Is the Royalist’s power of recall on the blink? One feels sure of a very definite memory of Prince Andrew being effectively expelled from the royal family just a few months ago.
Why, yes, on 13 January, as we reported, the queen herself issued a statement saying the duke would not undertake any “public duties” and was defending himself against Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s sexual assault allegations as “a private citizen.”
It was also briefed on background by the palace that he would no longer use his HRH title. A few weeks later it was announced that Andrew was settling with his accuser, and reportedly using substantial sums of his mother’s money to do so. The reason widely given by palace officials at the time was that this was done so that Andrew’s legal woes would not overshadow the queen’s jubilee.
So, why is the Duke of Disgrace reportedly now going to attend one of the most ceremonially important fixtures in the royal calendar, Garter Day, as an HRH? The Telegraph reports Andrew will attend the Order of the Garter ceremony on June 13, alongside the queen, senior members of the Royal family and former prime ministers.
The palace is trying to advance spin this bizarre decision as based on the fact that Andrew was appointed “personally” by the queen to the Order of the Garter. It seems more and more apparent that the queen has no intention of completely expelling her favorite son from royal life.
As long as she draws breath, Andrew clearly has a foot in the door.
This raises the question of why she helped him pay off Giuffre. Could it be that rather than making all thoughts of Andrew go away, the queen wanted the case settled to actually enable Andrew to join key moments of the celebrations?
Was allowing him to walk her on his arm to her seat at the memorial for Prince Philip in March actually a softening up exercise for the delicate reinsertion of Andrew into royal life over the jubilee period, when criticism of the queen will naturally be muted?
This theory will only gain ground if, as the Telegraph reports, Andrew will be referred to in the next day’s Court Circular as His Royal Highness. There seems no reason to disbelieve the Telegraph, which appears to have this nugget on good authority. A palace source told the paper this would be “standard practice.”
Newsflash: there is nothing standard about Prince Andrew being forced to settle, for millions of dollars, accusations of sex crimes.
The Order of the Garter is Britain’s most senior Order of Chivalry. It has just 24 members at any one time. Being invited to join is the ultimate mark of establishment respect.
The Sunday Times reports that the queen will not appoint a new royal colonel of the Grenadier Guards before the Trooping the Color on June 2, to reportedly “spare” Prince Andrew’s embarrassment. Andrew was stripped of his military titles in the wake of settling with Giuffre.
It’s hard not to come to the conclusion that the queen wants to salvage what she can of his position before she dies.
Prince Charles, Prince William, and Princess Anne are reported to be taking “the royal salute” at the Trooping the Color ceremony—with Queen Elizabeth not doing so for the first time in 70 years, the Sunday Times reports.
Although the queen has been seen in recent days out and about looking bright and cheerful at the Royal Windsor Horse Show and visiting the new “Elizabeth” London Underground line, and will be present for a period of time during Trooping the Color, “the ceremony is being modified with her comfort in mind,” the paper reports.
The queen might “travel in a carriage from Buckingham Palace to briefly inspect the troops, before retiring for the rest of the ceremony,” the Sunday Times says, before appearing on Buckingham Palace’s balcony with other members of the family. An alternative is that the queen just appears on the balcony. It all depends on the “episodic mobility problems” the palace has said the queen has been experiencing.
Meanwhile, two sections of the bleachers collapsed Saturday during an official rehearsal for “Trooping.” Five people were treated at the scene and three were taken to hospital. A witness told the Mirror: “We were told to stand and heard a scream and then there was chaos in the section. Turned out part of it had collapsed and a woman had fallen through. The paramedics rushed in but started yelling, ‘We can’t find her.’
“She was extracted after several minutes and seemed fine but badly shaken and was put on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance. The crowd was calm but was later moved out of that section. Then a second section had a similar collapse and the crowd was moved but with no one falling through.”
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