It’s seriously annoying being phone pranked. It happened frequently when I was a 3am columnist.
My former colleague Polly was brilliant at seeing through the hoaxers, usually bored radio DJs. Me, not so much.
To this day I remain convinced footballer Thierry Henry once called me personally to complain about something unfavourable in the paper. I can’t remember much about what he said, he had me at “This is Thierry Henry”.
My colleagues were having none of it.
Yesterday it emerged Prince Harry was on the receiving end of a prank call by a pair of Russian YouTubers posing as teen climate-change activist Greta Thunberg and her dad.
It was fascinating to hear Harry, in his own words, talking about his reasons for quitting the Royal Family, as he says to “put my family first” and opening up about the direction and role the Sussexes see themselves playing in future.
Of course there was the inevitable grumble about media intrusion, which is ironic given who he was talking to, but overall what we got was essentially his blueprint for how he wants to play his part in making the world a better place. And that’s what I think we should focus on.
Instead of getting hung up on what titles he and Meghan may or may not use, or how much it will cost to foot their security bill, isn’t it refreshing to know that unlike others with similar privileges, he wants to be part of making change on a global level?
That has to be a good thing, right?
And that’s where the similarities to his parents and their commitment to good causes are so clear.
This week I had the honour of attending an event at the Prince’s Trust’s new centre in South London, and seeing firsthand the work Prince Charles’ charity has done for the past 44 years to help around 950,000 young people across the country, whose lives could otherwise have turned out for the worse.
Sometimes, when the noise of family drama is this loud, it’s easy to forget the positive things.
So I hope Harry’s not too cross with fake Greta and her dad, aka Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov. This was one prank which didn’t leave the victim with egg on his face.
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