Reviews | Prince Andrew has become a problem for the royal family. He had to go. | Latest News Headlines

Reviews | Prince Andrew has become a problem for the royal family. He had to go.

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PENZANCE, England — Prince Andrew is in internal exile in Windsor, 20 miles west of London. Last week, a Manhattan judge ruled that a lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre, a woman who accused Andrew of sexually assaulting her in 2001, when she was 17 and had been, was she said, trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein, could continue. (Andrew denied the charges.) A day later, Buckingham Palace issued a statement effectively banishing him from royal life.

It was done sparingly – just 42 words: ‘With the Queen’s approval and consent, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronages have been returned to the Queen. The Duke of York will continue to hold no public office and is defending this case as a private citizen. He has lost the right to use the special abbreviation HRH (His Royal Highness) in an official capacity, and he will not appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace this summer to celebrate his mother’s platinum jubilee, marking his 70 years as queen.

As he sits in front of the TV – he apparently loves TV – jobless and divorced and with a collection of neatly arranged teddy bears, I wonder if Andrew should watch ‘The Crown’. Specifically, the season one scene where Queen Mary tells her granddaughter Elizabeth II what to do when her private and public selves clash: “The crown must win,” says the old queen. youth. “Must always win.” Or, just as aptly, he could turn around and watch “The Godfather,” in which Michael Corleone (Prince Charles?) tells his brother Sonny (Andrew?), “It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly professional. He could also watch “The Godfather: Part II,” in which Michael (Charles) tells Fredo (Andrew again): “You’re still my brother! We know what happens next.

The members of the royal family are called the Firm. It’s a joke masking a truth. The crown is a business. That’s why the Queen’s second son was exiled without trial or conviction: for business. They may have mid-20th-century bourgeois glamor — hats, flowers, doilies — but it’s icing sugar, a mere mirror of their most devoted fans. Their profession is power, and they have voluminous archives and long memories.

They saw the Capets, Bonapartes, Romanovs, Habsburgs and Hohenzollerns lose their thrones to bad governance, scandal, revolution and war. Some of them – although apparently not Andrew – are self-aware enough to understand that they are now a curiosity and that their survival depends on the fumes of sentiment and nostalgia, on their own minds and immaculate day-to-day behavior. They are pragmatic, realistic and sensitive to public opinion. A possible sex offender doesn’t look good on a memorial tea towel. Nor has the publication of photographs of Mr. Epstein and his friend Ghislaine Maxwell, recently convicted of sex trafficking, at Queen Balmoral’s castle.

Charles has planned for years to slim down the monarchy because his backing is a mile wide but an inch thick. This crisis has only accelerated it.

Initially, Andrew made the family look ridiculous. He gave a puzzled broadcast interview in 2019, saying he could not have met Ms Giuffre as he was at a pizzeria in Woking, a small town near Windsor, that day. (“Going to Pizza Express in Woking is an unusual thing for me,” he said. “And I remember it oddly distinctly.”) He said he couldn’t have danced with Mrs. Giuffre sweaty in a nightclub, as she claims. , “because I had suffered from an adrenaline overdose during the Falklands War when I was shot” – at which point his voice grew louder and he embellished himself with his new seriously – “and it was almost impossible for me to sweat.”

He is not the first madman to be born in a palace, but this time the madman was on television. When last week he made it seem like the royals were protecting a person accused of sexual assault the crown acted quickly.

If “The Godfather” doesn’t explain his predicament to him, Andrew might read his own family’s story. He would learn that exile, imprisonment and execution are normal in the royal family. Murder is rare, but still known to happen.

Take your pick from princely feuds. Henry I may have had his older brother William II killed. Henri II definitely imprisoned his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Their sons attempted to force Henry from his throne. (He commissioned a mural about it. The rich are different.) Queen Isabella deposed her husband, Edward II – and may have had a hand in his death. Henry IV definitely usurped his cousin Richard II, who was killed in prison. Richard III confined his nephews Edward V and Richard, Duke of York, who were also murdered in prison. Mary I put her half-sister, Elizabeth I, in prison but did not kill her. (She just thought of it.) Elizabeth I put their cousin Mary, Queen of Scots, in prison and killed her, although she also imprisoned her own secretary for submitting the death warrant. Andrew’s private secretary – the one who set up the 2019 interview about his emotional response to Pizza Express and his inability to sweat – was spared.

If history fails to explain his fate, he could finally turn to theology: to the English translation of the Bible commissioned by his ancestor James I. He could read Matthew 5:29: “And if your right eye cause you to stumble, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is to your advantage that one of your members perish, and not that your whole body be thrown away. in hell. I can’t really say better than that. If you didn’t think they had it in them, it’s almost gratifying.

Tanya Gold (@TanyaGold1) is a British journalist who writes for Harper’s Magazine, The Spectator and UnHerd.

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