Years ago, while reading Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, I was struck by the predicament of Claudia, a small child turned into a vampire at the tender age of six. While she continued to develop intellectually, she was trapped in the body of a small girl.
Depending on how you look at it, Claudia was either blessed with or consigned to eternal childhood.
Which brings us to Prince Harry.
Imagine life in the most vertical social strata on planet Earth. Barring the most tragic happenstance, Harry is relegated to a lifetime as number-two. It doesn’t matter how well he masters it, he will likely never be king. He is a substitute. A back-up. A three-dimensional, carbon-based insurance policy for the United Kingdom.
It is a future as confining as it is secure.
Harry was frolicking recently in Las Vegas, where he was photographed playing billiards with a female companion. Innocent enough, except that the would-be emperor had no clothes.
While many of us will scratch our heads and wonder what he was thinking, still others will ask simply why not? Does it really matter what Harry does? Why not play strip billiards, even with a cell phone camera in the room?
After all, it’s not as if he has to worry about appeasing a prospective employer, is it? His prospects are neither hurt nor enhanced by his behavior. Harry's path is etched in stone. Harry is Jeff Bridges in Fearless. Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. And Claudia from Interview with the Vampire.
His future is very unlikely to change.
Harry is a young man with everything—except the ability to alter his career path. For all the wealth and the privilege and the fame and even the eager young women, I don’t envy Harry much.
Thumbing your nose at consequence can’t be very fulfilling when so few consequences exist.