HALF the population seems to be taking Prince Harry to task over his declaration this week that he wants two children “maximum” – as part of his bid to do his bit for the environment.
While the other half have been too busy to criticise him because they’ve been lambasting his wife Meghan for guest editing glossy mag Vogue, in which Harry’s “two kids max” declaration appeared when he was interviewed by primatologist (think “Gorillas In The Mist”), Jane Goodall.
“What we need to remind everybody is: these are things that are happening now, Harry said about the climate crisis, adding that his views have shifted since the birth of his son, Archie, in May.
When Goodall cautioned him against having “too many” children, he said two would be their lot, to avoid being a burden on the planet.
He said it was important to focus on taking care of the resources we have, rather than putting more pressure on them.
Cue much outrage from critics accusing him of hypocrisy.
The accusations are mainly that there are more efficient ways to save the planet than that — such as not flying by private jet.
My first thought, though, was more along the lines of not counting chickens before they are hatched: when it comes to babies, you can’t plan how many you get to have.
Also, sorry to be a realist, but any women over 35, as Meghan is, are referred to as a geriatric mothers. The reality is that maybe she only has time for one more.
But, whether it’s for the environment or not, I don’t blame him for not wanting more than two children.
I have two and the very idea of having had a third makes me feel weary. I’m just thinking of the sheer volume of childcare, laundry and meals required by each additional child.
Sure, when it comes to considering whether two children is “enough”, Harry, left, and Meghan are dealing with different considerations to most of us.
With hordes of staff, including nannies, cleaners and drivers, they could have multiple children and outsource ALL of the difficult stuff if they wanted to.
But Harry and Meghan want to be hands-on parents — which can become exponentially harder with each child you have.
Historically, there is pressure on Royal family members to have multiple kids.
But, as with many other royal traditions, Harry and Meghan are planning to go their own way. And I commend them for that.
I also think Harry should be applauded for speaking up about climate change, especially as this week the Met Office confirmed that the hottest years on record have occurred in the past ten years.
‘I DON’T BLAME HIM’
So why shouldn’t he use his very public platform to talk about things that matter to him and to try to inspire others?
But, as is often the case, this royal couple seem to be damned if they do and damned if they don’t.
They’ve already learned the hard way — with their wedding; their handling of Archie’s birth and their choice of residence — that you can’t please all the people all of the time.
And that, in a way, is a liberation. Because all that is left is to please yourselves. By ignoring pressures about how many children they “should” have, they are going to have as many as they damn well please.
Although why they have to announce it is another question. What if they change their mind?
If they have two boys they might want to try for a girl. Apart from anything else, you don’t know what your kids will contribute to the world.
What if Thomas Edison’s parents had given up after two? (He was number seven). Or Louis Pasteur? (Who was the third).
I admire and respect Harry and Meghan for going their own way, and for doing things the way that suits them.
And if it affirms their choices to announce them to the world then all the better.
Still, when you consider how many other ways there are to help save the environment, I think that not having kids is not the best way.
Dread for Ryanair
I KNOW times are hard, but news that Ryanair has told its staff it has 500 more pilots and 400 more cabin crew than required, and job losses will be announced in the coming weeks, leaves me full of dread.
I’m concerned about the impact that this might have on Ryanair’s (already apparently stretched) service if it loses more of its workforce.
In which case I guess it is anticipating losing more customers, too.
Kelly has top views on ageism
I LOVE Kelly McGillis for how open and upfront she was recently about why Hollywood is no longer courting her.
In an interview the 62-year-old actress was asked why she was not asked to co-star with Tom Cruise in the Top Gun sequel titled Maverick.
“I’m old and I’m fat and I look age-appropriate for what my age is, and that is not what that whole scene is about,” said the star who played Charlie Blackwood, Maverick’s instructor, in the 1986 hit film.
“But . . . I’d much rather feel absolutely secure in my skin and who and what I am at my age as opposed to placing a value on all that other stuff.”
How refreshing is that approach to life? Although she’s not old or fat at all – she just looks like most of us will look at 62.
And what a relief it must be not to be squeezing herself into size zero dresses and having monthly Botox appointments.
Still, McGillis is only five years older than Tom Cruise. And, of course, his career really is the gift that keeps on giving – mostly to the Mission: Impossible franchise.
So it’s hard not to be annoyed by the take home from that. Namely that women can’t be in films if they look their age . . . whereas men can.
Klum wedding photos were a treat
I LOVED seeing the photos of Heidi Klum, 46, celebrating her marriage to Tom Kaulitz, 29.
Forget any kind of quiet romance – the pair, above, spent lunchtime downing shots of limoncello with pals.
Rather you than me, Heidi. But I guess if you marry someone in his 20s you take the rough with the smooth.
They look super happy – and like they are having a lot of fun. Good luck to them both.
Flawless Gigi is blessed
I DON’T lose any sleep over it but, sometimes, especially when it’s bikini season, I find myself wondering what life might be like if you happen to have been blessed with the kind of physique that Gigi Hadid has.
She seems to have no apparent flaws whatsoever.
And how would it feel not to have to spend most of your time on the beach arranging yourself in the “most flattering” way (which, often, is under a flowing kaftan)?
Crash was a double tragedy
THE story of Joe Plimmer, 19, an aspiring police officer who had his full driving licence for only 14 weeks when he smashed his car into a tree, killing his 17-year-old female passenger as he tried to keep up with a sports car, is so utterly tragic.
Meredita Kelmelyte died when the Vauxhall Corsa they were in veered off the road and hit a tree at more than 60mph.
It’s horrific that she died and her family must be in pieces.
Who knows how they feel about the fact that Plimmer has been sentenced to nine months in a young offenders’ institute.
But you can guarantee that this young man’s life is already in tatters and will never be the same again. Jail will not bring back his passenger – is it really the right place for him to be?
Men need training in respect
ANYONE else punch the air and shout “Yes!” reading about the man who was caught urinating outside a train station then forced by police to clean up after himself with a mop and bucket?
British Transport Police refused the man travel and asked him to leave Worcester railway station on Sunday lunchtime.
MOST READ IN OPINION
They also shared a picture of him cleaning up, describing his actions as “unacceptable” given that the station’s toilets were open.
Sorry, but how many women do you ever see urinating in the streets – whether the toilets are open or not?
Also, if this happened every time a man was caught urinating in the street, something tells me it would happen a lot less.
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