After a difficult year, the last thing Britains royal family needed was the Duke of Yorks self-inflicted crisis
The unprecedented banishment of Prince Andrew to the outer reaches of the royal conglomerate, without a helpful future role or official actions, free- presumably- to spend more time with his golf clubs, comes at a critical time for the family.
After the calamities of the 1990 s and the patient rebuilding of reputation that followed, all seemed set fair simply 18 several months ago. The Queen was still soldiering stoically on into her 90 s, working on her red caskets of official newspapers every day as she had done for the previous seven decades and attending 293 participations during the year. Prince Harry had just married Meghan Markle to popular acclaim, apparently opening a brand-new period for the royal family. And the sequence was fasten to three generations, if they played their posters right.
How readily destabilising hesitations can intrude. From the Duke of Edinburgh’s car crash in January, through to Harry and Meghan’s evident unhappiness with their royal character and their cranny with Prince William and Duchess Kate, the great hopes of the royal family, it has been a difficult year, if not yet another annus horribilis like 1992. On top of that came Andrew’s self-inflicted crisis, which has angered other members of the family, specially Prince Charles, reopening age-old sores and shedding the smooth running of the institution into chaos.
Andrew’s fall from grace has had a slow motion inevitability. His relationship with the convicted child copulation delinquent Jeffrey Epstein had well known since the pair were envisioned strolling together in Central Park in 2011, but was ignored, especially once a Florida judge ruled that the allegations involving the prince were unnecessary to know. But following the latest complaints about Epstein and his suicide in prison in August, Andrew’s association with him is under an obligation to swam into view once more, even though no criminal allegations have been laid against him and he disclaims any personal wrongdoing.
His ill-judged television interview last weekend triggered his descend, highlighting as it did well documented flaws: his sense of right, freeloading, obtuseness and insensitivity. The British public can bear a lot from its royal family but resent exaggeration and superiority, especially over the expenditure of money and particularly from someone whose dedication to the common good has been sometimes hard to detect.