Prince and Pippa given a reality check
In the wake of recent reports, perhaps it's time for a reality check on two of the planet's more famous 20-somethings.
We'll give you some hints -- one's a royal, one acts like one. One likes to write books, one would rather fly. Both like to party, both are looking for love ....
PRINCE ('CALL ME CAPTAIN') HARRY
In an age of an insatiable thirst for celebrity insight, real or imagined, Harry made up for a four-month absence in Afghanistan with some revealing interviews about what makes this royal tick. It was unprecedented in its scope and honesty, though his dad Charles would not necessarily approve. This much became abundantly clear ....
1) He doesn't like the media. There were at least a half-dozen references over the course of his interviews that suggested he wouldn't think twice about pointing his Apache helicopter weapons at media types. The scorn came through with almost every topic he tackled, even blaming the media for Will and Kate's early pregnancy announcement. He only conducted the Afghanistan interviews to fulfill a deal made by his defence bosses to keep him out of the media while he was deployed for security reasons. The media did its part, now Harry was doing his, albeit reluctantly.
But he draws the line about what his privacy expectations. When he landed back in Britain Wednesday, he remarked about how much he missed his family and how he was "longing to catch up with people behind closed doors -- you guys (media) aren't invited."
2) Normal is not normal. As he landed in snowy Oxfordshire on Wednesday after a few days of decompression in Cyprus, Prince Harry had some reflective words for the assembled media: "I don't know what normal is anymore and never really have done. There's nothing normal about what we've been doing for the last four and a half months. In the last day that I was there a 7-year-old girl got shot down by insurgents. Normality is a very ambiguous thing. I will continue being myself. I will enjoy being a soldier."
3) Harry's right ... he's way more 'army' than 'prince.' He used the comparison to explain his naked romp in Vegas last year, but it can be extended to the rest of his life. Four months away from the spotlight, doing a singular results-oriented job, acting like one of the boys, free from royal duty, where downtime is swallowed up by PlayStation and kitchen duty ... this is where Harry can be Harry. The prince stuff, well, that's to be tolerated, if only for the sake of family and the charities that profit by association with royalty.
4) The truth can hurt. The world according to Capt. Wales made for captivating sound bites and probably endeared him to the hero-hungry folks back home, but his common-sense talk about having to engage and kill Taliban has raised security concerns. "Purely from a protection point of view, I think it was highly unadvisable for Prince Harry to draw attention to himself," Dia Davies, former chief of the royal protection squad, told the Daily Mail. "It may be the reality that he killed insurgents, but saying this publically just increases the likelihood of some lunatic trying to take revenge on him." Word is that his security detail may have to be beefed up.
5) Harry's still a fun guy. One of the stories that came out of Harry's time in Afghanistan was from former Apache squadron commander Richard Youngs, who told ITV News: "My favourite Harry moment is when we went mountain flying in France and landing at Le Touquet airport and a big entourage coming out to meet him.
"The French officer walks up to him -- we were taking our immersion suits off and refuelling the aircraft -- and the officer asked him when Prince Harry would be arriving and he, quick as a flash, looked back at him and said 'he's on the next aircraft in', quickly smiled at me, gave me a wink, got back in the cockpit and we flew off. He's very quick."
PIPPA ('LETS CELEBRATE') MIDDLETON
Ever since word leaked out that Pippa Middleton was writing a book, she became a target. She was cashing in on her royal sibling connections -- to the tune of a $630,000 advance -- and potentially embarrassing the palace occupants.
The fact that she became one of the most photographed women in the world over the last few years only heightened the talk that she was due for a fall. Then her party-planning book, 'Celebrate,' came out and the critics pounced.
It looks like she may have the last laugh, though. The book paid off its advance to Pippa before it even hit the shelves with foreign and serial rights. And it has sold, according to The Bookseller, 37,900 copies in Britain and another 15,400 copies in the U.S. Even at discounted prices of anywhere from $10 to $25, the book has made back its advance.
There were reports this week that the publisher, Michael Joseph, was so disheartened by the book's reception and the palace's handcuffs on Pippa doing more publicity tours, that he cancelled plans for two more books by Pippa.
Not so, he told The Bookseller. In fact, it's claimed there was no plan for more books.
"'Celebrate' was a one-book deal," said a spokesman.
Perhaps Pippa should leave it at that -- one less thing on the bucket list.