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OPINION - Dylan Jones: Prince Harry and Superman are more alike than you think

Many’s the night I’ve seen Harry (sorry, Clark Kent) rue the day he gave up his superpowers and his fancy outfit (Mark Harrison)
Many’s the night I’ve seen Harry (sorry, Clark Kent) rue the day he gave up his superpowers and his fancy outfit (Mark Harrison)

Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I think Prince Harry might be Superman. Back in the Seventies, before the current vogue for turning superheroes into movie franchises, the Hollywood producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind decided to reboot the famous DC Comics alter-ego and turn Superman into a proper movie star. Casting the ridiculously good-looking Christopher Reeve in the role, the resulting movie was phenomenally successful, thus necessitating a much anticipated (and already planned, and partially shot) sequel.

Which is where the rogue royal comes in. In Superman II, Lois Lane (Meghan, say, for the purposes of argument) begins to think her colleague Clark Kent (Hazza, obviously wearing a rug) might actually be Superman (I know, crazy right? Whatever gave her that idea?), and so starts to become suspicious, monitoring her pal’s movements as she slowly starts to realise the truth.

One night, as Kent trips and his arm lands in a lit fireplace, he is revealed. His hand is unscathed, Kent is exposed, and so he is forced to tell Lane that yes, he is Superman. He then takes her to the Fortress of Solitude way up in the Arctic (which you might want to imagine as Frogmore Cottage, in Windsor), where he shows her all his Kryptonite stuff (pictures of him with the Queen, Prince Philip, Polaroids from a lads trip to Klosters with his brother etc), before declaring his undying love for her.

Harry is now like Clark Kent, a man with a girlfriend who is realising she liked him better with the cape

With me so far? Feeling compromised, Superman relinquishes his superpowers (in the film he does this by exposing himself to red Kryptonian sunlight in a crystal chamber, while in real life Harry has a big old flounce and promptly leaves the UK) becoming a mere mortal in the process. He seems different, but happy.

Meanwhile — cue dramatic John Williams orchestration — intergalactic baddies descend on the White House and force the president to surrender, causing something of a global crisis (although in the grand scheme of things this might not be such a bad idea). The prez then implores Superman to save the world, not knowing that Clark Kent (Harry) is now just, er, Clark Kent. A journalist with a girlfriend who is gradually realising that she liked him better when he was a superhero in a bespoke cape and brightly coloured neoprene.

Well, after a skirmish in a bar room brawl where Kent rather embarrasses himself, he remarkably finds the green crystal that restores his powers, and successfully defeats the space baddies. Whew! Who’d-a-thunk-it?! Obviously, this is where the film starts to get silly as Kent then uses his abilities to wipe Lane’s mind (after first kissing her, the swine), causing her to forget that her love interest is nothing but a humble Hooray Henry (sorry, newspaper reporter).

Now, I’m not sure what kind of old movies Harry and Meghan watch in their TV room in their Montecito mansion, when they’ve put the kids to bed and perhaps start thinking about playing fisticuffs with a bottle or two of Shouty Angel, but having done my fair share of late night TV scrolling in the US, Superman II does seem to be scheduled more than you might think. Many’s the night I’ve seen Margot Kidder’s Lane look disappointed that her hero can no longer send opponents into outer space with a single punch; many’s the night I’ve seen Harry (sorry, Clark Kent) rue the day he gave up his superpowers and his fancy outfit.

But if the happily devoted couple have somehow missed this work of unparalleled cinematic genius, they might want to catch up with it on their next date night. Meghan — remember what we all said at the time: what is the point of marrying a prince if he’s no longer royal? And Harry — for God’s sake have a look for that green crystal (I think it’s under the sofa somewhere, back in Frogmore) and bring your family back to London.

Looks like a movie to me. Not an especially good one, and not a particularly memorable one, but definitely one you’re going to find on terrestrial TV in the middle of the night when no one’s really watching.

Dylan Jones is editor-in-chief of the Evening Standard