Now 27, he has spent years playing the role of sideshow joker and playboy prince but this time he knew our eyes were fixed on him – and we saw that something was missing. No, not the trusty Locog lanyard that had hung around his neck for the previous two weeks.
Not a tie – he looked dashing in a pale blue one – nor his brother, away on RAF duties in Anglesey. Not his father (although where was he?). No, what was missing from the VIP box at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday night was this: a girlfriend.
Oh, Harry. Where was your date? Although the Duchess of Cambridge was there to hold his hand, this seemed almost touchingly tragic. For over a year now, he has had to play gooseberry to William and Kate, at times looking as if he is simply tagging along. Then, on Sunday, he turned up to the biggest party in the world, one that he was essentially hosting, with his sister-in-law as his plus one. No man should have to suffer such an indignity (however well he gets on with her).
And what this momentous occasion could really have done with – to lift it from George Michael’s flat vocals, to cheer us all up once the Olympic flame had been extinguished – was a significant other to help the Prince shoulder the weight of responsibility.
Because that’s what the country needs right now: another Royal wedding to look forward to. Given that the past two years have been chock-a-block with anticipation and excitement – William and Kate’s magnificent wedding; the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend, during which the country almost combusted with love; the Olympics, when the country did combust with love – we now have a depressingly empty national calendar.
There’s the Paralympics, but they will be over by the middle of September. There’s the Rugby League World Cup next year, but, well… There’s the Commonwealth Games, though they’re in Glasgow. In 2014.
In short, there is absolutely nothing to get us through each working day, nothing to distract us from the depression of sovereign debt. If Prince Harry were to take all of this into consideration, he would see that it is practically his duty to find himself a wife.
Granted, two years ago he was forever being photographed falling out of nightclubs, covered in sweat and booze. But today we have a new Harry, one who has witnessed the domestic bliss enjoyed by the Cambridges, one who allows himself to be called by his official title of Prince Henry, one who (whisper it) is said to be almost teetotal. Take, for example, his response to the Canadian kayaker Michael Tayler, who asked him where the best place in London to party is. “I don’t go out any more,” Harry is said to have replied. “I’m too old, I’m too old.”
Serving in the Army Air Corps, where he recently qualified as an Apache helicopter pilot, has apparently been the making of him, and he is almost unrecognisable from the boy who, in 2005, turned up at a party dressed as a Nazi; the boy who was sent by his father to visit a rehab centre for a day in 2002 after he admitted to smoking marijuana.
And it’s not as if he can’t do commitment. He had a seven-year relationship with Chelsy Davy, a lawyer who is supposed to have felt unable to take on everything that goes with being the wife of a Royal. He is not short of lady suitors, and there is an abundance of “Harry Hunters” who stalk the streets of Kensington and Chelsea in the hope of bumping into the third in line to the throne.
The Prince himself has bemoaned his lack of a girlfriend. During his tour of Brazil earlier this year, he told the American ABC anchor Katie Couric that the overseas engagement “would probably be easier as [part of] a couple. I don’t have anyone. I wasn’t allowed to bring anybody with me.
Photo credit: WPA Pool photo by Mark Large
“I’m waiting to find the right person,” he continued. “Someone who’s willing to take on the job.” Come on then, Harry, do it for your country. We’re waiting.
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Source : Daily Telegraph.co.uk