SARAH VINE: Duty: The real reason the Queen let her beloved son Prince Andrew loose

‘It’s not right or fair that she has to go through this,’ says SARAH VINE of the Queen

My first thought when I saw the news that the queen had released Prince Andrew and effectively canceled her second child was: ‘What does the royal family know that we don’t?’

He just couldn’t understand why, having supported him so far, and especially after that disastrous Newsnight interview in 2019, she would withdraw her support like this.

After all, no one really thought his lawyers’ attempts to dismiss the case would work. It was only going to be a legal long shot, and Judge Kaplan’s ruling last week, while typically bombastic and headline-grabbing, was fully expected.

Perhaps it had something to do with the Ghislaine Maxwell verdict. She has now given the green light for the identities of the eight ‘John Does’ named in a previous civil case brought against her by Virginia Giuffre in 2015 to be revealed.

There has been widespread speculation about the identity of these men, ranging from Bill Clinton to Donald Trump to a ‘well-known prime minister’.

The Queen leaves after attending the opening ceremony of the sixth session of the Senedd in Cardiff in October

The Queen leaves after attending the opening ceremony of the sixth session of the Senedd in Cardiff in October

Given Prince Andrew’s friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, it’s not inconceivable that his name could also be in the mix.

On the other hand, neither man is charged with any crime, while Prince Andrew emphatically is.

So how could it make a big difference? Were there, I wondered, any terrible photographs? Andrew has argued that the famous one of him and Giuffre, allegedly in Maxwell’s flat, is not real. I’ve always thought his arm looks mushy and never gave it much thought because even if it’s genuine, what does it really prove?

The fact that two people are photographed together does not mean that there is intimacy between them, consensual or not. I wondered if the Royal Family had seen anything more obviously damning. My imagination ran wild with unpleasant visions, including that of the poor Queen having to face the unimaginable. In reality, however, the truth is much less conspiratorial and complex.

There are two reasons why he has done what he has done, and both speak to his loyalty and duty to the crown he wears.

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson driving from Royal Lodge, their residence in the grounds of Windsor Great Park in Berkshire.

Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson driving from Royal Lodge, their residence in the grounds of Windsor Great Park in Berkshire.

First of all, the Armed Forces. Anger has been steadily growing amongst the ranks at the lack of judgment displayed by the Prince and the embarrassment it has caused. Word has spread about the chain of command, particularly with Prince Charles and Prince William, and the discontent has become abundantly clear.

In particular, the Grenadier Guards were highly unhappy with Andrew’s situation, which they regarded as largely self-inflicted, with officers saying they were “uncomfortable at having to drink to Prince Andrew’s health at the end of regimental dinners.” “.

A high-ranking veteran, former lance sergeant Julián Perreira, publicly asked him to resign his ceremonial role in the regiment.

Most people may not understand just how family of the Forces the Royals really are, but the truth is that few things matter more to them than the men and women who give their lives in defense of the Crown.

The second factor is the Jubilee. The Queen sees this not so much as her celebration but as the celebration of the entire nation. One that, after everything we’ve been through in recent years, we all deserve to share. Nothing can overshadow it. And now nothing will.

And so the Queen has done what the Queen always does, which is to say, the hardest thing of all. She, not for the first time in her long reign, put monarchy before motherhood and moved to protect not her own private feelings for her son, but the institution she has so wisely and gracefully protected all these years.

As much as he knows this, I imagine he still has to break her heart. A heart that, let’s be honest, has already been quite bruised and broken in recent months by the loss of Prince Philip.

But that is what makes her a Queen of our time, a beacon in this uncertain world.

They say that as a mother you are only as happy as your unhappiest child.

It’s not right or fair that she has to suffer this.

Of all people, she really doesn’t deserve it. But she, as she always does, will bear it with dignity and strength.

I am in favor of hugging the dog.

Why is it offensive to ask people to save money on fuel bills by putting on an extra sweater? Ovo Energy apologized for sending customers what was no doubt intended to be a light-hearted list of energy-saving tips, such as snuggling with your pet and eating ‘hearty’ bowls of oatmeal.

Given the prevailing climate of hysterical cancel culture, it quickly turned into a public relations nightmare. But seriously: at what point do we spoil ourselves so much that we expect to live all year round in a constant temperature of 20 degrees?

I have the heating at 18 degrees and it comes on twice a day for a few hours. The rest of the time, if the kids complain, which they do incessantly, I tell them to put on more clothes. And yes, to cuddle with our dog Snowy, who, being a bit on the chunky side, makes a great hot water bottle, albeit a bit windy.

The news that a drinks fridge was delivered to number 10 in December 2020 has sparked more feverish speculation about the Downing Street lockdowns. I’m as furious as anyone about all of this, but there’s a difference between having a glass of something cold at your desk, which many offices do all the time, and having a full-fledged knee high. So yes, let us condemn the breaking of the rules if the rules were broken. But let us not become a nation of sour-faced prohibitionists.

Leggings with loops

First it was ski jackets, then Moon boots; now another dubious runway-inspired fashion trend has emerged: stirrup leggings. Last popular in the 1980s, they feature a loop under the foot to prevent riding up. Victoria Beckham is a fan, and you can actually buy a pair from her clothing collection (prices range from just £490 to around £800). Apparently, they ‘look especially elegant with a pair of pointed toe heels’. Or you could just punch a hole in a pair of thick socks…

Victoria Beckham is a fan and you can actually buy a pair from her clothing collection (prices range from just £490 to around £800).

Victoria Beckham is a fan and you can actually buy a pair from her clothing collection (prices range from just £490 to around £800).

Chelmsford has acquired the somewhat dubious accolade of being the UK’s Costa Coffee capital. I wish someone could explain the mystery of Costa Coffee to me. The brown muck they serve is so indescribably disgusting I can’t imagine how it survives, let alone thrives. Perhaps it’s just further proof that we Brits have terrible taste.

Call me eloquent anytime!

Is it offensive to call someone ‘eloquent’? Apparently, according to Cambridge academic Priyamvada Gopal (professor of postcolonial literature), who accused her colleague David Abulafia of insulting television historian David Olusoga by describing him like this in an article about the acquittal of the Colston statue vandals. The Cambridge Dictionary defines ‘eloquent’ as ‘giving a clear and strong message’. Sounds like a huge compliment to me. Unless, of course, you’re someone who has made a career of finding offense in everything. postcolonial literature? How about Professor from How Very Dare You?

I fully agree with Bear Grylls when he says that children who fail in school are often better equipped to deal with real life, and that measuring success solely in terms of academic achievement is one of the great problems in our educational system. Like me, my daughter was never an A student (dyslexia), but since leaving school she is the happiest I have ever known her. That feeling of being a failure has turned to delight in realizing that there is so much more to life than being a success on paper. She is finally free, and it is a joy to see her.

Proposals to protect England’s national parks include a move to rename ‘Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ – a term dating from 1942 – to infinitely duller ‘national landscapes’. Why change something just because? I prefer to explore “outstanding natural beauty,” especially when “landscapes” can denote anything from a mountain to a mud pit.

The person I’m most sorry for this week is poor Partygate investigator Sue Gray. If she finds Boris Johnson guilty, she’s lost. If it doesn’t, it’s toast too. She’s going to need a long vacation when this is all over.


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