In 1974, Patty Hearst, a wealthy heiress living in Berkeley, California, was pottering around her apartment wondering whether she should have a toasted cheese sandwich or stick to her diet, and just have a yoghurt for lunch when the front-door burst open and a bunch of semi-automatic, weapon-brandishing loonies barged in and abducted her.
Patty obviously objected at first on the grounds that she still hadn’t had her lunch but, sensing her very survival depended on compliance rather than cheese toasties, decided not to hold a grudge about the whole abducting thing and appeared to enthusiastically throw herself into the only activities her new captors seemed interested in.
Armed robbery, yet more abductions, bomb making, murdering, that sort of thing.
The muppets who grabbed her were complete no-marks who simply wanted to be famous. Despite all their political blah-blah-bullshit, the reality is that their only agenda was to get a bit of attention for themselves and political philosophy was just a convenient way to get their names in the papers.
It really is that simple.
Obviously, at the time, her parents and the wider public, took a pretty dim view of Patty’s new friends and indeed, her new set of hobbies, and it was only later that everyone discovered she hadn’t engaged in the shitty behaviour willingly, but had been traumatised to such an extent that an entirely new mental health diagnosis emerged to describe situations where innocent folk are snatched by rabidly fame hungry nobodies for the purpose of furthering their own agenda of turning the lemons that are their empty, vapid existences into the bright shiny lemonade of fame and fortune.
Which brings me to Meghan Markle.
And her detainee, the Duke of Sussex.
Everytime they appear anywhere together she’s staring at him with that fixed, sinister smile that doesn’t quite get as far as her eyes, it’s unsettling to watch and I can only imagine how it feels for Prince-Harry-Hearst to have that malevolent little smirk directed at him.
The sense of cold sweat trickling down his back, a throbbing pain behind his temples, the sound of an accelerated heart rate thumping in his head as he dutifully reads his captor’s ideological political crap off the autocue in front of him.
And lest we forget, the ever present nauseous awareness of the Glock 17 she’s got pointed at his man-parts.
Nope, Harry-Hearst didn’t get married, he got shanghaied.
I expect he innocently took flowers to his first date with Maniacal-Meghan, but then, to be fair, he thought she was just a girl standing in front of a boy rather than the apex, shark-like predator she actually turned out to be.
He’d have been better off bringing a safety cage.
And with all the survival awareness of a gummy bear, he then went ahead and made it legal in an elaborate ceremony that, in retrospect, was nothing more than a ‘hiding-in-plain-sight’ seizure.
It’s a sorry situation and no mistake.
Having said all that, happy endings are possible in these hostage situations, indeed even Patty Hearst was eventually freed and went on to live a fulfilling life safe in the bosom of her family and loved ones.
So we just have to keep the faith.
And hope that Harry knows there are lots of nice bosoms in here at home in England that would happily accommodate him.
In the meantime, he needs to just focus on surviving, and pass the time with plans for his upcoming autobiography:
‘Stockholm Syndrome & Me: A Prince’s Tale’.