NO matter where you stand on Harry and Meghan’s allegations about the Royal Family, it was hard for most of us to sympathise with Harry bemoaning the fact that he had been financially “cut off” by his family.
Yes, I know that Harry has had to take into account the cost of private security since he left Britain.It was hard for most of us to sympathise with Harry bemoaning the fact that he had been financially 'cut off' by his familyCredit: AFP or licensors
But any 36-year-old man talking with baffled bemusement about the fact that his family has cut him off financially is hard for most of us to relate to. But when that person was left an estimated inheritance of £10million by his late mother, it’s impossible.
I realise that life is very different when you grow up in the Royal Family. As Harry said, he was born into a certain life that requires a certain lifestyle and, of course, a certain financial wherewithal.
His comment raised the very interesting question of what age kids should start to stand on their own two feet — and how we, as parents, should encourage kids to do so.Harry was left an estimated inheritance of £10million by his late motherCredit: Getty - Contributor
With my own children, I have always taken the line that you never value money until you make your own. I have always encouraged them to be independent, and that is something that only really ever comes when you have your own money.
This is very much based on my own experience of growing up. Independence was the one thing I craved in my own life, having spent years in a boarding school, where you are told what to eat, what to wear, what time to get up, go to bed and so on.
I wanted desperately to make my own choices about what I did and when I did it, but knew instinctively that is something that only comes when you have your own money.
I got a summer job in a hairdresser’s at 16, which really gave me the taste for making my own cash. That is why I left school at 18 and got a job, because although part of my desire for independence meant wanting to work for myself, I also knew that, before you work for yourself, you almost always work for someone else.
Sure, that is my experience. And my kids are living their own lives.
But they do not see me as a source of ready cash and I would feel that I had failed if they did.Harry has left the UK and bought a nine-bedroom mansion in the USCredit: Google Earth
My daughter is very financially independent — and self-made. And my son is studying so has a very limited budget for the necessities of life, like food and rent. If he wants more money he has to go out and earn it for himself.
Of course, I support my kids. They will always have a roof over their heads and food in the fridge, but I am not funding a playboy lifestyle.
What incentive would kids have if we gave them every penny they wanted? Where would they get their drive and ambition from?
The importance of valuing and earning money is one of the most vital lessons young people can learn. It starts with pocket money in return for chores. And I always encouraged my kids to get jobs as teens.
There is an argument that Harry’s need for security and the fact that he was born into the Royal Family means that he should expect more money from his family. But he chose to leave and went to live in the US.
If he was that worried he could have stayed in the system and be afforded all the security he thinks he needs. The phrase have your cake and eat it springs to mind.Now that Harry has flown the coop, why on earth should Prince Charles pay the bills of a grown man with kids of his own?Credit: AFP or licensors
It should be all of our aims as parents to try to help kids stand on their own two feet, to realise their own ambitions and follow their own dreams.
There is no perfect age to start doing that, but Harry is 36, and if my kids still wanted to live off me at that age, let’s just say, I would be disappointed.
JANE IS NATURAL, BEAUTIFUL AND SO CLASSYIt is hard to believe Jane is 70, not least because she has four new projects in the works – two TV series and two filmsCredit: BackGrid
I LOVED the photos of Jane Seymour having a laugh with her grandchildren on the beach in Hawaii last week while wearing an incredible blue plunging swimsuit.
It is hard to believe Jane is 70, not least because she has four new projects in the works – two TV series and two films.
What a great reminder she provides that life is what you make it . . . although clearly it doesn’t hurt to stay in shape. Jane recently revealed she weighs now what she did at the age of 17 – but is “never” on a diet and has wisely steered clear of cosmetic enhancements because an actress’s face “needs to move”.
She looks natural, beautiful and so classy. And for 70? Wow. Just . . . wow.
I guess Jane can give thanks for having very good genes.
THINK OF NAZ TODAY
WHILE we celebrate Mother’s Day today, spare a thought for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a mother who has not seen her young daughter for years.
In 2016, she was sent to an Iranian prison for five years on spying charges, which she denies.
While there, she was chained up, forced to wear a blindfold, interrogated for up to nine hours at a time, sleep deprived and her family was threatened with execution.
It can come as no surprise that she has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder.
She was released on house arrest last year and forced to wear an ankle tag, but when her sentence finally ended last weekend and the tag was removed, she was immediately charged with new propaganda offences and will return to court in Iran today.
No one knows what the outcome will be – she may get another long prison sentence, she may be allowed to return home.
I pray for her that it is the latter so she can be reunited with the young daughter she has not seen for years.
My thoughts are with her this Mother’s Day.
It rather puts our sadness at only being able to see our mums and daughters on Zoom into perspective, doesn’t it?
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY
HAPPY Mother’s Day. If you are a mum, I sincerely hope you are reading this in bed with a tray with breakfast on it beside you – while someone else is cooking lunch and chilling the fizz to be popped later with a delicious cake.
Alongside International Women’s Day last Monday, that makes two special days for women in one week. I know not every day can be all about celebrating women.
But as these days can be thin on the ground, we should take every opportunity we have for a bit of pampering and mum worship. Personally, I will be missing my own mum this year – and hoping very much that I’ll be able to take her out for the pampering she deserves next Mother’s Day.
GIRLS' SELFIE TRAP
RECENT research suggesting that 90 per cent of girls feel forced to enhance their photos online is so dispiriting.
And it helps explain why so many young people have issues with their mental health these days. The pressure they are under – and the multiple ways in which they are made to feel inadequate – is so damaging.
That feeling of needing to change your body or your face to look “better” for other people, what’s more, people you don’t know and will never meet, is a total red herring.
I would love to grasp every young person in the world and tell them that. I wish I knew how to protect kids from this pressure, when it seems like everyone on the planet is using social media and you are some sort of oddball if you are not a part of it.
And I wish it was still not the case that so many women feel their value lies mainly in the way they look.
LIFE WOULD BE A BEACHVictoria’s Secret model Joy Corrigan showed us just what you can look like in a cossie made of less material than a restaurant napkinCredit: BackGrid
WEARING a swimsuit used to be the modest way to get on the beach without showing too much flesh.
That is until Victoria’s Secret model Joy Corrigan showed us just what you can look like in a cossie made of less material than a restaurant napkin.
All I can say is that if I had Joy’s figure it would, frankly, be hard to get me out of a bikini. I’d be going to Sainsbury’s in a two-piece and putting the rubbish out in my underwear. Sadly, I do not. So, I’ll just stick to my full coverage version, coupled with a full-length sarong.
JAB'S A GOLDEN TICKET
WE all got excited at the news that Greece will open its borders from May 14 to vaccinated British holidaymakers or those with a negative Covid test.
The more I think about it, the more certain I am that at some point in the future we will all need a vaccine passport to travel abroad.
I am also pretty sure this will be the biggest incentive to overcome any reservations people might have about getting the vaccine.
If you can’t go on holiday without it – or to the pub, or to a live event – what bigger incentive could there be?
Body language expert reveals the hidden messages in Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview
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