We have a lot to talk about today. The last few weeks have been banana pancakes re: the royals, so I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot. But it’s still true! So let’s go.
On Thursday evening, James Corden aired his LA interview with Prince Harry on his late night talk show. You can watch the full segment here:
Let’s break the segment down into pieces, because there’s a lot to talk about.
James is driving around on a double decker tour bus and makes some comments about showing his old friend around his new city. He sees his friend on the street and tells him to pay the double decker bus fare and meet him on the top of the bus. Prince Harry jokes that royals famously don’t carry cash.
For someone who gave up all of his royal duties and peaced out to a different country, Prince Harry does speak about the fact that he is royal a fair amount. He also says that he has never been on an open-top bus because as a royal “you’re not really allowed to.”
James then brings out a tea set and pours Prince Harry a cup, to which Harry says, “Splendid.” Because they are on a double decker bus on a highway, the tea set almost immediately smashes into the seats on the bus and spills everywhere.
Fresh Prince house tour
I say house tour, but I really just mean the exterior of the house, because the interior has nothing to do with the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. So James Corden got a team of people to coordinate him and Harry going to the outside of a house just so James could say, “GET IT? IT’S FUNNY BECAUSE IT HAS PRINCE IN THE TITLE AND YOU ARE A PRINCE.”
Because James loves to beat a dead horse, he FaceTimes Meghan from Harry’s phone and makes the same joke: “YOU SHOULD BUY THIS HOUSE BECAUSE IT’S FROM A POP CULTURE MOMENT WHERE IT WAS BASED AROUND THE FRESH PRINCE, GET IT? GET IT? AND YOU’RE RICH NOW SO YOU CAN AFFORD IT. GET IT?”
Meghan looks absolutely gorgeous. She responds to James’s pleas to buy the Fresh Prince house with “We’re done moving,” which is pretty funny.
In-depth question time
Back on the bus, James asks Harry how he knew Meghan was the one. He also asks why Harry and Meghan “quit” the British Royal Family, to which Harry responds that they were always stepping back, never stepping away. Two things: 1) James saying that Harry quit the BRF clearly irked Harry. This is just about the friendliest interview you’re going to give, why not make James ask in a nicer way and cut the “quit” out? And 2) Harry and Meghan wanted to step back, not step away, when they first announced their plan to be half in-half out members of the BRF last January, but that’s simply not the case anymore. No matter what Harry says, he did quit. He did step away. He needs to acknowledge it.
When asked about The Crown, Harry said that he doesn’t mind it because it doesn’t pretend to be news or reality. He also said that he thinks it gives a good glimpse into what life in his family is like. That’s a pretty cutting statement for a show that inspired so much hatred of his father that Clarence House had to turn off its social media comments because it was getting spammed with vitriol for Harry’s father and stepmother.
Finally, Harry said that Archie’s first word was “crocodile”. I have spoken with the parents in my life and they all say that this is a lie. A first word is usually one, MAYBE two syllables, and is something like “Mama” or “Dada”. Crocodile is an insane lie. He also says that Queen Elizabeth asked what Archie wanted as a Christmas gift, and that Meghan responded that he would like a waffle maker, so that’s what QEII gave Archie for Christmas. That’s also absolutely bonkers. Why say that ARCHIE wanted a waffle maker? Why not just buy a waffle maker yourselves? Who is doing Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas shopping? Did she order it from an American store so the power plug would work in an American outlet? I have 8,000 questions. I’m so frustrated even writing this.
Obstacle course time
James took Harry to a military-style obstacle course, which Harry sailed through. James panted his way through the course, to the laughter of the audience. Again, for James to take his good friend through something associated with the military, as Harry was privately being told by the Queen that he would be stripped of his beloved military patronages from the BRF, doesn’t seem fun to me. It just seems cruel.
Here are my thoughts on whatever this video was:
What is Harry promoting?
Usually people who go on James Corden’s show, or Carpool Karaoke, or literally any late night talk show, are there because they have something tangible to promote. A new TV show, a charity they want to support, something. Harry seems to have agreed to participate to promote…walking away from his family?
I think this is why this segment has so many awkward pauses or jokes that don’t hit right. The segment isn’t being directed toward something (a cause, a project, a movie, etc.). Instead of a dinner party, which has a beginning, middle, and end, it’s just two guys shooting the shit on a dorm room couch for 6 hours.
Why are you letting people make fun of you and your family?
Why let James Corden make fun of you and your family? Presumably, if you still care about your grandmother, as you say you do, you wouldn’t want to embarrass or make fun of her and her job. That would probably include not saying what she gave her great-grandson for Christmas. It also wouldn’t include mocking the idea of being a prince by going to a house from a show called The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
Is this how you let your friends treat you?
Also, I don’t think Harry is as in on the joke as he thinks he is. James Corden is Harry’s friend, yes. They have spent time together in private. But on this show, James’s main goal is views for his own show. And that means making fun of Harry and his family and their situation. It means taking Harry to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air house and making him run an obstacle course after he’s been painfully stripped of his beloved military titles. If you’re Harry, doesn’t all of this, done by a friend, feel at least a little bit cruel?
I understand that Harry thinks he is getting things out of this segment, just as James is – the chance to write his own narrative, to speak his truth, to get America to know and love him a little better. But if you’re James Corden, supposedly a close personal friend of Prince Harry, and aware of the amount of dust this segment will kick up with Harry’s family and the people of the UK, wouldn’t you tell him not to do it? Or, at the very least, do it in a way that would result in the least kickback from Harry’s family in the UK? And wouldn’t you suggest that, while the world is still in the middle of a pandemic and Harry’s family back home is begging people to stay inside during lockdown, Harry maybe shouldn’t be riding on a double decker bus with a camera crew and a bunch of other TV staff?
With friends like these, who needs enemies?
Did Oprah get scooped?
There has been some chatter about whether James’s interview with Harry was too in-depth given that he and Meghan’s interview with Oprah is going to be aired next Sunday. I think that Oprah did not get scooped, and here is why: 1) 95% of the Oprah interview will be with Meghan alone, so I think James asking Harry questions was fair game. 2) I think that the Oprah interview will be much more in-depth and will give much more dirt. 3) Oprah and James Corden are in business together via Weight Watchers. Additionally, both interviews are being aired by CBS. So I think that Oprah was aware of the James interview and probably signed off on it. It’s all good.
Odds and ends
- I really felt for Prince Harry’s bald spot while riding on that open-top bus. The California sun and no baseball cap? A recipe for disaster.
- All of the surprises were scripted within an inch of their life, including the Meghan cameo. Unless Meghan is just getting full hair and makeup done at her mansion every day…during a pandemic.
- Harry going into the Fresh Prince House to use the bathroom and saying, “It’s okay, I’ve had a COVID test” while his entire family begs people to get the COVID vaccine is like an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Just because you’ve had a negative COVID test doesn’t mean you’re not going to test positive in a day, or 7 days, or 12 days. Idiotic.
- I have never found Prince Harry attractive, but his arms in the military obstacle course did something to me. Who needs a full head of hair when you have big, strong arms? Too much information, but also important to note.
Thanks for reading. Support here, stay safe, and wear a mask.