THE Duke of York’s brusque removal from his public-facing role as a member of the Royal Family is a victory for Prince Charles.
A senior courtier says that while the decision to relieve Andrew of his HRH (His Royal Highness) status was announced in the Queen’s name, it was Charles who has been responsible for the Royal Family’s “prompt and agile response”.
“It is Prince Charles who has led what is effectively a royal crisis management team formed to limit the reputational damage caused by Andrew’s disastrous association with Jeffrey Epstein,” says the courtier.
“While the Queen has given her views on the matter she is naturally protective and sensitive to Andrew, who is acknowledged to be her favourite son.
“Whereas Charles has taken a consistently harder line with Andrew and is not exactly sympathetic to the position of his brother, who he considers to be up to his neck in a dreadful mess of his own making.”
Prince Andrew has consistently denied the allegations made against him.
It has long been acknowledged in royal circles that Charles, who has championed a slimmed-down monarchy when he inherits the throne, has little time for Andrew.
He did not support the approach the Duke made to the Queen several years ago to approve financial support for his daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, as full-time – and police-protected – royals.
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The insider adds: “When it came clear this week that Andrew’s legal position was going from bad to worse, and future developments and coverage of the saga would be in danger of eclipsing the big event of the year – the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – Charles moved decisively.
“He effectively made the decision that to limit further reputational damage, Andrew had to be removed – effectively expelled as a working member of the family.
“It means he will defend his legal position not as a royal but as a private citizen.
“It may seem a brutal treatment to dish out to a younger sibling, but when the history of this sorry saga is written, we think Charles will be seen to have moved with the firmness and rapidity of a CEO protecting a major business in crisis.
“That his mother’s incredible 70 years of service to the nation could be overshadowed by a trial which could involve lurid details of Andrew’s sex life is not a prospect that Charles intends to let happen.”
The Royal Family’s surprise action has also removed the threat of others taking matters into their own hands – such as officers in the Grenadier Guards, of which Andrew was still Colonel, were threatening to do by banning him from attending any of the regiment’s functions.
‘Boorish’ Prince Andrew relished reminding ‘lesser civilians’ of his regal position, say diplomats
BEING stripped of the honorific style of “His Royal Highness” will be particularly wounding for Prince Andrew, who regularly liked to remind “lesser civilians” of his regal position, according to diplomats who have worked with the prince.
A former British diplomat who accompanied Andrew on what were supposed to be trade-boosting visits to the Middle East described him as a “boorish freeloader” who did more harm than good when he was supposed to be representing the UK.
Simon Wilson, Britain’s former deputy head of mission in Bahrain, revealed that officials gave Andrew the nickname “HBH”, or “His Buffoon Highness”, because of how he would do the opposite of whatever had been agreed ahead of a visit with staff.
“Colleagues put this behaviour down to the prince having an inferiority complex about being mentally challenged,” said Mr Wilson.
Sir Ivor Roberts, a former ambassador to Rome, also described how Andrew “rubbed people up the wrong way”, leaving his diplomatic team to clear up the mess he’d made.
Sir Ivor added: “When one head of a major fashion house introduced herself to Andrew, he rudely responded: ‘Never heard of you.'”