More than anyone else on Earth, I, Prince Harry, know what it’s like waiting for the day that’s never going to happen.
Back in 2010, the family had gathered at Buckingham Palace for the wedding of Kate and William, the eventual heirs to the throne. Over-dressed cousins, pervy uncles, divorced aunts, first-rate Royals, third-rate Royals and the Middletons were all there, with a Royal wave to the public and a RAF fly-past scheduled as usual.
The entire British Royal Family would be standing on one balcony, listening to Prince Philip earning his stripes with inappropriate jokes, and all looking up into the sky to see Queen Elizabeth II’s collection of realistic toys.
After our formal celebratory lunch – ‘The Meaty One’ from Pizza Express (Uncle Andrew’s choice), we made our way up to the balcony. The doors are opened, and one by one we shuffle out to the cheering public. Pawns to the side, first rank pieces to the middle.
That was the first time I didn’t have the stomach for it. What was the actual point? So, pretending to have an immediate case of “New Delhi belly” (Prince Philip’s joke from last year), I escaped to the toilet.
Whilst passing the time with a cheeky fag, and writing Uncle Edward’s mobile number on the wall in permanent ink for a laugh, I heard the rumble of planes from the fly-past. Red Arrows, Spitfires, bombers, helicopters, pigeons, Thunderbird 3.
It was then, for the first time since that night behind The Jolly Taxpayer pub, I allowed my imagination to run riot…
What if… Hitler stumbled into the toilet right now, asking for his uniform back.
What if…… one of the Spitfires fired his cannon at the crowd, mistaking the Union Jack for the French flag.
What if……… the pilot of one of the bombers suffered a heart attack, nose-diving straight into the balcony.
All the Royals dead.
All the heirs dead.
Rubble everywhere, with nothing remaining except the toilet cubicle I was occupying.
In one single moment, the Spare Heir is recognised!
King Harry the Ninth!……
Never. Going. To. Happen.