|A cottage in the country|
First you have to understand that it's all about me. Not Harry and me. I've never met the guy in person and he certainly doesn't know who I am. My point is that opinions and advice are usually highly subjective. Meaning, if someone gives you their opinion about what they would do in your place, even if you begged them for it, you have to bear in mind that they are not you.
I learned this when I got a job running teenage camps for three months in Australia back in the summer (their winter) of 1990. It was an amazing experience, though exhausting. I had the time of my life and I was paid for it! Six months later they asked me to go back and do it again in the spring of 1991. I didn't know what to do so I asked around. This is the advice I received.
I had steady employment with a company whose busiest time of year was the spring. So my father, who was always extremely careful, advised me not to go so as not to jeopardize my job. He was fearful of me being unemployed on my return and was thinking of my future.
My Australian friend who had just arrived in Israel for the adventure of her life, said, "You went last year. What do you want to go back again for? It's just more of the same."
A friend who was a professional youth worker and spent his life running camps, clubs, and activities, said, "Why do you want to travel all that way to work? Work hard during the year and save up so that when you want a holiday you can travel on your own terms and your own itinerary."
And my hard working friend who was fed up with her low paying job, had never traveled and dreamed of having the money to do so, said, "Of course you should go! How can you turn down a free trip to Australia?"
In the end I didn't go. I didn't stay in the same job as I soon went back to teaching, and I did regret not going back to Australia a bit. But it wasn't a life changing decision so no harm done. The issue is that everyone gave opinions based on their own situation and desires. None of the advice was about me, it was all about them.
So if I were to write that Harry will miss being close to his large family and that it's sad for Archie not to be brought up with his cousins, I'd be projecting my feelings, as an expat, of living far from my family and that my daughter only sees her grandmother, aunts and uncles and cousins once or twice a year. It would be less painful if Meghan were not estranged from most of her own family.
When I say that he'll miss the English culture it's because I do.
When I think he'll miss his large house in the English countryside, it's because I live in a small flat without a garden in the Middle East desert. I yearn for the rolling green hills, rivers and commons of England. I would love to have even a small cottage in the English countryside.
When I feel that it's sad for him to have to give up on all his military associations that gave him so much pleasure, it's because I also had to compromise my career when I moved to a country with a different language. Different challenge, same result. Well not exactly the same result but also a compromise.
And I've also been in a relationship where my whole personality changed. A situation where after some months of doing only what he wanted, I found that I wasn't at all happy.
In Harry's case, he used to be friendly with the media. Long gone are the days of the paparazzi that he blamed for contributing to his mother's death. Nowadays there is an agreement, a system whereby the royals give photo opportunities at certain times and rites of passage for them and their children. At Christmas, on birthdays, after births, christenings, and first days of school, etc... They smile, they wave, they remain still for the photographers to do their jobs, they answer a few questions in a friendly manner, and then they are left alone. Harry was a favourite because he was always friendly and chatty with the official reporters and photographers. He knew that his job was a team effort.
But Harry and Meghan have not been playing the game. They refused the assigned photographers and only wanted those that they personally invited. They have refused to speak to the media. They refused to pose with Archie until they decided the time. And they kept unnecessary secrets like who his godparents are. All this helped turn the media against them.
It's not how Harry used to be. I don't blame Meghan because Harry is a grown man and can decide for himself how to live his life. In fact, knowing the system better than she does, he should have put his foot down about certain issues of protocol. He should have explained to her how it works and that it's not the same as being a Hollywood celebrity.
I do think he will regret this decision to move away and out of the Royal family, but that's all about me, not him.