The Royal gene pool is such a hodgepodge of widely-varying looks and backgrounds, right? So why is it so difficult to imagine that a red-headed, freckle-faced offspring could be a natural descendant?
Long before the term “Fake News” became a household term, rumors have plagued celebrities. The Royal family, especially, are favorite subjects of many salacious stories that became fodder for tabloid publications that made their name on this backs of this type of sensationalism. The rumors are spread with little factual foundation, yet they often are accepted as fact even as they cause irreversible harm to the reputation and integrity of those who are caught up in the gossip.
Take, for example, this particularly insensitive rumor that swirled wildly during the mid-eighties and, in some circles, persists to this day.
During a particularly dark time in the doomed marriage of Charles and Diana, rumors of affairs by both partners were rampant. The cruelest rumor of all was that Prince Harry was not even Charles’ natural son but the product of a supposed-love affair between Diana and James Hewitt.
In spite of repeated denials by all parties, the fact that Harry doesn’t appear to physically resemble anyone in the Windsor family is seemingly all it takes to keep the story alive. Never mind that, according to Diana’s butler, Paul Burrell, Hewitt did not even meet Diana until Harry was already a toddler! Would somebody please tell me how that could even be possible??
During a 2017 interview on the Australian television program, “Sunday Night,” James Hewitt unequivocally laid the vicious rumor to rest. When reporter Melissa Doyle point-blankly posed the question to the alleged-father of Prince Harry, he simply replied, “No, I’m not.”
His answer to the follow-up question is perhaps the most telling of all, “Why does that keep being repeated?” Can you guess Hewitt’s response? You guessed it! “It sells papers!”
Let that be a lesson to all of us as we pore over the juicy gossip that appears daily on our news feeds. Just because it appears in print does not make it so. Remember that real human beings are affected by the spreading of unfounded rumors.
Even though ‘selling papers’ per se, may not be the modern justification for pushing hurtful gossip, the results are still the same. And instead of newspaper sales being the desired result of promoting “fake news,” the holy grail of today’s publishers is counting the number of “likes” and “shares” a story generates.
Oh, and by the way, Diana’s own brother, Charles Spencer, happens to share the red-headed gene with his nephew, Prince Harry.
Chew on that one for awhile, all you naysayers, would you please?