Two members of royalty dominated the news last week: Prince Harry, age 33, the Duke of Sussex of the House of Wales, and Prince Donald II, age 40, son of Donald J. Trump of the House of Trump and President of the United States.
Both men were born into privilege that most couldn’t imagine. Their celebrity parents’ divorces were public and painful. Since both were the second born, their older siblings bore the brunt of the spotlight allowing the boys more latitude to operate under the radar. That is, until their wild oats-sowing put them in the news. Harry’s strip billiards game in Las Vegas was caught on video through a window by vigilant paparazzi. Donald II’s reputation for barroom brawling culminated in his arrest for public drunkenness in New Orleans in 2001.
While their origins were similar, the attention paid them this past week highlights their differences.The Prince Harry frenzy was over his wedding to the beautiful American actress Meghan Markle. People around the world, even those who otherwise dismiss the royal family as an extravagant, anachronistic waste, enjoyed the pageantry. Many appreciated the things that distinguished this event from Harry’s parents’ and his brother’s weddings. Meghan Markle herself personified these differences. She’s an outspoken feminist, a bi-racial advocate for human rights and ending HIV/AIDS. Donald II’s 24/7 presence in the non-FSN news was due to a newly reported meeting between Trump Jr. and an emissary for Arab princes at Trump Tower. It was the first mention of a country other than Russia offering help to get President Donald Trump elected.
They‘re keen on big game. Donald II likes to shoot them and bring pieces of them home as trophies. Harry likes to save them, serving as President of conservation organization African Parks, devoted to nurturing and protecting animal sanctuaries.
They’re known for their philanthropic activity. Harry is the founder of Invictus, the Paralympic-style games for injured veterans. He’s deeply involved in numerous other global health and environmental causes. Donald II and his siblings are frequent guests at fund raising galas, but he’s better known as a key player in the scandal-plagued Trump Foundation until it was shut down in 2017. He has likely inspired dozens of his fellows by his philosophy about charity: “I give to panhandlers on occasion, especially around the holidays.”(New York Magazine)
They have curious nicknames. The White House staff reportedly call Donald II Fredo, after the second Corleone son in The Godfather (Vox.com). Harry’s nickname is Harry. His given name is Henry Charles Albert David.
They are trained in the use of weaponry. In addition to the aforementioned elephant shooting, Donald II stated that “Between myself, my brother, my father, and my wife, we have four of the 1,500 concealed carry permits for New York City.” (BrainyQuotes.com) Harry’s experience came from serving in the Army for ten years, rising to the rank of Captain and undertaking two combat tours in Afghanistan, returning from the front lines only after the press discovered his presence there.
Last week’s spotlight brings into focus the perception of the two princes in the eyes of the world. They may have started in similar circumstance but their reputations reflect their choices. The legacies they leave will be the outcome of those choices