Royal brat Prince Harry visited Ireland yesterday with his fiancée Meghan Markle. They waved and smiled and posed for PR photos in an emptied pub. Another dull day of ten of thousands of pounds of public money being wasted (transportation, security, etc.) on a promotion tour ahead of their publicly funded wedding in May.
There was one significant difference between yesterday’s visit and the couple’s recent visits to Cardiff and Nottingham: Yesterday, there was no prior announcement. The secrecy about the visit was to ensure there would be no protests. To deny protests is anti-democratic. Therefore, the secrecy of the visit is anti-democratic. The secrecy is also an insult to the people who live or work nearby.
Normally, the locations of royal visits don’t matter to the royal pair and their PR team – the photos and video clips in the media are what matters to them. But, a PR stunt in Ireland has significance beyond photos of royal celebs grinning coldly. A pair of royals wandering along streets in Irish towns and cities, laughing and smirking, surrounded by armed British security, is effectively an invasion. It is a deliberate middle-finger to the majority of the population.
The secrecy of the visit and the clearing out of the pub before the royals stepped inside show that they had no intention of engaging with the public. It was just a series of carefully choreographed poses for promotional purposes. It was a con, as are all royal engagements. But, it was also an arrogant and false demonstration of control against the Irish people, behind a wall of heavily armed British police. It was disgusting. It was an insult. It was cowardly.