Prince Andrew is an “embarrassment” to the royals but the shamed duke “doesn’t realize.” “Bizarre!” as one source told me. I believe that is a bit harsh, but that is the feeling on the ground here in the U.K. while we all mourn our greatest monarch Queen Elizabeth II.
Prince Andrew cuts a desolate figure when you see him at events, which I have done in close encounters, and while people may be rightly cruel at times let’s not forget that he was a loving son of the queen, and therefore we should be polite and remember that he too is grieving.
Known in the British tabloids by the nickname “Randy Andy,” Prince Andrew has been in and out of the headlines for a good part of his life. Relationships were reported with former actress Koo Stark and, according to reports, to other women, including a former model and Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein.
But what now for the once popular decorated royal – can he ever really return, and what are his plans moving forward?
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Royal sources said Prince Andrew was left “crushed and confused” when he was forced to remain out of sight at the Garter Day procession after an intervention by then-Prince Charles and Prince William earlier in the year, and this was the shape of things to come. But Andrew now can look toward his daughter, and let me explain:
Princess Beatrice has received this news within the royal family following the passing of her grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. The 34-year-old daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, who has not often performed official royal duties, is now a counsellor of state, which means she can represent King Charles III in the event of “illness or absence abroad.”
Of course Andrew and Ferguson are thrilled about this, as Sarah recently told me the one thing she is rightly proud of are her daughters. She said, “It’s the best thing I have ever achieved, and I am so proud of them both. So anything they can do to assist his Royal Highness in his new role well, any mother would be over the moon, but honestly I know she takes this very seriously and will do a terrific job when called.”
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Andrew, though, appears to remain on the sidelines and while he has done great works behind the scenes with local charities and helping through the dire situation of COVID, this has been a big life lesson for the one-time royal. But, as one source told me, “It would have been very different if Andrew had had his way.”
It appears that Andrew was not keen to conclude the situation regarding the court case against him as “it was a difficult situation really.” I mean here was the queen celebrating the Platinum Jubilee year and all eyes from around the world were on the royal family. To push ahead with the case would have been a stain on this celebration and of course heaped more embarrassment on the family.
In March, Prince Andrew settled a lawsuit filed last August against him by Virginia Giuffre, who alleged that she was sexually abused by the Duke of York on three occasions when she was under 18 at the behest of the late financier Jeffrey Epstein and disgraced British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.
However, my source also noted that although Andrew felt he had no option given this climate of emotion, he really wanted to have his time in court to explain his side of the story, but was advised by the most senior levels that this would not be wise.
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Plus there was the dire Newsnight interview on the BBC, which he was advised not to do – and openly admits to his inner team it was a mistake – but he also believed that this would conclude the narrative. So moving forward, his plans include more behind-the-scenes good works and hopefully a chance to redeem himself in the public eye.
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One of the biggest issues that Andrew had with the team behind the interview was that they promised to be fair and balanced, and his team was also assured that he would see the output prior to transmission, so something somewhere went horribly wrong, and he has been left paying the heavy price.
Moving forward, just this week he was heckled in the crowd as he walked alongside his late mother’s coffin in Scotland and thankfully that lunatic was charged and removed. But how safe will it be in the future and during Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral?
Andrew’s late mother the queen, alongside Sarah and his daughters, were and are his rock, his solid foundation. So while many are keen to play him for a villain, many would be wise – at least during this period – to hold off, as the queen above all else deserves that respect in her very final journey with the sons and daughter at her side that she cared about so deeply. And if we do all love the monarch as we profess, how about all remembering that mantra and allowing this Duke to grieve in public as she would have wanted.
Fox News’ Rebecca Rosenberg contributed to this report.