Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


In the hollow of an unarmorial age
October 11, 2007 4:23 AM   Subscribe

“Iraq War Memorial: Death of Prince Harry" features the in fact hale and hearty royal scion "laid out before the Union Jack with pennies placed over his eyes and head rested on the Bible...Prone with his unfired gun still holstered, Prince Harry is represented clutching a bloodied flag of Wales, and holding to his heart a cameo locket of his late mother, Princess Diana, while a desert vulture perches on his boot...a bronze casting of Prince Harry’s 'severed ears' also set for display at the Trafalgar Hotel will be offered on eBay." Via.
posted by Abiezer (50 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, there's some art-as-political-statement for ya! So, they wouldn't let Harry go to Iraq, eh? I didn't know anything about it til reading this. But this bit, from the article, has me a little puzzled:

"Harry’s head is earless, denoting the explicit threats against the Prince from militia leaders saying they planned to send him back to his grandmother “without his ears.” "

But pictures of the sculpture show Harry in fact has two ears, still quite attached to his head. I suppose this model shown in the accompanying photographs is not exactly representative of the actual piece?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:52 AM on October 11, 2007


Looks like he died happy. Boner fortuna.
posted by tellurian at 4:54 AM on October 11, 2007


Hey! They had the Paris Hilton Autopsy too.
posted by tellurian at 5:00 AM on October 11, 2007


Yeah, I didn't get that either flapjax. Poking round post-posting, this is by the guy who did the Paris Hilton autopsy thing.
I'm fairly tolerant or even perversely fond of the royals as people, despite being against the institution politically. I noted looking at his profile on his dad's site that he has set up a charity with a prince from Lesotho to care for orphans there. So nothing against the lad, but he can't avoid the role as public and political symbol that comes with the birthright, and this is certainly some kind of exploration of that. Bits of the satire raised a grim smile, at least.
On preview, tellurian's saved me finding that link, and I saw a few comments as to whether he was "packing a big lunch" too.
posted by Abiezer at 5:02 AM on October 11, 2007


He dresses left, eh?
posted by brain cloud at 5:11 AM on October 11, 2007


Ear ear ear.
posted by Wolof at 5:13 AM on October 11, 2007


Wait til the Daily Mail see this.
posted by fire&wings at 5:14 AM on October 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


Leave Price Harry alone. How can anyone out there make fun of Prince Harry? After all he has been through? His mother was killed by Prince Phillip. Your lucky his family even rules over you bastards. All you people care about is peace. His squad mates are in Iraq facing death and Harry is enduring attacks on his virture from Calgary bartenders. He is a human! Leave Prince Harry alone.
posted by srboisvert at 5:29 AM on October 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


Regarding the ears:

...the image above is of a clay mold of the work—prior to unveiling the finished piece, the artist will remove the ears...
posted by Brittanie at 5:38 AM on October 11, 2007


That's really rather tasteless.

Being shocking doesn't mean you're being profound.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 6:04 AM on October 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Is this Prince Harry the Not-quite-so-brave-as-Sir-Lancelot or Prince Harry the Nazi?
posted by electricinca at 6:06 AM on October 11, 2007


That's really rather tasteless.

It makes you defend a member of the British royal family who shirked his traditional role and chickened out of war for the most cowardly and hypocritical reasons.

I guess you have to in order to be consistent.
posted by srboisvert at 6:13 AM on October 11, 2007


srboisvert, actually the Army made the decision for him. All his public statements expressed a desire to go to Iraq with his men.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 6:18 AM on October 11, 2007


I'm not sure he chickened out himself, sboisvert - remember the I'm Harry t-shit thing? I'd forgotten about that Nazi costume. Silly young munter.
posted by Abiezer at 6:19 AM on October 11, 2007


This makes no fucking sense
posted by smackwich at 6:20 AM on October 11, 2007


t-shit. heh.
posted by Abiezer at 6:23 AM on October 11, 2007


the I'm Harry t-shit thing

Omigod, I missed that. Now *that's* tasteless. And great. Together.
posted by mediareport at 6:30 AM on October 11, 2007


Daniel Edwards also gave us this Pro-Life monument.

So, um... yeah, I got nothin'.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:34 AM on October 11, 2007


Oh, NSFW up there.

NSF anyone who wishes to retain their sanity and/or breakfast, as well.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:47 AM on October 11, 2007


Aloysius and Abezier if you believe that you might also be interested to know that GWB flew top secret missions in Nam instead of being awol but he can't talk about it.
posted by srboisvert at 6:55 AM on October 11, 2007


Doesn't surprise me, srboisvert - he always had that air of the understated man of action about him.
posted by Abiezer at 7:06 AM on October 11, 2007


Very strange . . .
posted by bbbaldie at 7:15 AM on October 11, 2007


I find it totally believable that he'd want to serve. Second son, his older brother's going to get all of the glory, he might as well make his name somehow. Maybe the family made the decision for him and not the Army, but I completely believe he wanted to go.

Also, this is the son of Diana we're talking about, a woman known for her down-to-earth sensibilities and dedication to certain causes. She walked minefields, fer cryin' out loud.
posted by Brittanie at 7:22 AM on October 11, 2007


He wanted to serve so badly that he used absolutely none of his political clout to make it happen which is to say he didn't want it to happen. Mind you the British Army is probably better off without a tank commander who shows that lack of initiative.
posted by srboisvert at 8:12 AM on October 11, 2007


brain cloud writes "He dresses left, eh?"

Yeah, no kidding.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:18 AM on October 11, 2007


What good are royals if you can't send them off to die in crazy crusades?
posted by b1tr0t at 8:21 AM on October 11, 2007


Does he dress left, or is that his "unfired gun still holstered"?
posted by The Ultimate Olympian at 8:23 AM on October 11, 2007


I actually like this kind of piece. Can't put my finger on why but it's neat art. Thanks!
posted by agregoli at 8:26 AM on October 11, 2007


ha ha ha cock bulge
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 8:38 AM on October 11, 2007


srboisvert: Aloysius and Abezier if you believe that [Harry didn't chicken out] you might also be interested to know that GWB flew top secret missions in Nam instead of being awol but he can't talk about it.

Do you have a specific reason to say this? Or, any reason to accept your assertion as fact? If someone other than the Army intervened, I'd think it was the Queen or Charles before Harry.
posted by spaltavian at 8:40 AM on October 11, 2007


srboisvert: He wanted to serve so badly that he used absolutely none of his political clout to make it happen which is to say he didn't want it to happen.

Ah, so you don't have any reason at all.
posted by spaltavian at 8:41 AM on October 11, 2007


It's a monument to the purported wishes of neo-cons everywhere:

"I so want to go, but, for some undefinable reason, cannot. But please, let this disadvantaged youngster and/or admirably patriotic but tragically myopic fellow go in my stead! HUZZAH!"
posted by eurasian at 8:43 AM on October 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


He wanted to serve so badly that he used absolutely none of his political clout to make it happen which is to say he didn't want it to happen. Mind you the British Army is probably better off without a tank commander who shows that lack of initiative.

This is rubbish. The stories in the papers at the time from "friends of the Prince" indicating his desire to serve and his frustration that he might not were clear attempts by him to lobby for it.

I'm not sure what political clout you think he might have with the New Labour Government - but I think its difficult to doubt the analysis that the MOD made - that with all the press coverage he attracts he would inevitably make any unit he was deployed with a target for extremist attack.
posted by prentiz at 8:57 AM on October 11, 2007


I like this. I get a strange sort of parallel-universe sort of feeling. And memorial statues always show the figure in action or as they were in life, so to see one that is a serene corpse is actually quite refreshing.

Also, this will be worth a fortune someday after he actually does die.
posted by hermitosis at 9:19 AM on October 11, 2007


security for the Prince Harry Memorial will guard against vandalism from expected throngs of admirers believing luck in love and fertility may come by kissing the lips of the memorial to England’s reputed playboy “pinup prince.”

People believe that 'luck in love and fertility' may come from kissing a memorial to a guy that isn't actually dead?

People are stupid weird.
posted by quin at 9:59 AM on October 11, 2007


Shirked his duty?

WTF? Would YOU want to go to Iraq? At this point people who WANT to be in Iraq I view as nut cases.

Let me see.

Drink Bolle and bang hot movie starlets and heiresses in the south of France?

Or

Go to a 115 degree hell hole in the middle east and have every Arab teenager with an AK gunning for me.

Hmmmmm.

Which to choose. Which to choose.
posted by tkchrist at 10:25 AM on October 11, 2007


AN SONNET UPON THE OCCASION OF VIEWING THE SARCOPHAGOUS OF AN NOBLE PRINCE

O dearest, noblest, princiest Harry!
Surely your soul will not, in Purgatory, tarry?
No! - you will to heaven quickly ascend
To find the rest that befits your tragic end

Which was at the hands of Iraq's cruel factions,
Who were not best pleased at your actions
In serving your country. Yet, you were just and true
And those who killed you were not fair to you.

Weep, England - weep Scotland, Northern Ireland and
   Wales!
The Prince you so loved, who was a Prince among
   males,
Has been shot by our enemies. It is a tale of woe!
And into the specific details of it I shall not go.

This is the profound emotion we feel upon this sight.
But, in reality, Prince Harry is not dead, and actually
   everything is alright.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 10:40 AM on October 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


From what I can tell the guy really and quite honestly wanted to deploy with his unit. I've seen absolutely no evidence that he wanted to do anything else. I just don't think that he had enough clout to overrule the brass, who saw him (and his possible death in combat) as a huge liability.

And really, what sort of 'clout' do you think he has? He's essentially just a pretty face; in actual day-to-day politics he's a nobody. I suspect he shot most of his wad getting into Sandhurst and into the Blues and Royals (because there, he provides some good PR for the Army). I don't think they were ever going to let him actually go and get shot at.

I think a lot of people here are vastly underestimating the draw of going to war on someone who has decided to be a soldier and who has never seen combat before. Even moreso for someone whose existence has been totally closeted and is, for the most part, scripted for him.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:12 AM on October 11, 2007


Do you have a specific reason to say this? Or, any reason to accept your assertion as fact? If someone other than the Army intervened, I'd think it was the Queen or Charles before Harry.
...
Ah, so you don't have any reason at all.


I really don't see what reason you have for excusing him. Is it because at 23 years old and after training to be a tank commander and as a prince of wales he isn't expect to man up?

Credible Threats against his wellbeing? It's a warzone. There are credible threats against every single coalition soldier.

He signed up and trained during a war and then made no real effort to fight in it other than a few half hearted bleats. They gave him a way to chicken out. Either his grandmother, father, the army or the government arranged it, but it was Harry who accepted it and went off to drink shooters and to be seen publicly yucking it up and complaining about flash bulbs while his the guys formerly under his command are dealing with gunfire and IEDs in Basra.

It's funny because when people complain about the American upper class and Washington elite dodging the war like they were royalty I always thought it was wrong because at least the royals send some of their family members into the wars. Andrew and Phillip both served in the Navy during wartime. Their deaths would have been huge PR disasters for their respective countries yet they still served.

Now the British Royals are starting to resemble Washington with their weaseling. Fortunately, there will be lots of faux medals for him to pin on his uniform anyway.

Shirked his duty?

WTF? Would YOU want to go to Iraq?


No, but I am quite openly an objector and a coward and have never, and will never, sign up for the military. Harry on the other hand wears a uniform.
posted by srboisvert at 11:33 AM on October 11, 2007


Chalk me up as another who thought Harry was sincere about wanting to go - if you're considered the fuck-up in a family that is largely considered a walking joke, the decision makes a lot of sense. Hell, the guy has fewer career options open to him than most of the poor schmucks who signed up.

Also, from the Paris Hilton Autopsy Flickr set:
Viewed 2,255 times - Viewed 11,947 times - Viewed 1,918 times.
You people make me sick.

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:04 PM on October 11, 2007


My understanding was that the Army was concerned that Harry's presence would be a danger to the rest of his unit. Makes sense to me.
posted by naoko at 12:20 PM on October 11, 2007


... his political clout ...

The Windsors have tended to be pretty scrupulous about observing military hierarchical discipline while in uniform, going back at least to Albert. I seriously doubt either Charles, the Queen or Uncle Andrew raised a finger -- it wouldn't have been proper.

From a military standpoint, his commanders were right not to want him there (he would have created a security nightmare for them). It would have been a huge PR gamble for the Blair gov't, too -- nothing like losing a popular prince in battle to take control of the situation [even further] out of your hands.
posted by lodurr at 1:18 PM on October 11, 2007


it was Harry who accepted it

Given he is a lowly troop commander who was given an order by the Chief of the General Staff, the professional head of the Army, what exactly were you expecting him to do? And in what way does he have political clout? He can't influence his superior officers in the Army, he doesn't have any power over the MoD, and the Queen can't possibly tell the head of the Army what to do (technically, no doubt she can, but the reality is that the days of the monarch ordering the Army around are long gone).
posted by Aloysius Bear at 3:47 PM on October 11, 2007


I like it too.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:15 PM on October 11, 2007


Also, does anyone remember whom Harry's dad is rumored to be? He supposedly looks just like him (unlike Charles, of course).
posted by mrgrimm at 5:17 PM on October 11, 2007


Oh, yeah, James Hewitt. Did anything ever come of that? If the royal family found out the truth (as I think they have), would they go public? I think not.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:19 PM on October 11, 2007


I never thought I would visit the Prince of Whales website. There is a slight chance I might have to gouge out my eyeballs.
posted by Football Bat at 11:09 PM on October 11, 2007


I... I'm just... is this a joke? Or... some kind of edgy avant-garde conceptual art shit, like Piss Christ?
posted by ottereroticist at 12:41 AM on October 12, 2007


Willy; Prince of Whales
posted by Jenga at 2:46 AM on October 12, 2007


I never did say that I think all of his stuff is pretty interesting. I often have a hard time with conceptual art -- I think much of it is basically a racket, that the "social commentary" aspects of it are essentially a scam. But this is just clearly and obviously social commentary. Harry, Paris and Britney as persons are pretty much irrelevant to it, but Harry, Paris and Britney as public personae are exactly the point. It's not like the cheesy crap that Italian guy who married the porn star cranks out (not that it's not cheesy, it's just not crap), in that he seems to actually have actual points, other than to get a bunch of people to pay him money.

Hopefully the Windsors will be sharp enough to realize that Harry isn't the target of this particular jab (or at least doesn't seem so to me). (Britney and Paris, OTOH...) Except maybe his eagerness to go -- that's a cultural echo, the man-child eager for the chance to prove himself in battle. It's a bit more primal than wanting to bare your personality on Big Brother.
posted by lodurr at 5:27 AM on October 12, 2007


« Older Bob Log III plays distorted trash grimey blues sli...  |  Mind the Gap: an essay by Paul... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments