Overnight, news broke that Prince Andrew was ‘stepping back’ from public duty for a while.
How noble of him to make a decision that was ultimately forced on him after his interview to try and explain his friendship with the convicted child sex offender Jeffrey Epstein went down in a spectacular ball of flames.
Then there are the claims that he used the n-word back in 2012, cracked ‘jokes’ about Arab people that involved camels, and could be involved in a number of new allegations as part of the investigation into Jeffrey Epstein.
In other words, you get the feeling that ‘ol Andrew was pushed into making his call, with the Daily Mail reporting:
The Queen has effectively sacked Prince Andrew from Royal duties after discussing the Epstein scandal with Charles and summoning the distraught Duke of York to Buckingham Palace to learn his fate.
The Monarch took decisive action to contain the fall-out from the duke’s disastrous Newsnight interview about his friendship with paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Last night the duke issued a statement confirming he was, with his mother’s permission, ‘stepping down’ from public duties. He will lose his £249 000 annual income from the Sovereign Grant as a result.
Shame, poor chap. That £249 000 translates to around R4,75 million a year, or just shy of R400 000 a month.
Whatever will he do?
Oh, don’t stress, he will still be looked after:
The source said that the Duke will no longer receive his Sovereign Grant allowance because that funds expenses incurred during official duties. His income from the Queen’s private funds will remain intact.
Yeah, that will show him.
As you can imagine, the peeps over at the Daily Mail are absolutely frothing at the mouth with this one. They’ve even called in the Queen’s biographer, Robert Hardman (great name), who says this is less a short-term solution and more an early retirement.
OK, Robert, go wild:
Palace officials have made clear that while the Queen was made ‘aware’ of the impending interview, she did not approve it. By then, it was too late.
As for Prince Charles, he knew nothing about it. ‘Don’t imagine that she is fooled by any of this,’ says one insider.
During the fallout which has followed, the monarch and the heir to the throne have been in close two-way communication about the potential damage to the institution.
I also understand that the Duke of Cambridge has been more than a mere spectator. ‘Don’t forget he has a long-term stake in this too,’ says one friend of the family.
It will have been immensely painful for the Queen to thrash this all out with the Duke of York during the meeting in her study at Buckingham Palace yesterday. But neither she nor he had any choice.
In as much as a member of the Royal Family can resign, that was the only course left open to him.
I can’t help but laugh when they add that “the duke will still be welcome at anything constituting a ‘family’ occasion – including appearances on the Palace balcony”.
Thank heavens for that. After all, what good is it being a royal if you can’t wave from the balcony to your minions?
Look, there’s a taxpayer whose money I squander, and over there, I spy another!
You may have noticed that my sympathy is limited. Back to what comes next for Andrew:
We can expect to see him with other members of the family walking to church on Christmas Day. However, there can be no further solo engagements. Nor will he be expected at next month’s Palace reception for Nato heads of state.
Regular interaction with his 230 charities and military units will now cease. These patronages are now ‘mothballed’…
What is clear, however, is that this is not a short-term solution while things ‘die down’. Until there is some sort of legal resolution, this is early retirement.
I hope Andrew stuck some money away for his retirement, then. Whoever will cut the ribbons at all of those openings?
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