Queen Elizabeth leaves Charles and William with a big problem called Prince Andrew
Has Prince Andrew gone from public pariah to invaluable personal carer in a new assisted living program for his mother? It’s hard not to come to a different conclusion.
Queen Elizabeth didn’t seem to mind the outrage caused by choosing him to escort her to Westminster Abbey for the service honoring the life of Prince Philip. Let’s be clear: nothing in this choice was accidental. It could only have happened in such an openly public way at the insistence of the monarch herself – and, probably, in defiance of the protests of other family members.
the To post reports that the Queen had ‘overridden’ the wishes of Princes Charles and William on the matter, who had raised concerns ‘on more than one occasion’ about Andrew’s significance at the event. Another one To post the report claimed that Andrew had “heavily armed” the Queen; the monarch “couldn’t say no to her favorite son”. His siblings were “appalled” by his actions. According to an insider speaking to Telegraph“They (other royals) didn’t know until it happened. The plan changed.
As we try to unpack the full implications of this for the private lives of the Windsor family, one thing, surprising as it may seem, becomes apparent: Andrew is providing a level of comfort to the Queen in her fragile new condition that no one can tell. other cannot. It goes beyond the verifiable story that he was always her favorite son. The relationship apparently became one of need and even dependency. He lives near her in Windsor; time and strange circumstances have reunited the mother and the shamed, albeit favored, son.
When its conception hatched, the Platinum Jubilee Year was going to be an immaculate production, with a calendar of public events locked in place, assiduously rehearsed and leaving nothing to chance. Instead, due to the queen’s reduced mobility, he has become extremely unpredictable. Whether the queen would actually visit the abbey was not clarified until hours before she did. That’s not how things worked. It used to be the gold standard for hosting public shows.
What’s going on? There was every reason to think that it would be Charles who would take his mother’s arm if she needed help. After all, what would be the most compelling message of a well-planned succession, the harmonious partnership of monarch and heir? It would have been good for the Abbey cameras, letting the story be joyous, that it was slowly recovering, and we could all stop worrying about how long it would still be. Instead, much of the world watched in awe: What was she thinking?
“Optics is everything. Andrew didn’t back down, he didn’t assume a visually minimal presence. He was in the foreground, and it was a deliberate choice.”
Some say the choice was practical; since they are geographical neighbors, it made more sense to escort his mother. But optics are everything, and the royal family knows it very well. Andrew didn’t back down, he didn’t assume a visually minimal presence. He was in the foreground, and it was a deliberate choice on his part and probably the queen’s.
A public relations disaster of this magnitude undermines any sense of a consistent royal message. But even a professional ace spinmeister couldn’t win if the outcome was decided by the queen’s will, as it seems to have been. Nonetheless, questions arise over the man’s effectiveness given the thankless task of trying to bring order to the falling apart royal household.
Last year Andrew Parker was appointed Lord Chamberlain of the Royal Household. Parker was previously Britain’s top spy, heading MI5. He was highly regarded for the way he handled a series of terrorist attacks in London and for the way he publicly identified the wider risk posed by extremist political groups. The security of the royal family is obviously a high priority, but it does not require the skills now needed to manage the volatile state of the royal family as they stumble towards what will be a difficult succession process in which the ultimate fate of the monarchy could be decided.
The focus is no longer just on when and how King Charles III and Queen Camilla will ascend the throne (the Queen will decide when she agrees), but on how the successors, William and Kate, will play the role of a generation. face change for the institution. That’s why the fallout from their Caribbean tour is significant. William valiantly tried to acknowledge that the crown has no future role in the islands: “We proudly support your decisions regarding your future,” he told the Bahamas. “Relationships evolve. Friendships last.
But whether he really understood that it was the past, not the future, who the elephant in the room was is unclear.
He could learn a lot by reading a book published in 1944, Capitalism and slavery, written by Eric Williams, former Prime Minister of Trinidad. Williams was the first to argue that profits from the slave trade funded the Industrial Revolution, creating a host of new merchant dynasties. Since then, other historians have bolstered this thesis, in effect showing that many parts of the British Empire, particularly the Caribbean sugar plantations, were “modernized” by white supremacist industrialization.
William could also address the carbon footprint of his royal tour. The Cambridges brought with them an entourage comprising two private secretaries, a team of flacks and high levels of personal staff – all aboard a luxuriously appointed Airbus jumbo jet from the Royal Air Force’s ‘VIP Voyager’ fleet, normally used by that habitual profiteer of the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and his Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss.
Last year William was scathing about alleged ‘space tourism’ rockets being sold by Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, saying: ‘They should be trying to fix the planet, not trying to find the next planet to live. . on.” This now sounds like the same kind of hypocrisy practiced by her father, who similarly avoids commercial stealing while preaching about the need for urgent action to save the planet. (The Queen is more grounded. In Speaking of climate summits, she reportedly said of world leaders, “It’s really irritating when they talk, but they don’t.”)
In any case, what good are royal visits if they only reinforce the impression that the royal family lives at this level of personal comfort and in a bubble of historical denial? The burden of this question falls more on the Cambridges than anyone else because they were meant to be different, real inhabitants of this century.
In the meantime, let’s ponder the immediate and most compelling family drama. For example, the conversation between the Queen and Andrew after they left the Abbey and were driven back twenty miles to Windsor. There was, no doubt, a shared grief over the deceased husband and father, a robust and outspoken spirit that certainly left a gap that cannot be filled. For the rest, whatever observations about immediate kinship may have happened between them, and exactly what the Queen finds common ground with Andrew, we have no idea.
“Should Andrew then finally be cast out as the Duke of Windsor was, after the abdication, and sent to a life of embittered exile?”
Charles and William were the enforcers of Andrew’s excommunication (although sources told the Telegraph William’s role in all of this was “overplayed”). The assumption was that it would be permanent. There is no indication that he will be allowed to return to any of his former regular public duties. Charles and William must hope the Queen is still ok with this. But, once Charles is crowned, the matter becomes more pressing and personal for him – and for William. Should Andrew then finally be cast out as the Duke of Windsor was, after his abdication, and sent to a life of embittered exile?
“Ultimately, as long as the Queen remains on the throne, it will be up to her to decide what future role Andrew should play in family life,” concludes the Telegraphread’s post-memorial service article. “But as far as the Firm is concerned, he’s finished.”
As of now, apart from taking care of his mother, Andrew has no day job. He is basically unemployable. It’s not simply because of the taint of his entanglement with Epstein, but because long before that, he was increasingly less recommendable as he traversed the world of oligarchs and Gulf monarchies. As long as the queen is alive, he has swagger. What happens when she dies is – as he must know – another matter, probably much darker.