Prince William’s woke BAFTA performance

Meghan and Harry are not the only painfully PC royals.


Topics Culture UK

The one downside to the well-deserved backlash against woke royals Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, is that it has taken some of the heat off the other Windsors.

Prince William, for one, has come out of ‘Megxit’ looking particularly good in comparison with his irritating brother and sister-in-law. But as William’s speech at BAFTA last night reminds us, he also has a tendency towards virtue-signalling.

William has been president of BAFTA for 10 years. And in his speech at the awards ceremony last night, he waded into the controversy over diversity:

[In] 2020, and not for the first time in the last few years, we find ourselves talking again about the need to do more to ensure diversity in the sector and in the awards process – that simply cannot be right in this day and age. BAFTA take this issue seriously, and following this year’s nominations, have launched a full and thorough review of the entire awards process to build on their existing work and ensure that opportunities are available to everyone.

This year, you see, all the acting nominees were white, and the great and the good rushed in to claim that the BAFTAs – like much else in British society, it seems – are a bit racist. This is despite the fact that, as we have pointed out on spiked, there is little substance to such claims.

While BAFTA has been understandably keen to say it is ‘doing something’ about diversity, wading into this contentious row serves William’s purposes, too. By playing to the liberal gallery, he is telling its well-heeled members that he, like each of them, is a good person, fighting the good fight. It’s a pretty easy way for a beneficiary of our anachronistic, anti-democratic monarchy to look modern, pious and purposeful.

William and his wife Kate Middleton have form in this regard. With Prince Harry, they set up their Heads Together charity, aimed at encouraging ’emotional intelligence’ and ‘mental wellbeing’. Though ostensibly concerning mental health, the charity’s activities seem primarily aimed at inane awareness-raising.

That is, they provide little in the way of tangible services and plenty in the way of opportunities to virtue-signal. Indeed the project seemed, in part, to be an excuse for Harry and William to talk about their own personal struggles, leading to a reported clash with Buckingham Palace over their improper ‘soul-baring’.

Wills and Kate may be a bit less trendy, their commitment to fashionable causes more watered-down. But they are just as much a part of ‘woke royalism’ as the now-departed Harry and Meghan – that is, this concerted effort on the part of younger royals to justify the ridiculous institution they hail from by posing as relevant, emotionally intelligent and caring.

We shouldn’t let any of them get away with it.

Picture by: Getty.

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Patrick Durney

4th February 2020 at 8:43 pm

The 2019 Baftas consisted of two black actors winning awards, Mahershala Ali and Letitia Wright, two black movies won awards in Black Klansman and Black Panther, a Mexican movie “Roma” won a host of awards and an actor of Egyptian stock won best actor Rami Malek, hows that for diversity?.

Tim Wheeler

4th February 2020 at 2:59 pm

Best film I’ve seen in the last couple of years was Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri. That got a ton of awards and it had a female lead, a compassionate white Sheriff with a sense of humour and a new black sheriff (who took over the Sheriff’s Department and sacked a drunken thug who been beating people up.) Prince Wills is talking out of his arse – with a posh accent.

Christopher Tyson

3rd February 2020 at 6:22 pm

Like John Barnes I come from a respectable Caribbean family, although I’m not as posh as John Barnes. I’m about the same age as Barnes, I was a useful left sided middle player in my day too.
I kinda like the guy, but John, you turned up on newsnight like you’d rolled in off the street and said the first thing that had come into you head. Where was you strategy, your preparation, your commitment? Would you turn up for a match like that? Like what passes for black politics today, no strategy, no tactics, shocking defence, incessant rolling around and complaining to the referee, no new ideas, no old ideas, no end product. Just ask yourself John ‘what would Roy Keane do?’ I’m not a united fan either, I just think that you, me, black people, white people, United fans, United haters, all of us need to be a bit more Roy Keane.

Christopher Tyson

3rd February 2020 at 7:54 pm

Typo midfield player obviously not middle player.

Christopher Tyson

3rd February 2020 at 6:12 pm

Don’t push me/Cause I’m close to the edge/I’m trying/Not to lose my head
-The Message, Grandmaster Flash

It was 1982, about a year after Brixton had gone up in flames, Grandmaster Flash was in the charts and I was sectioned for the first time.

In the 60s and 70s the discussion on race, centred on question of integration and separation, ‘send ’em back’ vs ‘we’re here to stay’. By the 1980s young black men were at war with the police.
Today we are concerned with diversity and frivolities. ‘Where’s my award’. Never mind who they are, what they think, what they do or say, ‘get some more black people in the room’.
The recent Royal experiment with diversity didn’t go down too well. The family, however got off lightly, no one accused the Royals themselves of racism, this charge was made vaguely and promiscuously. So why the reticence of the self styled leaders of the black community? Many of them have been honoured by Her Majesty herself, or are hoping for honours, they have already been bought. If racism is so prevalent why even complain? You complain because you want to guilt trip the white great and good to advocate on your behalf. Where’s the pride in that? Personally I would say ‘stick you bafta up your ****’ , maybe that’s just me.

Ven Oods

3rd February 2020 at 3:56 pm

Given that I don’t give a rat’s bum about who wins BAFTAs, I’m happy if they’re won exclusively by people of colour next year and forever.
They obviously have not followed Ricky Gervais’ advice – regarding their acceptance speeches – given at the Golden Globes, though.

Danny Rees

3rd February 2020 at 3:26 pm

Oh shut up bigot. Bow down to your more enlightened rich betters and realise they are not evil twisted monsters like you who hate black people and want women bare foot and pregnant and tied to the kitchen sink instead of making moooooooooooooooovies.

No in all seriousness neither William nor none of these Royal parasites give two fucks about diversity or racism or any of the issues discussed here. They are just being told to look like they care so that the soppy sap public who pay to keep them in unbridled luxury thinks that they care, are decent people and are in touch with the public.

Geoff Cox

3rd February 2020 at 1:30 pm

The reason for all this is that public statements – even on a local Facebook page – seem to require a goody-goody, love to all, hate for no one type of stance. It comes down to the fact that cooperation has won out over competition (for the moment). Naturally this means getting our arses kicked for a few more years by those who haven’t made this change. Hopefully Brexit is just the start of our return to a competitative environment where excellence is rewarded and not shamed or explained away.

PS I realise life is a balance of cooperation and competition, but the pendulum has swung too far towards the woke love-in.

Jonnie Henly

3rd February 2020 at 11:12 pm

“seem to require a goody-goody, love to all, hate for no one type of stance.”

That’s generally how people and companies maximise their profits – offend no one, appeal to as many people as you can.

That’s how you succeed in competition – by posing as everyone’s friend.

Of course, you then also get the select few who “rebel” against this by being deliberately antagonistic for no reason other than to drive up interest and revenue.

And none of them believe any of what they’re saying.

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