Prince Andrew “had Covid” during the Jubbly, so he was nowhere to be found. Many believed that his Covid diagnosis was a bit too convenient. The thing is, Andrew would never have agreed to make himself scarce during the Jubbly without some kind of compensation. As in, Charles would have needed to give him money to make Andrew go away. Which is why I halfway suspect that Andrew actually did have Covid. But again, who knows. Now that the Jubbly is over, Andrew is still trying to find some way to launch a comeback. That will come on Monday, at the Garter Day service at Windsor Castle. He’s a member of the Order of the Garter and he’s been planning to attend Garter Day for weeks. Now the Times says that his appearance is part of a much larger effort to re-legitimize Andrew’s presence in Windsor World.
Andrew’s return to public life: As a member of the Order of the Garter, this country’s oldest and most senior order of chivalry, Andrew, 62, will appear alongside senior members of the royal family at the Garter Day service at Windsor Castle.
The Andrew problem: In response to questions from The Sunday Times regarding his planned attendance at Garter Day, a senior palace source said: “Clearly at some point soon, thought will have to be given to how to support the duke as, away from the public gaze, he seeks to slowly rebuild his life in a different direction. There is of course a real awareness and sensitivity to public feelings. There is also recognition that the task of starting to support him as he begins to rebuild his life will be the first step on a long road and one that should not be played out every day in the glare of the public spotlight.”
How Charles feels: Not so long ago, the Prince of Wales let it be known that as far as he was concerned, “A way back for the duke is demonstrably not possible… While the prince loves his brother and has the ability to have sympathy for the slings and arrows he endures … the unwelcome reputational damage to the institution was an unsolvable problem … because the spectre of [Giuffre’s accusation] raises its head with hideous regularity.”
The spotlight on Andrew: But the spotlight is exactly where he will be in on Monday, with sources close to Andrew confirming he will attend “all parts” of the ceremony at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, the ensuing lunch and the grand procession. “He was very disappointed not to have made the jubilee, but there are discussions going on behind closed doors amongst the family about the future,” said the source.
York sources keep bringing up the Sussexes: As a friend of Andrew’s recently said: “The duke can no more be disinvested as a senior member of the royal family than Harry and Meghan can. It is who and what they are. If they don’t engage at all, it is going to become like Harry and Meghan on steroids.” The friend also observed that three years of confinement, mostly at Royal Lodge, has resulted in Andrew “climbing the walls”.
This is all so idiotic and everyone is taking such pains to sidestep the simple fact that Andrew is going to Garter Day because the Queen wants him there. Because the Queen can’t say “no” to her favorite son. Because Andrew has always managed to wheedle his way into his mother’s good graces and she has consistently shown zero concern for the damage her support of Andrew has done to the monarchy and the image of the family.
As for the statement from a palace source… it’s very carefully worded, but the crux is pretty simple: “Thought will have to be given to how to support the duke as, away from the public gaze, he seeks to slowly rebuild his life in a different direction…There is also recognition that the task of starting to support him as he begins to rebuild his life will be the first step on a long road…” All that means is money. Especially given Andrew’s unnamed “friend” talking about “divesting” from the Firm. Andrew has been pretty clear on this for months: you have to pay me to go away. Of course, Andrew actually wants to be out in public and to no longer be considered a pariah. But he’ll settle for $30 million and a home in Scotland (note: there are widespread rumors now that the Queen really will send him to live in Scotland).
Frankly, the way the palace aide refers to Andrew’s situation is insulting and vulgar. Andrew is not the victim. Andrew is the assailant, the human trafficker, the rapist. But the sad thing is, no one in the family actually has a problem with any of that.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instar.