An English prince showing up at a rodeo in Texas sounds like the setup for a bad joke.
But when Prince Harry attended the Stockyards Championship Rodeo at Cowtown Coliseum on Saturday night, no one seemed to be laughing.
Instead, the other attendees and the local press seemed pleasantly star struck in the presence of their unexpected regal guest.
The British tabloid press might want you to believe that Harry and Meghan Markle are woefully unpopular in the States, but Sunday’s edition of the Fort Worth Culture Map told a very different story:
"Prince Harry traded his family’s crown for a cowboy hat on a weekend visit to Cowtown," the newspaper read, according to Town & Country.
Royal reporter Omid Scobie — one of the Sussexes’ few allies in the British media — tweeted that the duke "enjoyed some good ol’ Southern hospitality" and received a "VIP tour of the venue."
"Where was Prince Harry Saturday night? Oooooh, just hanging out behind the bucking chutes at the Stockyards Championship Rodeo!! Loooove it!! Thank you for the visit!!" read a caption on a photo posted by Cindy Reid, the Stockyards Championship Rodeo secretary.
Yes, two very different worlds came together over the weekend, but it sounds like the culture clash was pretty minimal.
As expected, however, the British tabloids are offering up some salacious takes on the evening’s events.
For starters, there’s the Daily Mail, which claims that Harry’s presence went mostly unnoticed by the locals, who were far more interested in cowboys than dukes.
The outlet claims that’s a good thing, as Harry would not have been welcomed with open arms.
"It’s a quintessentially American event, where animals are made to perform," one attendee told the Mail.
"Given [Harry] has such a lack of respect for the First Amendment and his wife is such an animal rights activist – it is shocking he thought he could show his face here," this presumably chaps-clad bronco-busting enthusiast continued.
"The funny thing is most people didn’t recognize him or care."
UK tabloid Metro also claims that the rodeo was a major misstep for Harry — but for very different reasons.
The newspaper points out that Meghan is a longtime animal rights activist, who probably isn’t a fan of ropin’ and ridin’.
A patron of the London-based Mayhew Trust animal charity, Meghan convinced Harry to give up hunting in 2018.
Two years later, the father of two sold his rifles for the equivalent about $65,000 USD.
Yes, Prince Harry parted ways with his beloved firearms less than two years ago.
And he sold them to a fellow hunter instead of having them destroyed.
So he’s not exaclty the gun-grabbing freedom foe that the Mail made him out to be, is he?
As for the Mirror‘s argument, well, Harry is no tree-hugging vegan, either.
After high school, Harry worked on an Australian ranch owned by a friend of his late mother’s.
While we don’t know exactly what Harry’s duties entailed, given the amount of castration that happens on the typical ranch, you can be sure he wasn’t too shocked by anything he witnessed at the rodeo.
No one’s sure exactly why Harry was in Fort Worth or what prompted him to swing by the rodeo.
But he showed up sporting a cowboy hat just a few weeks after he attended the Super Bowl in Los Angeles.
It’s almost like he’s just a regular guy soaking up some of the culture of his new home.
That doesn’t sound villainous enough, however, so the British press will continue to portray him as some sort of snooty try-hard who’s forever failing to fit in with the local yokels.