Royal Corner

It's Royally Over for Andrew

As allegations swirl around him, innocent or not, Prince Andrew's time as a public working royal is at an end, yet it seems it's only himself who can't see it.

AUGUST 17th, 2021

© Getty Images


ver the weekend, I was sitting watching the film adaptation of Stephen King’s phenomenal ‘The Green Mile’. Starring Tom Hanks as a prison guard on death row who comes to live a long life after being “healed” by a prisoner with unique powers, the movie is a masterpiece. Yet it wasn’t the film which garnered my attention, more that a particular quote Hank’s character says towards the end of the film: “Sometimes the past catches up with you, whether you want it to or not.” The simple line inclined my mind to fall upon the swirling scandal engulfing the embattled Duke of York, Prince Andrew, and more so, how much the Duke’s former digressions prove that quote to be categorically true.

Amongst the last few weeks, the much debated relationship between the Queen’s son and former billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein has placed Andrew’s position within the monarchy in further doubt. Where once he hoped to eventually return to some element of public duty, the recent revelation that his accuser Viriginia Giuffre is set to sue the Prince under allegations of sexual abuse, has imploded any remaining hope. Yet was there really any hope left in the first place?

Perhaps the encompassing legal action now surrounding Andrew will be a stark and much needed wakeup call that his life as a serving member of the Royal Family is most certainly at an end. And really, is there anyone else to blame but himself?

Irrespective of the outcome of the civil suit instigated by Giuffre, or the alleged horrific actions he is accused of, Prince Andrew has rarely covered himself in glory throughout his life. Whether it be using taxpayer money to galavant around the world on luxurious “business trips” - garnering him the nickname ‘Airmiles Andy’, or the questionable business dealings with controversial businessmen when selling his former home, or even the notable pompous arrogance that he has consistently maintained throughout his private digressions, does he really deserve to represent Queen and country on the world stage? No, he doesn’t.

Even his response to the Epstein scandal has demonstrated how out-of-touch the Duke of York is with reality, how ego and arrogance has made him believe he is truly untouchable. For here is a man who genuinely believed that the infamous BBC interview over his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein would successfully absolve him of any wrongdoing. He even consulted the Queen afterwards claiming how “triumphant” the interview had gone, and she need not worry. Yet, when the interview finally aired, much to the horror of the millions who watched it, innocence was not the resulting conclusion. For many, according to the court of public opinion, Andrew was as guilty as sin, and it was hard to come to any other verdict.

Of course, whilst no one is above the law, they also deserve the right to due process, and that includes Prince Andrew. As of yet, no one truly knows whether he is guilty or innocent outside of the individuals involved in the case, but with his continuing radio silence, it hardly screams innocent, and here lies the problem. With or without speaking, the Duke of York is tainted, and by association also taints the monarchy. Of course the actions of Prince Andrew’s are his own, and ultimately the consequences will be his to pay, but can the Royal Family continue to be seen as if this scandal isn’t unfolding at rapid speed?

Currently the Duke of York counts nine honorary military roles under his royal belt, one being the Grenadier Guards, who it is claimed were “unhappy and embarrassed” when the Palace proposed Andrew take on the role from his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, in 2017. With the reality of his permanent ostracisation to the royal shadows becoming clearer, surely these roles must be removed from the Duke and shared out amongst the other working members of the royal family? Or even better, if Andrew truly respects his devoted mother, then should he not do the honourable thing and relinquish them altogether and take the choice away from the Queen?

Prince Andrew pictured alongside Jeffrey Epstein in 2011 in New York. - © NEWS SYNDICATION

The fact that he hasn’t makes me wonder whether there is still a part of the Duke of York who continues to feel that all of this scandal will magically go away, that somehow the world will move on and the monarchy and British public will welcome him back with open arms. The legal route now taken by Virginia Giuffre, and with threats that a second victim of Epstein’s could also sue Andrew with similar allegations, may now finally be the reality check this pampered Prince has long needed.

Currently Andrew, alongside his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, and daughter Princess Eugenie are at Balmoral in Scotland, where the Queen traditionally holidays throughout the summer. In recent days they were joined by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, with Charles clearly adamant that his younger brother can no longer remain silent. It is a belief shared by the Duke of Cambridge, who is said to be deeply concerned over the response, or lack thereof, towards the allegations.

For Andrew, it is looking more and more certain his royal fate is sealed. When two future Kings effectively declare your time's up within the Institution, what options are left open to you?

And yet, away from the royal fallout, there is a deeper element to the behaviour of Prince Andrew that no longer makes him worthy of royalty. Moral decency. It is clear that the Duke’s friendship with Jeffrey Epstein and his ‘madame’ Ghislaine Maxwell stretched beyond just acquaintances. It is also hard to accept that he never saw or was unaware of any questionable behaviour surrounding the billionaire. And ultimately, Andrew’s appalling judgement still determined it was perfectly acceptable to continue a friendship with Epstein even though he had been convicted of procuring an underage girl for prostitution and sex trafficking. On top of all of this is the public promise the Duke made in offering any information to the FBI which could help them in their investigation into the whole sordid affair and finally provide Epstein’s innocent victims the justice they deserve; a promise he is still yet to fulfil.

‘The Green Mile’ is the nickname for death row in America, and whilst that fate won’t face Prince Andrew, his royal role is pretty much six-feet-under. But perhaps it would do him some good to adapt the words of Tom Hanks’ character in that movie - the past has finally caught up with him, and the consequences are set in stone, whether he speaks or not.

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