Prince Harry: America’s free speech protection is 'bonkers'

15 May 2021

7:00 PM

15 May 2021

7:00 PM

Much has been written here in the UK about Prince Harry’s Thursday appearance on Hollywood actor Dax Shepard’s ‘Armchair Expert’ podcast. The Duke of Sussex’s comments about the ‘genetic pain and suffering’ of growing up as a royal made the front page of Friday’s tabloids with the Daily Mail asking ‘Just how low can Harry go?’ after he appeared to criticise the parenting of his own father Prince Charles.

MAIL: Just how low can Harry go? #TomorrowsPapersToday

— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) May 13, 2021

Less attention though was paid to other comments made by the exiled royal in his interview. In March Harry was given a role at international nonprofit the Aspen Institute, where he serves on the Orwell-esque ‘Commission on Information Disorder’ working on a six-month study on how inaccurate information spreads across the country. And it was that subject of misinformation the prince chose to turn his guns on in the interview, criticising the free speech provisions in the Bill of Rights, telling Shephard:

I’ve got so much I want to say about the First Amendment as I sort of understand it, but it is bonkers. I don’t want to start going down the First Amendment route because that’s a huge subject and one which I don’t understand because I’ve only been here a short time. But, you can find a loophole in anything. You can capitalise or exploit what’s not said rather than uphold what is said.

As an exercise in winning ‘hearts and minds’ this criticism of America’s treasured civil liberties has not gone down well stateside. Comments underneath articles reporting the Duke’s views include ‘Hey, go home! We fought a war to get rid of Royals on our soil. No need to understand anything we do. Bye!!’ and ‘You can always leave if you don’t like our constitution and please find a country where you don’t have to deal with those bonker[s] rights.’ Even one congressman has weighed in, with Texas Republican Dan Crenshaw claiming Harry has ‘just doubled the size of my Independence Day party.’

Well I just doubled the size of my Independence Day party.

— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) May 14, 2021

Given that America fought a small war in 1776 to, err, rid themselves of the current Queen’s third great grandfather George III, Steerpike wonders whether Harry mag be given some history lessons in exchange for all the sermons on ethics.

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