A TV host’s joke about “wanting to shoot” Prince Harry and James Corden demonstrates exactly why the royal has sued the British government to get his police bodyguards back, biographer Omid Scobie says.
Presenter Patrick Christys made the remark during a discussion on his GB News show about the upcoming series of Netflix show The Crown, which is due to depict the death of Princess Diana.
The U.K. network presents itself as the home of free speech, with hosts frequently speaking out against “cancel culture.”
Christys said: “What I find interesting about this is… this was just before—I think this flew under the radar a bit for people—just before Harry and Meghan did their Netflix thing, Harry did a thing with James Corden, okay?
“And I’ll tell you what, if you had one fake gun and one fake bullet and you lined up Harry and James Corden I don’t know which one you’d go for.
“But anyway, James Corden, lovely chap, and he was saying to him ‘how do you feel about The Crown?’ And he said ‘well I like The Crown, I don’t mind The Crown because it’s obviously not real.’
“He was having a pop at people doing news broadcasts and slamming them and presenting certain things as facts and I thought ‘that’s not really true, is it Harry’.”
Omid Scobie, author of biography Finding Freedom, wrote on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter: “Unlike this country’s quality news broadcasters, it seems you can get away with saying just about anything on @GBNews— including sick jokes about wanting to shoot people.
“And people wonder why Prince Harry has been so concerned about his security in the UK…”
Prince Harry has twice sued the British government over the removal of his U.K. police protection team, losing one case and being given permission to pursue the other to a full hearing, which is yet to take place.
He was stripped of his Metropolitan Police bodyguards after he quit the palace for a new life in California, but he has complained bitterly ever since.
In Spare, he wrote of the moment he first found out: “I carried Archie across the garden and handed him to Meg, then went across the soggy grass to the cottage where Lloyde and the other bodyguards were staying.
“We sat on a bench, both of us wearing puffer jackets. Waves rolling gently in the background, Lloyde told me that our security was being pulled. He and the whole team had been ordered to evacuate. ‘Surely they can’t.’
“‘I would tend to agree. But they are.’ So much for the year of transition.”
The Corden interview referenced by Christys was in fact in February 2021, before the couple’s Oprah Winfrey interview, rather than their Netflix series, which aired in December 2022.
During the segment, on The Late Late Show, Harry said: “I am way more comfortable with The Crown than I am seeing stories written about my family or my wife.
“That is obviously fiction, take it how you will. But this is being reported on as fact because you’re supposedly news. I have a real issue with that.”
He added: “It’s fictional. But it’s loosely based on the truth. Of course it’s not strictly accurate.”
Jack Royston is chief royal correspondent for Newsweek, based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jack_royston and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.
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