The Queen revokes Prince Andrew’s military titles in an attempt to salvage his reputation
The Queen has finally acted in the Prince Andrew saga but her decision to end her royal career is far too little, far too late.
Traditionally, the title Duke of York has gone to the monarch’s second son, a custom that dates back to the 14th century when King Edward III had the idea in mind and gave it to his son Edmund of Langley. Like his Uncle David and his toxic title of Duke of Windsor, today I think we can confidently say that the current Duke of York will also be the last, so toxic has the title become.
Overnight in London, Buckingham Palace released one of its legendary brief statements (a surprisingly cheap 42 words) revealing that Prince Andrew, the Duke of York has been stripped of his honorary military roles and official patronages and that he will no longer use his style as “His Royal Highness”.
He will now fight the civil sex abuse case he faces in the US as a ‘private citizen’, after being accused by Virginia Giuffre (née Roberts) of abusing her three times when she was a teenager, an allegation he repeated several times. refuse.
The Palace move brings the 61-year-old, a friend of billionaire despots and a man who forced his valet to travel with an ironing board, in line with his nephew and niece, Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Likewise, they lost their official roles and their ability to deploy their HRHs with abandon when they had the temerity to leave the game of monarchy (from royalty to royalties?).
But sorry Your Majesty. Andrew’s move today is far too little, far too late.
Time and time again over the past two and a half years she has shown an appalling lack of leadership when it comes to Andrew, protecting her darling boy before doing what is morally right and putting her inflated ego before what is best for the monarchy.
The whole Andrew debacle has been epically mishandled by the palace since 2011 when a photo of Andrew strolling through Central Park with then-registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein appeared on newspaper covers on February 20. Six days later, Giuffre went public with her claims about her association with Andrew for the first time and revealed the now infamous photo of him with his arm around her waist. (She only later alleges that she was forced to have sex with him.)
Rather than make her son pay the price for his appalling judgement, the following month the Queen decided to give him a shiny new medal in a grand show of royal support, investing him with the badge of Knight Grand Cross. of the Royal Victorian Order before taking the celebratory tea together.
Same in July 2019 when Epstein was arrested for sex trafficking. Force his son to face the consequences of his misjudged actions?
As if. She wedged the old Savile Row-suited spare into the back of her purpose-built Bentley, with extra-large windows for photographers and the public to see inside, and took it to the church in full view of the press. Mom was standing next to her boy!
It wasn’t until November of that year, after Andrew gave what might be the most damning royal interview (sorry Harry and Meghan, you tried your best) in history and managed to spend two hours telling the BBC’s Emily Maitlis how victimized he was. It was without having uttered a single solitary word of sympathy for Epstein’s victims that the Queen finally responded.
Even then, it was only days later, in the face of a tsunami of global public anger over the situation, and with Prince Charles and Prince William reportedly pushing her to act decisively, eventually the Queen essentially forced Andrew to retire from public life. .
However, the failed former trade envoy retained his military roles, including as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, and was able to use his style as HRH. Less than six months ago, in August last year, even after senior military sources spoke out, with one telling the Time it was “not tenable or viable” for him to retain his role as guard, the Queen “let the regiment know” that she wanted him to retain the prestigious position.
That Her Majesty has only bitten the bullet over her military roles and her SAR is now to her eternal discredit. No one has forgotten and no one will forget that she waited 790 days on Andrew’s forehead after her hand was forced by the events of the last 36 hours.
The latest news comes after a New York judge on Thursday dismissed Andrew’s attempts to have Ms Giuffre’s case thrown out, putting him on track to stand trial later this year.
Then on Thursday in the UK, 152 veterans came together to express their outrage in an open letter, writing: “We are particularly upset and angry that Prince Andrew remains a member of the armed forces and continues to hold titles, positions and military ranks. ”
The impression is that the 95-year-old only acted now because, as with the Newsnight interview, her hand was forced by events.
(Also keep in mind here that Buckingham Palace is gearing up for some big, jolly celebrations to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Better get all that nasty business out of the way before anyone starts breaking out the trestle tables. for street parties what ho!)
Plus, this title short story is like trying to put a kiddie Mickey Mouse band-aid on a mortarboard wound in monarchy terms. If anyone currently enjoying a cup of Earl Gray while ensconced in a castle feels like this military role and HRH maneuver is going to cauterize his reputational haemorrhage, then he is under the illusions .
Yes, Andrew has never been charged with a crime, and there has never been any suggestion that he might be.
However, what is beyond reproach is that he chose – CHOSEN – to spend five nights under the same roof as a man who was a convicted sex offender. That in itself should have been strong enough reason for Her Majesty to take decisive action to prevent the monarchy from being contaminated by the fallout.
What cannot be undone, repaired or glossed over via a press release is the irreparable damage the Queen’s handling of this mess has done to the reputation of the British royal family and the crown.
Prince Louis may have been only three years old but, if things had turned out differently, one day he could have expected to be made Duke of York. Not anymore.
Now, 636 years after the title of the House of York was created, the last holder of Dukedom will likely spend the rest of his rambling life slumped in front of the TV watching golf on Sky and likely doing his best to avoid contemplating his many , many errors.
How proud the queen must be of her son today.
Daniela Elser is a royal pundit and writer with over 15 years of experience working with a number of top media titles in Australia.