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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Evening Standard Comment: Prince Harry’s words will lead to finger-pointing

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R

eports that the Queen has invited Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex to the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June represent a significant rapprochement for relations in the family. It is understandable that Her Majesty, who turns 96 tomorrow, would want a full complement around her to mark this momentous occasion.

Yet Harry’s comments to US media, in which he said he was making sure she was “protected” and that she had “the right people around her”, raise questions as to what he means. Given strained relations, his words will inevitably lead to finger-pointing regarding to whom he was referring. Indeed, it was an unusual thing to say and Harry, a seasoned media performer, would have been aware of its impact.

The Queen’s Jubilee is an opportunity for the royals to come together and celebrate after a difficult few years. Despite family tensions, we hope all will put on a show of unity for Queen and country.

M&S’s second chance

To demolish or refurbish? That is the question facing Michael Gove regarding the Marks & Spencer building on Oxford Street. His answer for the moment: to delay.

The Secretary of State for Levelling Up has instructed Westminster council to “pause” an application to knock down the nearly 100-year-old flagship to provide more time to scrutinise the plans. It follows Sadiq Khan’s decision last week to give the green light to the development, in spite of environmental concerns relating to its carbon footprint. Gove is right to give the plans a second look. Debates around the importance of sustainability in the construction sector are growing louder every day. Oxford Street may have its problems but an Art Deco M&S is not one of them.

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