Prince Andrew is no longer a member of the Royal family. Except for those times when he is. In the latest episode of ED’s DESK, Ed subs a story from the Sydney Morning Herald which sets new standards in speculation, non-attribution and random, contradictory gossip.
HEADLINE: Prince Andrew’s final humiliation will be the last we see of him as a royal
BYLINE: Rob Harris
INTRO: Prince Andrew, once the golden child, has been dealt his final humiliation of public life by being banned from saluting while walking behind his late mother’s coffin procession as it passed the Cenotaph.
ED’S DESK: Okay Rob, are we sure we want to go with the headline ‘final humiliation’? I don’t know the guy, but I’m pretty confident Prince Andrew has it in him to humiliate himself further. Also, you reported in March that he was done as a royal. And yet here he is again. The guy’s had more comeback tours than John Farnham. Amend the ‘last we see of him as a royal’ part please.
Andrew, the only one of the Queen’s children not dressed in military uniform, simply bowed his head next to the national war memorial on Whitehall, having been stripped of his royal duties. The Falklands war veteran was barred from wearing his navy uniform because he was in effect sacked as a “working” member of the royal family after he was disgraced over his relationship with the paedophile financier, Jeffrey Epstein. British military protocol dictates only those in uniform salute.
ED’S DESK: What does “in effect sacked as a ‘working’ member” mean? Either he was or he wasn’t? Also, in March you reported it wasn’t his relationship with Epstein that got him punted, but his train wreck interview with the BBC. Which was it? Amend please.
Famously his mother’s favourite, Andrew has not been treated as a complete royal pariah by his family as he mourns her death. But it is clear that now she has gone, there is no longer a place for him.
ED’S DESK: Okay… big call. But if this story goes on to actually describe a “place for him” I’m going to be pretty annoyed. You’re on notice.
Until this week, he’d rarely been seen in public since the highly damaging case brought by sex abuse accuser Virginia Giuffre, 38, which led to a multi-million-pound settlement in February. He has consistently denied the allegations against him and the settlement was not an admission of guilt. The late Queen stripped her second son of all of his honorary military roles, including Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, and he gave up his HRH style in January before the legal settlement. He retained only his rank as a vice-admiral.
ED’S DESK: Right, okay… that didn’t take long. So he does have a place, as a vice-admiral. I’m officially annoyed. Amend please.
It has been humiliation after humiliation ever since. On Monday as the Queen’s cortège passed along The Royal Mile in Edinburgh, a man shouted, “Andrew, you’re a sick old man”.
ED’S DESK: That’s not a “humiliation”. That’s an insult from a random stranger. It might be accurate, but it’s still not a humiliation. You need a conscience to be humiliated and I think we can all agree Prince Andrew doesn’t have one of those. Rephrase please.
If the King needed any more evidence that he’d made the correct call, then this was proof. He’d always been adamant that the controversy over Andrew should not be allowed to tarnish the reputation of the family. And even more so, it was Prince William who had pushed his father to make a stand.
ED’S DESK: The King, who cheated on his wife, is on public record discussing life as Camilla’s tampon. I don’t think the family’s reputation needs much help in the tarnishing department. Amend please. Also, how do you know all this? If you don’t attribute these claims, it sounds suspiciously like you’re making it all up.
The late Queen was said to understand their decision, but was displeased. Even in her final months, she defied them to allow him to walk her down the aisle during a memorial service to her late husband, Philip, in March.
ED’S DESK: Who ‘said’ she understood the decision? The Queen? Attribute please! Also, she didn’t ‘defy’ anyone. She was the Queen. She was also their mother. Amend please.
Even before the Epstein scandal, it was always thought that the Duke had no future in King Charles III’s slimmed-down monarchy. It is no secret that Andrew is not close to his brother.
ED’S DESK: What do you mean by “slimmed down” Monarchy? Has anyone been sacked? Has Charles reduced his staff? Are taxpayer’s being saved any money? Apart from the Queen, has anyone else died to ‘slim it down’? And will the children of Royals henceforth be executed at birth so it remains ‘slimmed down’? Clarify please.
In June, William was so alarmed at the prospect of his shamed uncle’s attempted royal comeback that he reportedly warned that he would pull out of the Order of the Garter ceremony, one of the most traditional ceremonies in the royal calendar, where the monarch and the knights process in grand velvet robes, glistening insignia and plumed hats. The now heir to the throne made it clear that unless the Duke of York – who had hoped to attend the ancient event at Windsor as a member of the order – was banned from taking his place in public, he would not be able to take part.
ED’S DESK: In June, you reported that Prince Andrew wasn’t at the Queen’s jubilee because of Covid-19, not because William threatened a hissy fit. Either he’s allowed to attend public events or he’s not. Clarify please.
The dramatic move followed a piece in The Telegraph that Andrew wanted his HRH status reinstated and, as a “Prince of the Blood”, wanted his position “recognised and respected”.
ED’S DESK: Sure they did… but the Telegraph has a well-documented history of climate denialism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Covid-19 misinformation, and promoting Chinese Community Party propaganda for cash (along with allowing its news coverage to be influenced by advertisers). It’s also endorsed Conservative governments at every election since 1945, and lobbied for Brexit. So, you know, find another source.
The Queen, although sympathetic to Andrew, gave in to Charles and William’s demands that he should miss the public elements of the event to protect the reputation of the family after a hugely successful Jubilee weekend.
ED’S DESK: The one where Andrew conveniently came down with ‘Covid’. Yeah right, pull the other one. I smell tabloid gossip. Attribute properly or delete please.
At the weekend, following his mother’s death at Balmoral, Andrew adopted a visible role, thanking members of the public for their support through his family’s grief. He told one member of the crowd: “We’ve been allowed one day, now we start the process of handing her on.” Consoling his clearly emotional daughters, princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, he put his arm around the former as she dabbed her eyes.
ED’S DESK: Wow, look at that. He has a public role. Go figure.
Banned from wearing military uniform at four out of the five ceremonial occasions over the mourning period, an exception has been made as a “special mark of respect” for the Queen when he stands guard around her coffin with his siblings during a vigil at Westminster Hall. The ruling is believed to have been imposed by the King, who is determined that Andrew not be allowed to return as a working royal.
ED’S DESK: Except that he’s obviously returned AS A WORKING ROYAL!! Amend please.
He has, however, acquired one new familial role. He and his former wife, Sarah, Duchess of York, who still live together at Royal Lodge on the Windsor estate, have become keepers of the late Queen’s corgis and dorgi.
ED’S DESK: One new familial role… plus guarding his mother’s coffin. And addressing the crowd. And attending the cenotaph. And also, WTF is a ‘dorgi’? It sounds as made up as some of your other ‘information’. Clarify please.
Andrew still receives taxpayer-funded police protection, despite no longer undertaking official duties. He was last year targeted by multiple intruders who tried to gain access to the Grade II-listed Windsor home. The Duke of York may have been granted a temporary reprieve to mourn his beloved mother this week – but it’s clear he will remain persona non grata as far as “The Firm” is concerned.
ED’S DESK: Rob… your last paragraph undermines and contradicts you’re entire story and headline. Persona non-grata does not mean he doesn’t have some official public roles. It just means people don’t like it. Every time he reappears in public with official royal duties, are we going to report he’s been given another ‘temporary reprieve’? And ‘The Firm’ is a bad Hollywood movie. I know it sounds dramatic to you, but it sounds ridiculous to everyone else. Amend please.
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