Have you heard of nepo babies? That’s the current label given to children of famous parents, coined from the word nepotism. Career success, or lack thereof, should have more to do with work ethic and attitude, not whether or not you got a leg up from your famous parents’ name and/or connections.
Whether their parents’ status has any effect on the success of those currently labeled as nepo babies is up for debate. After all, there are two sides to every story. Or should be.
The advantages for nepo babies are obvious. Famous last names are magnets in the entertainment, sporting, modeling business, and even politics. A name like Kardashian, Hadid, or Gretsky will at least get you in the door, if not straight to the top of the audition or tryout list.
For example, here in Canada, someone believed they could become Prime Minister, not because they had the qualifications or experience to do so, but because they are the son of a previous leader. The worst (scary) part is that voters were attracted to and blinded by the name too!
Are There any Disadvantages?
I bet it’s not easy being the offspring of famous parents. One only has to look at the media attention swarming around celebrities. That works both ways of course. Sometimes it would have ego-stroking, and fun advantages but it could also be incredibly annoying. I’m surePrince Harry would agree.
Imagine that you are not interested in or possess no aptitude for whatever it is your famous parent achieved in their career. Would you be coerced or expected to give it a try anyway? Growing up in the lap of luxury, would you learn how to appreciate the luxuries or would you grow to expect them? Either possibility and potentially both could lead to a stressful, mental-health-altering childhood.
Do we Expect More of Nepo Babies?
I think we do. For example, would the biological kids of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie be anything but gorgeous? Although that’s more of a genetic example than what the term nepo babies was really created for, I know you know what I mean.
Every time I read about the way Prince Harry and his brother Prince William were expected to behave after their beloved mother died, I feel sick. And my heart breaks all over again, especially for those boys. They were only 12 and 15, respectively, at the time. The expectations of the monarchy, and their father in particular, borders on child abuse in my humble opinion. Obviously, Prince Harry’s pain is still raw, bottled up for so many years, now exploding in the form of tell-all documentaries and memoir.
I was fascinated by Princess Diana. Her natural beauty, vivacious personality, and even her vulnerability were so magnetic and refreshing. One couldn’t help feel though, that she was a sacrificial lamb led to slaughter by the monarchy. Once her role of producing an heir and a spare was completed, she was discarded. Like the rest of the world, I was shocked by her untimely death and the circumstances around it.
Fast forward twenty-five years. Many are quick to disparage the (no privacy here) format in which Prince Harry is airing his feelings and memories AKA dirty laundry. I can’t get past the pain I hear. After the ordeal he went through, how can his life not be affected? Through the years I’ve always preferred Harry to William but in all fairness, the stress and protocol of being the British heir must be soooo tough. Harry, as the spare, was able to break the rules more. He also seems to be more like his mother in personality. Her charisma, ease with people, sense of humor and more shine through Harry. Although William looks more like his mom, I believe his personality (again dictated by his role) seems to be stuffier, more like Charles.
Most of the information here is from direct quotes from Harry’s memoir, titled “Spare,” for sale today but leaked in Spain last week. The things some people do for money! Now that all the “scoops” are out in all forms of social media, sales of the book cannot help but be affected.
Princes Harry and William Greeting the Mourners
go into detail about how strange it was and how actually there was some guilt that I felt — and I think William felt as well — by walking around the outside of Kensington Palace,” he said. “Fifty-thousand bouquets of flowers to our mother and there we were shaking people’s hands, smiling. I’ve seen the videos, right? I’ve looked back over it all. And the wet hands that we were shaking — we couldn’t understand why their hands were wet, but it was all the tears they were wiping away. Everyone thought and felt like they knew our mum. And the two closest people to her, the two most loved people by her, were unable to show any emotion in that moment.
Prince Harry, talking about the days after his Mom’s tragic accident
Walking Behind the Coffin at the Funeral
This has bothered me for years. I could not understand it at the time and still cannot.
…it was decided that Princess Diana’s two sons — Prince Harry and Prince William — would walk behind her coffin in the procession through London at her funeral. And there’s absolutely no way that I would let him do that by himself, and there’s absolutely no way that he would let me do that by myself.
Prince Harry, talking about the days after his Mom’s tragic accident
This past September when I saw Prince Charles and his sister Anne wiping tears away as they walked behind their mother’s coffin I was sickened. Yes, the Queen was beloved for many more years than Princess Diana, but the Queen also lived a long, accomplished life. Her children left behind were adults (senior ones at that) while Princes Harry and William were mere children! Yet, they were expected to show no emotion.
Searching for Closure
Another excerpt from Prince Harry’s memoire details how he requested to drive through the tunnel in which his mother’s car crashed:
While attending the 2007 Rugby World Cup semifinal in Paris, a then 23-year-old Harry drove through the same tunnel where his mother died 10 years prior. In his new book, he recounts the intense pain he felt in his attempt to find closure.
After the driver took him through at the same speed that his mother’s car was driving, Harry wrote, “I’d always imagined the tunnel as some treacherous passageway, inherently dangerous, but it was just a short, simple, no-frills tunnel.”
Prince Harry also confessed to believing (or wanting to believe) that his mother faked her death to escape the media-filled attention her life still ……. long after divorcing Prince (at the time) Charles. For that reason, he requested to see pictures of the crash, even though they were in a secret government file. He was grateful the more graphic ones were excluded from those he was permitted to see:
I saw the photographs of the reflection of all the paparazzi in the window at the same time. I saw the back of her blonde hair, you know, slumped on the back of the seat. I was looking for evidence that it was true”
Don’t Believe the Media
I admit to believing much of what I read and see on TV, including many of the “leaked” excerpts from Prince Harry’s book. According to his (hilarious) visit to Stephen Colbert’s Late Night Show recently, many of these excerpts were taken completely out of context. And then plastered all over social media and the news, everywhere, for gullible people (like me) to believe. The story of his military time in Afghanistan was the worst. Watch the video of Prince Harry setting the record straight.
Healthy Soul Cleansing or TMI?
How do you feel about “Spare” and related Netflix airings? Is his soul bearing justified or TMI? Maybe I am naïve but I hope ensuing discussions will be productive, healing for both him and his brother. King Charles or Camilla I don’t much care about.
I wasn’t going to read “Spare” after hearing all the juicy excerpts for free but now I’ve heard his version of the truth, I may just purchase and read it.
Megxit, the exit of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry from Great Britain, means we Canadians will be seeing more of the young(ish) royal couple. We Canadians do love our royals, at least most of us do. Some of us are thrilled and proud of the fact Harry and Meghan have chosen Canada as refuge from their fishbowl (AKA royal lifestyle), others not so much.
Speculation has been frantic this past week, since the (for now) Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they wish to “step back” from their royal duties. After a family meeting, the Queen announced she has given the couple permission to move to Canada part time. What they will do here is still up for speculation.
What choice did she have, really? Like any concerned parent, she worries about her grandson and wants the best for him. The signs have been there for a while now, long before Meghan even came on the scene, how severely affected Harry was by the tragic loss of his beloved Mum when he was just twelve years old. Most people are greatly affected by the loss of their mom at any age. It would be horrible for a child to go through a similar loss, but the fact that Harry’s (and William’s) every move has been on display since he was born would only add to the trauma. Every tear, smile and action scrutinized and photographed for everyone to judge. Is it any wonder he doesn’t want that lifestyle for his wife and son?
Critics are blaming Meghan for disrupting the royal family by influencing and controlling a more naïve Harry. I believe however, that he was influenced more by his mother’s choice of charitable work when she was alive and even more so by the cause of her untimely death. Harry said so himself how “every flash of a camera brings it all back” last summer in an interview in Africa. He saw (and lived through) his mother’s anguish for years, with the good, the bad and the downright ugly press coverage omnipresent for all to see.
In his early twenties, Harry joined the military, spending ten years serving his country, including two tours in Afghanistan. Some analysts believe those years were to find a sense of accomplishment and purpose in his life, prompted by the fragile state of his mental health.
Whatever the reason for Megxit, the fact that Harry is (perhaps downgraded to was) only sixth in line to the throne (behind his father, brother, two nephews and one niece) doesn’t make a potential abdication a big deal. To us at least. His grandmother would feel differently of course.
The Queen’s latest announcement has created a whole new frenzy and the media are running with it. What will they do in Canada? Will they still be Duke and Duchess of Sussex? Will Harry become our next Governor General? Will Meghan return to acting or perhaps take up directing? Will they live in British Columbia, where they celebrated Christmas and New Years, or Toronto where Meghan lived for years and where the couple met? What are the Canadian rules and laws to be considered? (immigration, working visas etc) Stay tuned for more details.
Rumours have it Justin Trudeau has already told the Queen that Canadians would pay for the couple’s security when they are on Canadian soil. I think the Canadian taxpayers might have something to say about that, in fact I saw a petition to that tune going around Facebook already. Surely the couple’s new quest for financial independence will include paying their own security bills, unless the Queen ticks off her own taxpayers by requesting that the couple’s security expenses will continue to be covered by Scotland Yard. Even when they are living in Canada!
The fact that the younger couples, especially Harry and Meghan, William and Kate, have added a much needed boost of vitality and popularity to the aging monarchy in Britain cannot be denied. I admit I am a sucker for a good love story, and I have always loved Prince Harry, Prince William and their beautiful, kind mother. Hopefully Megxit is merely the next chapter in Harry and Meghan’s love story and not a more sinister warning of impending heartbreak for Harry in the form of another royal scandal as the haters believe.
Perhaps Megxit will boost a waning interest in the monarchy here in Canada. We could certainly use their positive energy, compassion for those less privileged, love of nature etc., etc., etc.,