MAUREEN CALLAHAN: What WAS it Harry that turned you into a laughing stock?

At times it may be better, as Machiavelli wrote, to be feared than loved. Surely Prince Harry was hoping his memoir from him would strike fear in the hearts at Buckingham Palace. But what he likely didn’t foresee?

Becoming a global laughingstock. And, in the process, diminishing his late mother’s memory of him. Suffering crashing approval ratings. Space shuttles fall to earth less swiftly.

Imagine Harry and Meghan’s pre-publication fantasies! Surely they imagined the world at their backs, outraged that Harry got the smaller bedroom at Balmoral and that Charles isn’t much a hugger, doubtless agitating for the end of the monarchy while applauding Harry and Meghan for bearing such suffering so valiantly. Not since JFK Jr. would America claim its own sweet prince! Meghan would be president someday, Harry sought out by every CEO and disruptor and woke activist on the planet.

Harry and Meghan’s esteem would rise in direct proportion to the royal family’s fall, one they engineered.

Alas, karma has a way of kicking in one’s teeth. A new poll released by Newsweek on Wednesday — conducted six days after ‘Spare’ was released — shows that US voters are well and truly put off by the gruesome twosome. Harry’s favorability has plunged 45 percentage points, Meghan’s by 36.

This couldn’t be a more poetic outcome. And it’s not just the average American who is exhausted by their never-ending bitching and moaning — it’s all of woke Hollywood. You know, the very people Harry and Meghan so desperately wish would invite them to sit at their table, with all the other cool kids.

Instead, Hollywood laughs at them. Laughs and laughs and laughs.

Among the many indiscretions shared in ‘Spare’ was the indelible moment that Harry smeared his frostbitten penis with his late mother’s favorite lip cream. (You truly couldn’t make this up.) And Jimmy Kimmel, who previously mocked Harry’s broken necklace/dog bowl trauma, made merciless fun of this tidbit on his late night show two nights ago.

Alas, karma has a way of kicking in one’s teeth. A new poll released by Newsweek on Wednesday — conducted six days after ‘Spare’ was released — shows that US voters are well and truly put off by the gruesome twosome.

Jimmy Kimmel, who previously mocked Harry's broken necklace/dog bowl trauma, made merciless fun of this tidbit on his late night show two nights ago.

Jimmy Kimmel, who previously mocked Harry’s broken necklace/dog bowl trauma, made merciless fun of this tidbit on his late night show two nights ago.

‘The story of Prince Harold and his frozen yogurt slinger is so popular, they’re now releasing a version for kids,’ Kimmel joked, holding up a mock Golden Book called ‘The Prince and the Penis.’

Kimmel went on to share a ‘first read,’ replete with illustrations reminiscent of ‘South Park’ including a cheeky rendering of what Harry calls his ‘todger’:

‘Oh mummy, oh mummy! he cried with a scream, and from then up on high, she appeared with some cream.

‘My poor little prince, put this cream on your willy. It will lessen the ache and make it less chilly.’

‘But mummy, did you not put this on your lips?’

‘Oh yes my dear boy, and also my nips. . . But do not delay or your knob be destroyed.’

‘But mummy, have you heard about Sir Sigmund Freud?’

Now that’s a book to treasure!

Perhaps Kimmel’s brilliant bit was a form of payback. After all, Harry wrote about attending an A-list Hollywood party at Courteney Cox’s house, where ‘a huge box of black diamond mushroom chocolates’ was set out for guests. Further proving how thick and entitled he is, Harry doesn’t get that you don’t out celebrities you wish to befriend — especially single moms — for having drugs at their house parties.

Here was Chelsea Handler onstage at Sunday night’s Critics Choice Awards: ‘Dahmer’ became the third-highest-viewed show on Netflix, with a combined watch time of one billion hours,’ she said. ‘Which, apparently, is the same amount of time we’re going to have to listen to Prince Harry talk about his frostbitten penis from him. Enough already.’

When you’ve lost woke Hollywood, you’re done. And that’s a cutthroat crowd that knows a thing or two about backstabbing. But even they, it seems, have limits, and selling out your family’s innermost thoughts and private pain just isn’t done — among decent people anywhere, really. Sharing private texts from your sister-in-law to your wife is the realm of reality shows, not serious artists and activists.

That would certainly explain why Harry and Meghan weren’t invited to the BAFTA bash in LA, wouldn’t it?

No less an authority than Bethenney Frankel, who became a multimillionaire through the ‘Real Housewives’ franchise, weighed in on her podcast Wednesday.

‘That someone could share with the media texts between family members, much less royal family members — it’s crazy,’ she said in part. ‘Meghan is playing from the ‘Housewives’ handbook.’

Imagine Harry and Meghan's pre-publication fantasies!  Surely they imagined the world at their backs, outraged that Harry got the smaller bedroom at Balmoral and that Charles isn't much a hugger, doubtless agitating for the end of the monarchy while applauding Harry and Meghan for bearing such suffering so valiantly.

Imagine Harry and Meghan’s pre-publication fantasies! Surely they imagined the world at their backs, outraged that Harry got the smaller bedroom at Balmoral and that Charles isn’t much a hugger, doubtless agitating for the end of the monarchy while applauding Harry and Meghan for bearing such suffering so valiantly.

That does feel at Harry and Meghan’s level, Housewives, doesn’t it? It embodies everything they’ve shown themselves to be: Petty, catty, un-self-aware, avaricious, materialistic, envious, name-dropping social climbers who think all publicity must be good publicity.

Not only. CNN’s Don Lemon on Harry’s memoir: ‘Gauche.’

Sean Lennon, another son of a martyred global icon, ridiculed Harry on Twitter. ‘When Harry’s editor read the sentence, ‘My penis was oscillating between extremely sensitive and borderline traumatized,’ did they not want to stage an intervention of some sort?’ Lennon tweeted. ‘I mean that is for sure one of the worst sentences ever written in the English language.’

It makes you wonder what the suits and the C-suite at Penguin Random House really think of Harry’s memoir — not to mention how his ghostwriter, Pulitzer Prize winner JR Moehringer, feels about the finished product. It’s hard to believe that not one person involved in this book didn’t say to Harry, ‘You know, you might not want to divulge that your brother, the future king, is circumcised.’

Really: Where’s the woke brigade? Is that disclosure not a public violation of bodily privacy?

It’s equally hard to believe that no one said, ‘While we’re at it, the anecdote about you and Meghan having sex next to a box of your dead mother’s hair, and putting the pregnancy wands on top of that box for good luck — maybe lose that?’

Or: ‘You know Harry, it’s indelicate at best, hypocritical at worst, to accuse the media of invading your privacy while invading your family’s privacy in your book.’

Perhaps they did. Perhaps Harry, who has the overconfidence known only to the truly dim, wouldn’t listen.

Stephen Colbert rolled out the red carpet for Harry — as a joke, of course — on his late night show. In exchange for choosing Colbert for his sole late night appearance in America, Harry— and his beloved late grandmother—were jeered by him mercilessly.

‘Stock up on corgis and steal a priceless cultural treasure from one of your colonies, because ‘The Late Show’ is going imperial,’ Colbert said, before comparing the prodigal prince to another, more popular Harry — Potter, of course.

‘To be rejected by his older brother at school, even though that magic hat sorted them in the same house,’ Colbert joked. ‘What do you think, Hufflepuff? Gryffindor?’

Here was Chelsea Handler onstage at Sunday night's Critics Choice Awards: 'Dahmer' became the third-highest-viewed show on Netflix, with a combined watch time of one billion hours,' she said.  'Which, apparently, is the same amount of time we're going to have to listen to Prince Harry talk about his frostbitten penis from him.  Enough already.'

Here was Chelsea Handler onstage at Sunday night’s Critics Choice Awards: ‘Dahmer’ became the third-highest-viewed show on Netflix, with a combined watch time of one billion hours,’ she said. ‘Which, apparently, is the same amount of time we’re going to have to listen to Prince Harry talk about his frostbitten penis from him. Enough already.’

CNN's Don Lemon on Harry's memoir: 'Gauche.'

CNN’s Don Lemon on Harry’s memoir: ‘Gauche.’

Making all these parodies and insult jokes that much sweeter: Harry and Meghan, as we well know, have zero sense of humor about themselves or anyone else. None. They’re incapable of laughing along, of embracing the camp of their soap-operatic existence. They are so thuddingly desperate to be taken seriously as activists, humanitarians, prime movers on a global scale — and hey, if that takes leaking texts between Meghan and Kate about a bridesmaids fitting for toddlers, so be it!

Even the Wall Street Journal’s esteemed columnist Peggy Noonan couldn’t resist taking a few devastating swipes. As she wrote last Sunday, Harry and his book from him tend to ‘grate’: ‘There’s a heightened-ness to his language from him — he never leaves a place; he flees it ‘in fear for our sanity and physical safety.’ He often finds his wife ‘sobbing uncontrollably’ on the floor and the stairs, mostly over what he fails to accomplish are trivial things.’

Yes! Can you imagine how Meghan reacts to actual problems? To paraphrase ‘Spinal Tap’ guitarist Nigel Tufnel, these two are always dialing their emotional amps up to 11.

Speaking of — where’s Meghan been? For someone whose head is on a permanent swivel looking for the next camera lens or paparazzi flash or documentary crew, she’s been strangely absent from this publicity blitz.

Could it be that she sees this memoir for what it is, a public relations disaster? Or that her prince has lost his luster now that the world is pointing and laughing at him? ‘Spare’ may be a runaway bestseller (doubtless goosed by instant discounts and free Audible copies), but this is a Pyrrhic victory for #BrandSussex.

As the saying goes, trust takes a long time to build, but seconds to break. Harry and Meghan have proved themselves, above all else, serially untrustworthy. You can’t really come back from that.

‘Love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.’

Machiavelli again, in his immortal work titled — what else? — ‘The Prince’.

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