Sunday, 25 Jul 2021

Andrew Neil took aim at Prince Harry in Commonwealth row: ‘What’s it got to do with you?’

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were given an award last week after they decided they would only have two children. They have been named as environmental “role models” for making the decision in order to help protect the environment. Population Matters, a UK-based charity that campaigns for a “sustainable human population”, said it had chosen the couple to receive an award for their “enlightened” decision.

Harry and Meghan have been vocal advocates of climate action, with Harry saying in an an interview published in Vogue’s September 2019 issue that he had considered the impact of having children on the environment.

The Sussexes have also been vocal on historic racism and colonialism, as seen when they discussed the “uncomfortable” past of the Commonwealth in July last year.

They took part in a virtual summit of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (QCT) in which they discussed the issue.

Harry said there’s “no way” the Commonwealth of 54 nations could progress without first coming to terms with its past and human rights legacy.

He said: “Certainly, when you look across the Commonwealth there is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past.

“And I think so many people have done such an amazing, incredible job of acknowledging the past and trying to right those wrongs.

“But I think we all acknowledge, on here, that there is so much more still to do.

“It’s not going to be easy and in some cases it’s not going to be comfortable but it needs to be done because guess what? Everybody benefits.”

Meghan also said: “We have to, in this moment in time, say ‘we’re going to have to be a little uncomfortable right now’ because it’s only in pushing through that discomfort that we get to the other side of this and find the place, as you’re pointing out, where a high tide raises all ships.”

But these comments rubbed one person up the wrong way – Andrew Neil.

The former BBC journalist, who is now chairman of GB News, criticised the remarks.

He said on Twitter: “What is it that the Commonwealth has done wrong? And since they don’t live in it, what’s it got to do with them?”

In March, Mr Neil also took aim at the Sussexes interview with Oprah Winfrey, saying the host didn’t do a “proper job”.

The journalist said Meghan’s comments were more damaging than those from Princess Diana’s famous 1995 interview, but Oprah didn’t push her to check if the claims were true.

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He said: “It is dynamite as an interview, it’s a global news story. I think it is more damaging to the Royal Family than the Diana interview because it is a much bigger issue.

“Diana’s interview was basically about this rather dysfunctional Germanic family that she had married into, incapable of showing emotion, that had driven her to divorce and all the rest of it. It was a personal story.”

Meghan alleged that one member of the Royal Family about her baby Archie’s skin tone before he was born.

Mr Neil said Oprah should have asked more questions on the accusation.

He said: “Of course, Oprah Winfrey never pushed them to determine whether it was true or not, to push them on the issues and do a proper job as an interviewer as opposed to saying ‘here’s a softball, down the leg side, whack it for six.'”

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