Voices: Oh my God! They killed their credibility! South Park’s Harry and Meghan parody proves one thing

Harry and Meghan were ridiculed in an episode of ‘South Park’ in March (Paramount Plus)

An official spokesperson for Harry and Meghan has now confirmed that they are not intending to take legal action against Comedy Central’s South Park, for the as yet unactionable crime of ripping the absolute piss out of them.

In the week since the episode named “The Worldwide Privacy Tour” aired, it has been consistently speculated that legal action may have been forthcoming. But now a spokesperson has gone to the trouble to tell People magazine that, “It’s all frankly nonsense. Totally baseless, boring reports.”

Harry and Meghan are not explicitly named, in “The Worldwide Privacy Tour,” in which a couple known as the Prince and Princess of Canada travel the world in search of their privacy, while giving sit-down television media interviews demanding their privacy. Reference to them comes only obliquely, through extreme physical resemblance and, in the Prince of Canada’s case, the promotion of a book called Waaaagh.

The speculation has been assisted by apparent “sources close” to Harry and Meghan, one of whom told The Spectator magazine that Meghan had been “upset and overwhelmed” by said episode. Naturally, we do not know who said source was, or how close to Harry and Meghan they really are, a neat PR device long deployed by the royal family, and which Prince Harry spent roughly 19 hours worth of TV interviews complaining about to CNN, ITV and his own Netflix-backed documentary company.

It is not entirely also clear whether said spokesperson intended to intimate quite so strongly that “The Worldwide Privacy Tour” itself was baseless and boring. It is, on any measure, anything but. It is absolutely hilarious, a brutalising satire delivered with the kind of economy and precision that has kept South Park on air for fully 25 years.

Other sources close to the couple have intimated to other outlets that they would hardly sue South Park, not least as being roasted by South Park lands them in exquisitely good company. Just ask Tom Cruise and Matt Damon (pronounced, of course, Maaaatt Daaaaamon).

South Park’s co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone were also behind puppet movie Team America: World Police, in which a very long list of highly self-regarding Hollywood actors take it upon themselves to try and save the world, for very little good reason beyond having begun to take themselves far too seriously.

So it is not hugely difficult to see why it is that they should have alighted upon Harry and Meghan as potential targets.

In one scene, it is pointed out to the Prince of Canada that, having been paid a very large amount of money to write a book about the royal family, maybe he can’t hate journalists as much as he says he does because he is one himself. The Prince and Princess of Canada walk out in disgust, and end up setting up a new life, in the house opposite Kyle in South Park, whereupon they goad him into disrespecting their privacy through ever more attention-seeking stunts on their front lawn, one of which is not easily forgotten.

Of course, it’s perfectly possible to be sympathetic toward Harry and Meghan. And a man who has had his life story written for him by hundreds (if not thousands) of others has earned every right to a full right of reply, however many books and hours of documentary he deems it takes. And the right to tell your own story on your own terms, and maintain a private life too, is not a wholly unreasonable demand.

But the question has always been, where do they go next? What do they do with the rest of their lives, when they’ve opted out of the institution that, in their view, gave them a score to settle?

The problem with South Park getting their claws into them is not a small one. It makes it clear that they have turned themselves into a joke, both in their old home and their new one.