How do you solve a problem like Andrew?
Over the past couple of weeks, I have been asked numerous times by friends and acquaintances for my thoughts on the Prince Andrew scandal. They do this knowing that I am originally from the Uk and therefore by default an expert on all matters “Royal”.
As I explain while the recent accusation regarding the Duke of York’s longtime relationship with Jeffrey Epstein is not new, following Epstein's death, either by his own hand or a third party, the S.H.I.T. has really hit the fan.
Stories about Andrew have fueled the Uk press of years, decades in fact. The popular press budded him “Airmiles Andy”, a reference to his frequent overseas trips, a habit which his daughters, Eugenie and Beatrice embraced at one time. The UK gutter press went a step further and dubbed him “Randy Andy”. No further explanation is required.
As Andrew tried to do, unsuccessfully, in his recent “car crash” interview, with hindsight he admitted to having made bad judgment calls. I am no defending him, but who amongst us with the benefit of hindsight would have made any number of different decisions, taken other routes? I know I would.
Don’t make the mistake and shed tears for Andrew, he is a grown man, and yet, and this is no excuse for his actions, his life thus far has not been easy. In spite of his royal titles and all the trappings that accompany his exalted position, would any of us want to swap places with him? I know I would not.
Being a minor Royal is not an easy path to navigate, just look at the actions and antics of Harry.
Until the marriage of his elder brother to Diana and the subsequent birth of William, Andrew has second in line to the throne behind Charles. Although having an older sister, at the time only male heirs were able to ascend the throne. Only in the case of no male heir was a princess in line, as happened with the current Queen. The law was amended just prior to the birth of Willaim and Kate’s first child to ensure that the eldest child, regrades of sex, was first in line.
With Willaim in the frame to succeed his father, Andrew was free to pursue other interests. By all accounts for many years he was successful in championing British industry overseas. This in addition to various other UK related projects he was the patron of. I believe the final figure ran to hundreds of organizations, all of which have either broken ties with him or are in the process of doing so.
Did power and privilege go to his head?
Written in 1887 and often quoted “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men” would seem an aquept description and yet despite his questionable actions, Andrew can not be considered a “bad man”. Foolish maybe, ill-advised, easily led astray but certainly not bad in the criminal sense of the word.
There is a lesson here for young Harry. Hopefully he and his wife will draw their own conclusions from his uncle’s downfall and disgrace. A disgrace that has ruined his reputation, that of the Royal Family as a whole and is far from over given the desire of the US judiciary to interview Andrew under caution I understand. As they say, watch this space as its going to get worse.
Small wonder that, according to the UK papers, Charles with the backing of the Queen and Willaim will give Andrew a serve reprimand.
And of course the sins of the father are visited on their children You have to feel some sympathy for Beatrice and her wedding next year.
Here’s hoping the “Fat Lady” sings sooner rather than later.