What's That About?

Why Can't William and Harry's Be Polite With The Press?

Peter Macdiarmid

Princes William and Harry showed off one of their least impressive habits today – their frequent inability to be civil to the British press pack who schlep around the country documenting their every move, publicity without which the British Royal family would soon be nothing but a memory.

The latest example came when the two brothers were photographed and filmed by journalists as they helped distribute and lay out sandbags in the flood hit town of Datchet this morning.

The boys began helping the Household Cavalry shift sandbags for flood victims at Datchet, Berkshire, at 6am today. The work was not pre-announced and no publicity was sought, but inevitably word leaked out. Their office at Kensington Palace argued that this was a ‘private’ undertaking, however it surely seems somewhat reasonable that the press pack would wish to document the occasion when the future king of the realm decided to help in flood relief efforts.

Wiliam and Harry apparently didn’t think so. When asked an innocuous question by a journalist on his impressions of the floods, William shot back – on tape – “Well, you could come and help instead of throwing cameras around?” and later told a journalist from the Guardian: "Why don't you put your notebook down and give us a hand with the sandbags?"

Congratulations to the reporter who had the forebearance not to reply that he had a mortgage to pay, and in fact agreed to help, only for aides to step in and say it would not be possible due to a lack of the right sort of clothing.

Maybe he had a rough night with the kid.

The attitude filters down from William to his little brother. Harry, when asked if he was enjoying helping out, replied, “Not really with you guys around.”


Harry, when asked if he was enjoying helping out, replied, “We were until you lot turned up.”

Why pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel? Why turn a genuine good-news story into an expression of childish pettiness?

One is reminded of the old adage that if you can’t find anything nice to say, its usually better to say nothing.