Fresh on the heels of boldly commanding top podcaster — and MMA fighter — Joe Rogan to "just stay out of it" in regard to Rogan suggesting that young people should not get the COVID-19 vaccine, Prince Harry's outspoken mouth is getting him in trouble again.
What did he say this time?
The Duke of Sussex — who recently left his royal family behind in England for the sunnier environs of southern California, since which he's nabbed a considerable windfall through deals with American companies like Netflix and Spotify, the Daily Mail reported — was conversing on Dax Shepard's podcast Thursday when the subject of paparazzi taking photos of celebrities' children came up.
"I don't want to start, sort of, going down the First Amendment route because that's a huge subject and one in which I don't understand because I've only been here for a short period of time, but you can find a loophole in anything," Harry said, adding that "laws were created to protect people."
The prince added, "I believe we live in an age now where you've got certain elements of the media redefining to us what privacy means. There's a massive conflict of interest. And then you've got social media platforms, trying to redefine what free speech means. ... And we're living in this world where we've almost, like, the laws have been completely flipped by the very people that need them flipped so they can make more money, and they can capitalize off our pain, grief, and this sort of general self-destructive mode that is happening in the moment."
And soon Harry delivered the shot heard 'round the world: "I've got so much I want to say about the First Amendment. I still don't understand it, but it is bonkers." (In fairness, Shepard agreed: "It is bonkers.")
The prince's comments can be heard in context after the 39-minute mark of the podcast.
How did folks react?
To put it mildly, a number of Americans didn't much care for Harry's commentary on the Constitution's First Amendment, which guarantees citizens the right to freely express themselves, practice whatever religions they choose — or none at all — and to assemble and petition the government.
To say nothing of the fact that the prince is a guest here, making a load of cash here, and enjoying a lifestyle here protected by U.S. laws — and on top of that admitting that "I still don't understand" the First Amendment, yet summoning the arrogance to dismiss it as "bonkers" — a number of notable U.S. citizens fired back hard.
"We fought a war in 1776 so we don't have to care what you say or think," Meghan McCain of "The View" said in reaction to Harry's comments. "That being said, you have chosen to seek refuge from your homeland here and thrive because all of what our country has to offer and one of the biggest things is the 1st Amendment — show some utter respect."
Others shared McCain's sentiments:
- Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas quipped in rather understated fashion that it's "nice" that Harry "can say that."
- GOP U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, also of the Lone Star State, noted that Harry "just doubled the size of my Independence Day party."
- Megyn Kelly reminded him that it's "'better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.' (Lincoln or Twain or someone smarter than Prince Harry.)"
- "Don't let the door knob hit you, Windsor," Fox News' host Laura Ingraham tweeted.
Author Nick Adams — who's from Australia and says in his Twitter bio that he's "American by choice" — declared that "Prince Harry should go back to the UK!"
Even fellow Brits got into the act. Former Brexit leader Nigel Farage observed that "for Prince Harry to condemn the USA's First Amendment shows he has lost the plot. Soon he will not be wanted on either side of the pond."
Dan Wootton of the UK's GBNews tweeted that "the First Amendment is one of the biggest reasons why the USA is a bastion of free speech and freedom of expression. The fact Prince Harry doesn't like it because he thinks rich privileged folk deserve more rights than everyone else says a lot!"
Speaking of, Harry and Meghan just added more to their already considerable coffers with a new partnership with Proctor and Gamble, Yahoo Finance reported Sunday.
According to the Daily Mail, Harry also criticized Prince Charles, Prince Philip, and the queen during the podcast and complained he had suffered "genetic pain," which led to royal aides demanding that give up his royal titles.
During the 2020 election cycle, Harry and Meghan issued a video widely interpreted as a campaign ad for then-candidate Joe Biden.
When asked for his reaction to the couple weighing in on the race at the time, then-President Donald Trump said, "I'm not a fan of hers, and I would say this — and she probably has heard that — but I wish a lot of luck to Harry, 'cause he's gonna need it."
Harry and Meghan also were famously interviewed by Oprah Winfrey recently, during which they alleged racism within the Royal Family.