Agincourt redux

Wonderful, acerbic column by Catherine Bennett.

Two weeks ago, the press united in mockery of Mohamed al-Fayed, who had alleged, in an unfortunate performance at the Diana inquest, that the royal family is still ‘manipulating everything and can do anything. They are still living in the 18th or 19th century’. If Fayed’s account of an intricate murder plot, with Prince Philip as the presiding genius, still sounds as bonkers as ever, one or two of his other remarks, when you re-read them, do accord with an uncomfortable feeling that we may have underestimated the Windsors.

After all, a fortnight ago, if someone had told you that Harry, recently a world-class piss artist in a Nazi costume, unable to string more than three words together, was about to be reinvented as ‘the soldier prince’, a national hero endowed with the moral authority to ‘show us the way’, it might have sounded no less baloney than Fayed’s insistence that Harry’s accident-prone family retains the capacity, with the help of politicians, lawyers, legions of BBC broadcasters, a willing press and assorted agents of national security, to reduce the nation to a condition of drooling complicity…