Even the York princesses are concerned: Andrew’s daughter Princess Eugenie, who cofounded the Anti-Slavery Collective, is privately said to be “very worried” about how the scandal—which links Andrew to Epstein, who was accused of trafficking underage girls—might impact the organization. Nonetheless, Eugenie and her sister, Princess Beatrice, as well as their mother, Sarah Ferguson, and the rest of the royal family, are standing united behind Andrew. It is, sources say, Queen Elizabeth’s wish for her family to rally around her second (and some say favorite) son.
The Queen has ordered the family to support Andrew: Despite reports that the damaging interview has caused divisions within the family (Prince Charles is said to be furious that the fallout from the program has wiped his current tour of New Zealand off the front pages), courtiers and royal sources have told Vanity Fair that Andrew has his brother’s support, as well as that of the wider family. “It’s the Queen’s modus operandi to stick together in times of trouble,” said the Queen’s biographer Sarah Gristwood. “She won’t have any breaking of the ranks, and that’s irrespective of whether Andrew is the favorite son. That said, this must be stretching it, because what he’s done is the least welcome thing anyone could do to their mother, especially at the age of 93. He has let the side down. Everything he said in that interview was couched in the wrong terms.”
Andrew told his mother that he didn’t rape a trafficked teenager: “As his mother, she believed him, and she still does,” said a source close to the Queen.
Richard Kay chimes in: “What we are seeing is the royal family’s herd instinct. They circle the wagon at a time of crisis, and that’s what they’re doing now. When their credibility is called into question, their first strategy is to stand by the family, and their natural instinct is to believe each other. If Andrew has told them he is innocent, they will believe him.”
Another interview? There are reports currently circulating that Andrew could even be considering another interview, although Buckingham Palace says it is “not aware” of anything in the pipeline. “There are rumors swirling that Andrew wants to do another interview,” said a source. “Andrew hasn’t drawn a line under it. He wants the chance to put right the things he didn’t say. Newsnight gave him the chance to show some remorse. He was asked if there was anything else he wanted to say. It was an open goal—he didn’t grasp it, and I think he sees that now.”
The Queen’s new annus horribilis: “I don’t think it’s as bad as 1992 because the monarchy isn’t under threat the way it was in the ’90s,” said Gristwood. “Professionally, the Queen has come into this in a much better position than when she faced the crisis of the late 20th century, when she might have seemed out of touch. She’s everybody’s favorite grandmother, as well as the Queen, and she commands huge respect and is deeply loved the world over. I do wonder about the toll it will take on her personally, however. She has always relied on Prince Philip behind the scenes for support, but he’s not by her side in public. And privately, I suspect the Queen won’t want to place too much pressure on him or worry him. Her strategy has always been to put on a brave face. She’s very rarely shown distress in public.”
[From Vanity Fair]
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