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Prince Harry dropped a clanger at the end of his guest editorship of Radio 4’s Today programme this week.
When asked by the BBC how Meghan Markle had coped with her first Christmas at Sandringham, Harry reported that it had been ‘fantastic’. His fiancee, he said, had ‘really enjoyed it’.
Time - Knot - Traditions - Incomer - Fun
Yes, they had an ‘amazing time’; yes, there was a complicated knot of Windsorian traditions to be explained to an incomer, but it had all ‘been fun’.
And then came the howler.
Uh-oh - In-law - Warning - Klaxon - Jolly
Uh-oh. Sound the in-law warning klaxon. Run the Jolly Roger up the flagpole of family friction. Set the dials for stormy waters. The family she never had? The family she never had? What is she, an orphan?
Harry’s words hung in the air like an icy reprimand; an unintended slight to the actual Markle parents, who divorced in 1987 when Meghan was six years old.
Annoyance - Meghan - Half-sister - Samantha - Grant
First to register annoyance was Meghan’s half-sister Samantha Grant, who was not best pleased.
Yikes. Harry may have the benefit of the best education money can buy, the character-building attributes only ten years in the Army can bring and the sensitivities of a man in touch with his inner ginger, but he has a lot to learn about the politics of in-law dom.
Rule - Husband - State - Family - Family
And rule No 1 for any new husband is never, ever to publicly state that your family is somehow better, happier and more loving than her family, even if you believe it to be true. Especially at this time of year, when kinship loyalties and festive one-upmanship can create tension, hurt and misery.
And particularly for those couples who are forced to choose with which set of in-laws they will spend their Christmas, often leaving the other set feeling bereft and unloved.
Imagine - Hundredfold - Side - House - Windsor
Imagine that feeling magnified a hundredfold when the opposing side is the House of Windsor, replete with...
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