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Prince Andrew at Trooping the Colour

Prince Andrew Reportedly Planning to Return to Royal Life

If 2002 has shown us anything, it’s that there are few certainties in life. So why am I so shocked that Prince Andrew is allegedly planning a comeback?

The Newsnight Interview Should Have Ended Him

A year ago next month–you know, that happy, distant time when the pandemic hadn’t ruined everything–Prince Andrew gave a Newsnight interview that should have been the end of his public life.

Jeffrey Epstein was dead, Ghislaine Maxwell was in the wind, and the most prominent person associated with their crimes was good ol’ Randy Andy. Virginia Roberts Giuffre proved that she wouldn’t let go of her quest for justice without a fight, and Andrew was under increasing pressure to provide answers about his association with Epstein’s trafficking ring.

In scandals past, the Crown had a very strong “no comment” policy. They would never stoop so low as to confirm or deny anything unless it was unavoidable, such as in the case of a divorce that would be made public sooner or later.

But Andrew just couldn’t sit on the sidelines without defending himself. He sweated and stuttered himself through a truly despicable performance during his interview. Speaking up only made things worse, and for a while, it looked like the Queen might agree with the rest of the world: Andrew needed to go away.

Why a Comeback Now?

Even before his, er, unexpected retirement from public life as a working royal, Andrew’s image was tarnished. He’d been removed as a trade ambassador for shady dealing, and he was by far the least popular of the Queen’s children with the public. At home, though, the rumor is that Andy was always Elizabeth’s golden boy.

Perhaps they think that people have forgotten about him now that we have other things to worry about, like not being able to leave our homes for fear of getting sick. Or perhaps Elizabeth just wants to help her favorite son before she cedes any more power to Charles.

Andrew, now 60, is making noise about wanting to resume a role in public life. A “friend” of Andrew told The Sunday Times:

“The duke is spending time working out how he can serve his country and support the monarchy in the future, and what else he might want to do with his life. He’s locked down at Royal Lodge [his home on the queen’s Windsor estate], thinking about his future service and public role. He has some clear thoughts. He’s very sensitive to the public mood and acutely conscious that the public are the most important stakeholder. He feels he has support from the family, very much so, including all his siblings and his parents.”

So his people claim that he has the full support of the Queen. Buckingham Palace denies that any such support exists. The truth is probably a bit of column A and a bit of column B. The Queen might support him, but Charles most certainly does not.

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