

But the Sussexes say they don't need anyone else to pay, they've made private arrangements.

Here's the thing – this would appear to be another completely out-of-sync and selfish move by the sanctimonious Sussexes, so good at lecturing others on how to live wholesome lives, yet showing little evidence of it themselves.

Harry's father, Prince Charles, was holed up with coronavirus at the time they fled to LA, and instead of offering support and being of some genuine use, the Sussexes went full steam ahead on their relaunch plans for Brand Megxit.

Lucrative contracts and deals are already in play, reportedly with the Oprah Winfrey Network, and of course, Disney.

So the Malibu mansion and the private jet, amid a time of enormous pressure, constraint and worry for the royals, could not be further from the mark.

Look, by way of contrast, at Kate and William: working from home, making phone calls of support to boost mental health and pay homage to those on the frontline. Prince William has even said he wants to return to the NHS as an air ambulance pilot to do his bit in the fight against the virus.

Yes, I know Harry and Meghan have opted out of being working royals and doing any of that stuff, lured instead by shiny celebrity spotlights and dollars, but surely jetsetting into your new life, amid a global pandemic that has affected your own father, is about as tone deaf as you can get.