William and Charles have teamed up to bring the Royal Family to order – but the end result is a dangerous schism emerging among the Windsors.
The Wars of the Roses were very long and very complicated: decades of pointless fighting that involved many men with names like Percy and Peregrine having limbs cut off on a battlefield.
The bloody dynastic conflict was about power and money, and vigorously stirring the pot was a certain Richard, Duke of York.
While no one is in danger of losing an appendage in a muddy paddock anytime soon, today we have another Duke of York whose ego and sense of entitlement look set to spark yet another Civil War Royal.
Early Tuesday morning, Garter Day took place at Windsor Castle for the first time since before the pandemic. The Order of the Garter is the oldest and most august of the chivalric orders, founded by King Edward III in 1348 and inspired by the tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. It was the time when a king could really let his imagination run wild.
These days, Day of the Garter involves lunch at the castle followed by a stately procession to St. gold and plumes of feathers. Then the big and the good go up the hill to the “big house” via vintage cars.
It’s all very big, very public, and this year’s Garter Day was set to feature the world’s most famous royal black sheep, Prince Andrew. For the defrocked royal, the exit was expected to be something of a virtual return to public life after being sacked from official roles and settling a $22million civil sex abuse lawsuit earlier this year. Andrew has long denied claims by Virginia Giuffre that he sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager.
Over the weekend, Andrew’s Big Day Out seemed frozen. The queen had given him the green light and the programs had been printed, mentioning him very clearly as part of the procession. Fergie was probably back at their common home, Royal Lodge, deftly wielding the lint roller to embellish the Duke’s velvet robe.
Then came a last-minute phone call that torpedoed Andrew’s best-laid plans.
A number of London newspapers reported that Prince Charles and Prince William, united in their dismay and horror at the thought of Andrew being pictured amidst royalty on Garter Day, staged an eleventh-hour intervention .
In fact, the Evening Standard’s flawless Robert Jobson reported that William went to his grandmother and issued an ultimatum. As a senior royal source told Jobson: “The Duke of Cambridge was adamant. If York insisted on participating publicly, he would withdraw.
In the end, the Queen came up with a clever workaround: Andrew could attend all private Garter Day parties conducted under cover of long lenses, but had to stay out of public and press view.
End result: We have around 887 new photos of Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge wearing a useless hat and further proof of what a ridiculous batch of archaic fiddle from the Order of the Garter.
But if you think, after the events of the last 72 hours, that Andrew could quietly return to the Royal Lodge, put on his slippers and slog his way through a family pack of Hobnobs to cheer himself up, then I have a very bad news for you. The 62-year-old might lack cash, official roles, dignity and friends these days, but ego? That’s another story indeed.
How else to explain a Monday report in The Telegraph that he wanted his Blood Prince status restored, including his prestigious and honorary role as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards and his ability to use his HRH? As a source told The Telegraph, the disgraced former trade ambassador wants “his position recognized and respected”.
Feel free to pause here if you too are gagging at such a display of self-aggrandizement.
I don’t know if this latest mess from Andrew makes me want to laugh at the sheer idiocy of that pompous ass or cry that any human being could be so grotesquely deceived.
Either way, a new and powerful new fault line is currently snaking through the middle of the royal house.
The problem stems from two very clear factions that have emerged behind the palace gates, one led by two future kings determined to save the monarchy and the other by the disgruntled Duke of York who, like his 15th century ancestor , wants more of everything.
On the first side, we have Charles and William who are united in their unwavering belief that Andrew has no place in public life, and it was their various bans that played a fundamental role in his banishment.
In November 2019, following the cataclysm of Andrew Newsnight interview, the Welsh duo were intimately involved in their decision to step down as working members of the Royal Family. Same in January this year when a judge in New York confirmed that Ms Giuffre’s civil sexual abuse would continue. Again, the father and son team played a ‘decisive role’ in Andrew’s decision to be stripped of his remaining royal roles and the ability to use his HRH.
On the William and Andrew front, The Times revealed last year that the Duke of Cambridge saw his uncle as a ‘threat to the family’. In 2019, The Times also reported that members of Andrew’s team at the time, having long since lost his office, had “accused a senior official in Prince William’s office of leaking stories about [Andrew] to the press. »
On a personal level, Charles and Andrew were never particularly close or got along, the eldest being a jung-reading pseudo-intellectual, a lover of 15th-century Tuscan architecture and the younger having spent 48 hours in watching porn while a former ambassador’s house guest.
God forbid you think this situation ends with these three men, because this situation involves his daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, and by extension Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex as well.
That same Telegraph story also reported that Andrew wanted his daughters to become working members of the Royal Family, an accolade that would see them devote themselves full-time to the monarchy, in return for which they would be guaranteed financial support and a lifetime grace. and-favor homes forever.
Side note here: Neither Beatrice nor Eugenie have ever given the slightest indication that they themselves are eager to trade their comfortable life of comfortable jobs, vacations in Capri and haunting the best shops in Chelsea so that they can spend their days cutting ribbons at regional recreation centers.
The battle lines are drawn: William and Charles, worrying about the damage an inflated Duke could do to the monarchy before they have a chance to run the show against the various HRHs who seem to think they have got a deal of nonsense and want a bigger portion of what they (or at least Andrew) think is rightfully theirs.
This situation, unless handled very carefully, could lead to an all-out War Royal.
Another recent royal crisis has been partly underpinned by the fact that one brother has very clearly received favorable treatment over the other, with the end result being that Harry and Meghan now live in California and make a living by showing of sympathy.
Despite the turmoil of the past two years, the Sussexes have remained closely aligned with the Yorks. The only member of the Royal Family who has visited Harry and Meghan and seen inside their estate is Princess Eugenie who, along with her husband and baby, visited in February.
More recently, at the thanksgiving service at St Paul’s which was part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the Sussexes sat alongside Beatrice and Eugenie and their husbands, apparently to provide some friendly faces for the duo self-exiled in the other sea of glacial parents.
Andrew and Harry now not only share the dubious honor of being the two official replacements, but they’ve both faced the brunt of what happens when Charles and William team up.
Beyond that, what Charles’ uncompromising commitment to streamlining the monarchy over the past decade has meant is an increasingly clear distinction between HRH’s haves and have-nots.
Now all but one of the Queen’s grandchildren – William – occupy a very strange liminal space between being royals while having no choice but to pursue normal lives. They have titles but need jobs. They attend Trooping the Color but are forced to arrive by bus. They’re spending the summer with the Queen while sharing paid sponsors on their Instagram feeds. Tuition fees and all that.
This situation has the potential to foment, and escalate, an alarming situation for an institution on the brink of the greatest upheaval in nearly a century – that is, when do you know what is happening to Her Majesty.
Andrew, William and Charles clearly acted as they saw fit for the crown, but how badly did they make an enemy of the Duke? And what could he do next in his ongoing struggle to reclaim his place in the royal spotlight? Man has the time and the arrogance to believe that he is fully justified in fighting for what he thinks should be his.
Historians are uncertain whether Richard, Duke of York died during the battle or was captured by the Lancastrians and executed. The moral of the story is that things don’t end well Greedy Dukes, a lesson Andrew would do well to learn and fast sticks.
Daniela Elser is a royal pundit and writer with over 15 years of experience working with a number of top media titles in Australia.
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