I was going to do a good old fashioned royal round up today, then I decided to do a Kate-related article round up since I didn’t have a ton of time, but then I went down an internet rabbit hole of Ken Wharfe related-articles so now the royal round up will happen tomorrow and today you get an article about Ken Wharfe‘s hate-on for Prince William. There is a new article making the rounds with quotes from Ken Wharfe, former bodyguard to Princess Diana, criticizing the British Royal Family – particularly Prince William. This is not the first time Wharfe has “slammed” William; he has been doing so for years.
First the Express article where Ken Wharfe “slams” the royals.
On the Monarchy: “When I was a protection officer for Diana I was a monarchist because I thought the royals were good for the country. But I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re not a very nice group of people. […] There’s a danger that unless the Family is seen to be achieving something then people like Corbyn and the republican movement will become every stronger. […] People like Prince Andrew and the Duke of Kent should go. Ultimately I see the British royals going the way of European monarchies, but I’m not certain that Prince Charles wants to slim the operation down that much.”
On William and Harry: “[William] was always a sly little boy, and now he’s become arrogant and spoilt. I hear from people who work for William that he can be very difficult. I liked Harry better and I feel sorry for him because he was never really able to engage in his military career. But I think he’s the answer to the family’s longevity, and I bet if there was a vote on who should accede to the throne; the people would go for Harry. I’m not sure the next generation will even care about the royal family at all. They may simply become irrelevant.”
The sentiment behind these quotes is nothing new, in fact, it’s been building to this for years.
In 2012, Wharfe said of William: “This nonsense about normality, Prince William saying he wants to do the gardening at Anglesey and the washing up, it’s a little naive. […] they are not leading normal lives, they are high-profile members of the Royal Family.”
In February 2014, of William and Harry’s hunting trip in Spain (with Jecca Craig) days before giving anti-poaching speeches and attending a wildlife conference, Wharfe said: “From my experience, royal courtiers would have had prior knowledge of the Spanish visit. Failing to advise against the wild boar shoot is symptomatic of the sycophantic culture that surround the royal princes. If Prince William is to ‘spearhead’ the global protection of wildlife, then he has to be consistent.”
Then in August 2014, Wharfe said: “William’s new job is the latest PR stunt from the royal advisers, coupled with the prince’s own quest to be seen to be ‘normal’. […] William, his wife and his brother are experts in the field of royalty, and however much they display their loom bands, they are not normal. He should listen to his grandmother, get out there, use his position and raise money for his charities in a royal way – and not rely on stunts seemingly encouraged by sycophants.”
So the evolution is: William is naive in his quest to be “normal”, William’s advisers are sycophantic idiots indulging William’s naive quest to be normal, William is arrogant and spoiled and difficult to work with.
That seems like a reasonable escalation of frustration with William. In fact that’s probably very similar to the evolution of our frustration with William. Wharfey’s totally one of us!
Wharfe published a book about Diana in 2002 which caused a kerfuffle among the royals, public, and other officers, and since then he’s given lots of quotes to different media outlets on the subject of the royals – particularly William, Kate, and Harry. Wharfe seemingly makes his living off of talking about the royals.
I wonder what prompted this outburst. Wharfe has clearly had negative feelings toward William in particular for a long time but what happened recently that made him go, “Yep, I’m a republican”, and share these quotes with the press? Why now, what happened? And as much as I like the idea of Harry taking the throne instead of William, why is Wharfe suddenly all pro-Harry (when he hasn’t been before)?
I do agree with some of his points, though – both the new ones and the older ones. I agree that the royals need to be seen as actively contributing something to society or else they will become irrelevant and the monarchy will die, and that it’s mostly up to the younger royals (William, Kate, and Harry) to make that happen, especially going forward. I also agree that William’s desire to be “normal” is naive at best and that his staff fail at their jobs most of the time. Oh, and, at least from the outside, William seems to be spoiled and prone to tantrums.