A furious Prince Andrew row has erupted after Lord Conrad Black, former owner of The Telegraph, blasted the Queen for “abandoning” her son.
The Duke of York has been ordered to face a civil trial in the autumn over claims he sexually assaulted Virginia Roberts Giuffre when she was 17, which he vehemently denies.
Andrew was stripped of all military titles and charitable patronages by the Queen last month, and will no longer use his HRH style in an official capacity.
Lord Black told the Daily Mail it is a “disgrace” for Her Majesty “to have withdrawn from him all of the dignities exercised ex officio for centuries by the second son of the reigning monarch”.
In a veiled dig at the US justice system that saw him imprisoned, Lord Black said: “No one could be a more inviting target for such scurrilous abuse of the legal system than a prominent member of the British Royal Family.” Andrew disappeared from the royal limelight after his disastrous Newsnight interview in 2019, and is not expected to play any part in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations this year.
Likewise, Andrew is believed to be fearful for what the future holds once his mother passes away. Andrew’s request for his daughters to be funded by the taxpayer was thrown out by the Queen in 2016.
A source told The Sun at the time: “[Andrew] sees it as a slight on him and them if they are not. “But Charles calls the shots and he wants the Royal Family giving value for money.” When Charles accedes the throne, he is widely known to favour a slimmed-down monarchy, with the focus entirely on the line of succession.
Beatrice is 10th in line to the throne, while Eugenie is 12th. With Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis all ahead of them, it is unlikely that neither Beatrice nor Eugenie will ever be queen.
A source told The Sun in 2016: “[Andrew] believes his daughters are being overshadowed by William, Kate and Harry and it will get worse as Prince George and Princess Charlotte get older.
“He fears that they will be totally sidelined when the Queen dies.”
Signs of Charles’ pared-back monarchy first became clear in 2012 at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, when only the Queen, Charles, Camilla, William, Harry and Kate appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony.