A perceptible hardening of attitudes against Prince Harry following his ill-advised remarks yesterday in which he compared modern warfare to a computer game.
Harry Mount in the usually blithely patriotic Telegraph is the pick of the bunch. In a terse and cogent piece of writing he argues that 'the loose-tongued Spencer emotion will, sometimes, have to give way to the stiff Windsor upper lip."
He accuses Harry of the crime indiscretion: "Never in her 86 years has the Queen been a fraction as indiscreet as Prince Harry was in his interview to mark the end of his tour of duty in Helmand Province this week… once the TV cameras turn up, it’s time to stop the officers’ mess banter, and draw a veil over the bloody facts of military life…"Mount also criticises Harry's immaturity: "He is still young – only 28 – and the roistering Prince Hal days can, in theory, go on for ever: succession disasters notwithstanding, he will never become King Henry IX. But it’ll soon be time to put away childish things. What now looks like hot blood and instinctive reactions will be petulant oafishness in 10 years’ time."The left-wing, republican Guardian surprises with a piece drawing somewhat favourable comparisons between Harry and former fighting Kings and princes.
"Bedecked in armour on the field of battle, war was an essential element of the theatre of kingship," writes Tristram Hunt, "Shakespeare's Henry V, on the eve of storming Harfleur, had it slightly differently. "Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; / Or close the wall up with our English dead. / In peace there's nothing so becomes a man / As modest stillness and humility." But his "band of brothers" were equally unafraid of drawing blood, and would "not leave the half-achieved Harfleur / Till in her ashes she lie buried"."
Media writer Roy Greenslade has a full round-up of how the UK press covered his return from war yesterday.