William and Charles teamed up to bring the royal family back in order, but the end result was a dangerous rift emerging among the Windsors.
The War of the Roses was a very long and very complicated one: decades of pointless fighting involving many people with names like Percy and Peregrine having their limbs chopped off on the battlefield.
The bloody dynastic conflict was about power and money, and was vigorously thwarted by one Richard, Duke of York.
While no one will lose an appendage in a filthy paddock anytime soon, today we have another Duke of York whose ego and self-respect seem poised to spark another royal civil war.
Early Tuesday morning, Garter Day was held at Windsor Castle for the first time since the pandemic. The Order of the Garter is the oldest and most august of the knightly orders, established by King Edward III in 1348, modeled on the tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. These were the days when the king could really let his imagination run wild.
Today, Garter Day includes a meal at the castle, followed by a stately procession down to St. George’s Church for service, all knights and ladies companions dressed in heavy velvet robes, with gold chains and plumes of feathers. After that, the great and kind return to the hill to the “big house” in old carriages.
It’s all very grand, very public, and this year’s Garter Day was poised to star in the title role of the world’s most famous royal black sheep, Prince Andrew. For the de-royalized, the picnic was supposed to be something of a return to public life after being fired from official positions and after he settled a $22 million civil sexual harassment lawsuit earlier this year. Andrew has long denied Virginia Giuffre’s claims that he raped her when she was a teenager.
This past weekend, Andrew’s “Big Day Off” seemed to be set in stone. The Queen gave him the go-ahead, and programs were printed that very clearly identified him as part of the procession. Fergie must have returned to their common home, the Royal Box, deftly wielding a lint roller to tidy up the duke’s velvet robes.
Then, at the last minute, a phone call rang out that ruined Andrew’s best-laid plans.
Several London newspapers reported that Prince Charles and Prince William, united by anxiety and horror at the prospect of Andrew being photographed among the royals on Garter Day, staged an eleventh hour intervention.
Actually, Robert Jobson’s Flawless Source for the Evening Standard reported that William went to his grandmother and gave an ultimatum. As a senior royal source told Jobson, “The Duke of Cambridge was adamant. If York insists on public participation, he will refuse.
In the end, the Queen came up with a neat workaround: Andrew could attend all the private portions of Garter Day held without long lenses, but had to remain out of the public eye and the press.
End result: We’ve got some 887 new photos of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge wearing a damn useless hat, and more proof of what a ridiculously archaic violin playing the Order of the Garter is.
But if you think that after the events of the last 72 hours, Andrew can safely return to the Royal Box, put his shoes on his feet and, to cheer himself up, haphazardly swallow a whole pack of Hobnobs, then I have very bad news for you. A 62-year-old might miss cash, official roles, dignity, and friends these days, but ego? It’s really a different story.
How else to explain Monday’s report Telegraph that he wanted to restore his status as blood prince, including his prestigious and honorary role as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards and his ability to use his Royal Highness? The disgraced former trade ambassador wants “his position to be recognized and respected,” a source told The Telegraph.
Please feel free to pause here if you, too, are suffocated by this display of self-aggrandizement.
I’m not sure if this latest mess with Andrew makes me want to laugh at the sheer idiocy of that pompous donkey or cry that any human being can be so grotesquely deluded.
In any case, a new and powerful new fault line is currently meandering through the middle of the royal house.
The problem arises from two very clear factions that have arisen outside the palace gates: one led by two future kings bent on saving the monarchy, and the other led by a disgruntled Duke of York who, like his 15th-century ancestor, wants more of everything.
On the first side, we have Charles and William, who share an ironclad belief that Andrew has no place in public life, and it is their various inhibitions that played a fundamental role in his ouster.
In November 2019, after the crash of Andrew newsnight interview, the Welsh duo were closely linked to being forced to retire as a working member of the royal family. The same in January of this year, when a judge in New York confirmed that Ms. Giuffre’s civil sexual abuse would continue. Again, the father-son team played an “important role” in Andrew’s decision to strip him of his remaining royal roles and use of his Royal Highness.
As for William and Andrew, the Times reported last year that the Duke of Cambridge views his uncle as a “threat to the family.” The Times also reported in 2019 that members of the long-lost Andrew’s then-team “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 older of them being a pseudo-intellectual who read Jung and loved 15th-century Tuscan architecture, and the younger reportedly once spent 48 hours watching porn while guests at the former ambassador’s house .
God forbid you think that this situation will stop with these three men, because this situation involves his daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, as well as Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The same Telegraph article also reported that Andrew wants his girls to become working members of the royal family, which would mean they would devote their full time to the monarchy, in exchange for which they would be guaranteed lifelong financial support and grace. and the favor of the house forever.
Side note: Neither Beatrice nor Eugenie have ever given the slightest hint that they themselves are seeking to trade their comfortable lives for cheap jobs, vacations in Capri and visits to Chelsea’s finest boutiques to spend their days cutting ribbons at regional holiday centers. .
The battle lines are drawn: William and Charles are worried about how much damage one pompous duke could do to the monarchy before they have a chance to head the ball against various His Royal Highnesses, who seem to think they’ve made an ass deal and want a bigger helping. what they (or at least Andrew) claim to be rightfully theirs.
This situation, if not managed very carefully, could lead to a full blown royal war.
Another recent royal crisis has been fueled in part by the fact that one brother has clearly received more favor than the other, with the result that Harry and Meghan now live in California and make a living as a sympathizer.
Despite the upheavals of the past few years, the Sussexes remain closely associated with the Yorks. The only member of the royal family who has visited Harry and Meghan and seen their estate from the inside is Princess Eugenie, who, along with her husband and young son, visited in February.
Most recently, during a Thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral that was part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the Sussexes sat next to Beatrice, Eugenie and their husbands, apparently to create some friendly faces for the exiled duo. in the sea of darkness. glacial relatives.
Andrew and Harry now not only share the dubious honor of being official alternates, but both face the brunt of what happens when Charles and William team up.
Beyond this, Charles’s rigid commitment to the rationalization of the monarchy over the last decade has meant an increasingly clear distinction between the haves and have-nots of His Royal Highness.
Now everyone, with the exception of one of the Queen’s grandchildren – William – occupy a very strange border space between members of the royal family and have no choice but to lead a normal life. They have titles, but they need work. They visit Trooping the Color but are forced to arrive by bus. They spend the summer with the Queen, but share paid ads on their Instagram feeds. School fees and all.
This situation could provoke and exacerbate a worrying state of affairs for an institution on the brink of its biggest upheaval in nearly a century, that is, when you-know-what is happening to Her Majesty.
Andrew, William and Charles were clearly doing what they saw fit for the crown, but how much of an enemy did they make the duke? And what can he do next in his constant struggle to reclaim his place in the royal spotlight? This man has the time and arrogance to believe that he has every right to fight for what he thinks should be his.
Historians are undecided as to whether Richard, Duke of York died during the battle or was captured by the Lancastrians and executed. The moral of the story is: nothing ends well, greedy dukes, a lesson Andrew could do well to learn, and quick sticks.
Daniela Elzer is a royal expert and writer with over 15 years of experience working with a range of leading Australian media outlets.