Report By: Nina Rai
London, 31 July, 2012
For the world outside the life of the royals inside Buckingham Palace must seem like paradise. However, within the palace walls the scenario is chillingly different. Where once there used to be brotherly bonding, there is now open hostility. One is referring to the main players -and younger brother Prince Andrew.
The Prince of Wales’ latest strategy of slimming down monarchy has been like a knife searing through Prince Andrew’s heart. The fourth in line to the British throne at a cocktail party in one of the royal palaces, the other evening, was overheard heatedly telling a senior person how he and others in the family were now being relegated to the sidelines of royal life.
By ‘others’ he was insinuating his daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie along-with others. What has emerged is that Prince Andrew considers Prince Charles, 64 the culprit in what is happening and not his mom and dad, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. One senior figure said: ‘The idea was very simple, really. Charles was to be allowed to begin to initiate some of the changes in style he would want when he becomes king.’
Of course this may be years away, however for long now Prince Charles has been articulating his thoughts on a ‘slimmed down’ monarchy and at last he has got the opportunity to put his strategy into practice. However, according to a friend of Prince Andrew what has stunned the Duke of York is the speed and suddenness with which Charles has acted that has taken Andrew’s breath away.
It’s dreadfully high-handed,’ said the friend. Quite clearly, Charles’s first strategic move in reducing the position of all but the main players on the royal stage could not have come at a more appropriate time and even sent out a strong message to all concerned.
On the final day of the Diamond Jubilee, at the celebratory luncheon, where Kate hosted one of the tables, the key players Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla, Prince William and Prince Harry were all prominently present. After which the main players rode grandly in stately carriages to the Palace. On the other hand, a grim-faced Prince Andrew was driven directly to Royal Lodge, his home in Windsor Great Park without any fanfare.
The extended family of royals namely Princes Andrew, Edward and Princess Anne had all been reportedly told before hand that they were not to join Queen Elizabeth on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the RAF fly-past salute, in front of thronging millions for the thrilling Jubilee climax. Breaking away from tradition, this time around the Buckingham Palace balcony was accommodated with just six members of the Royal family namely Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Camilla, Princes William and Harry and Duchess Kate.
The buzz inside the palace among people close to the Royal family is that had the patriarch Prince Philip been there (he was sick with bladder infection at that point) he would have revoked Prince Charles’ move and ensured that the occasion was seen as a celebration for the entire royal family.
Charles message from day one of the new order was quite clear, according to Andrew’s friends. A slimmed-down monarchy, in future, would comprise of only those key royals who truly mattered: the Queen, the next in line, and his next in line, in addition to, of course, their spouses and ubiquitous Prince Harry.
Not just the Duke of York (Andrew) but even Prince Edward is said to be ‘dismayed’ by his elder brother Charles’ attitude. He had given up a professional career as a film-maker to join ‘the firm’ along-with his former public relations executive wife Sophie.
Sister Princess Anne is said to be not too much bothered by these shenanigans going on within the Palace corridors. Despite being a royal, she has chalked her own path and firmly decided early on that her children, Peter and Zara, would not be burdened by their inherited legacy. For her, they would live their own lives as they deem fit.
Now the only person deeply affected has been Prince Andrew. A close source opines that being kept out of the balcony scene was an abrupt and completely unexpected demotion from top-rank to being a marginal royal for the Duke of York. It was ‘like a dagger to his heart and he hasn’t got over it,’ disclosed the source.
Naturally Andrew would not keep quiet and is said to have conferred the matter with other family members. They too share his apprehension that they were in danger of being phased out. One long-serving royal aide opined: ‘What they fear they see is Prince Charles creating a court within a court.’ As it is their expensive royal security cover is already being lowered, with fresh initiatives to remove bodyguards totally from ‘non-working’ royals.
Privately among themselves they are said to compare the budget strings pulled in case of security arrangements for the lesser royals while Prince Charles is himself able to live in a ‘grandiose’ manner, with top security surrounding him. One close figure revealed: ‘It’s all right for Charles — he has endless bodyguards, police outriders, big cars, houses and no shortage of cash, Andrew has only to take a helicopter flight and the world falls in on “Air Miles Andy”.’
However, if Prince Andrew, 52 is in danger of being relegated to the back of the royal show, he is not letting it happen, at-least not without fighting back. Apparently one serious interview with a broadsheet newspaper is being organized in an attempt to re-establish his credentials as a responsible royal.
In earlier years, Olympics would have been an occasion when all members of the extended royal family would be asked to chip in and would have their own place in the sun. Some of them even now have major official roles. However, as everyone knows now it is the royal trio of William, Kate and Harry who are the true stars who Brits want to see. They are the considered the custodians of the royal family’s future, rest are all peripherals.
The sad part of Andrew and Charles’ relationship is that it didn’t have to be this unsavory. Charles has always had a soft spot for his younger brother who did not get any of huge perks that automatically came to Charles being the heir to the throne. For instance, the yearly income of millions from the Duchy of Cornwall, Prince Charles gets.
In fact in 2001, when Andrew left the Royal Navy, Prince Charles wanted him to work closely with him as an aide. If he had accepted it would have given Prince Andrew a significant role in royal life. It’s his bad luck he chose instead the position of being a trade envoy for Britain. Now in hindsight, as things stand today, it clearly looks to have been the worst decision Prince Andrew ever made. However, on second thoughts, may be Andrew intuitively knew it would be difficult to work in close proximity with the egoistical Prince Charles as their temperaments vastly differ. But in the final analysis, it is Prince Andrew who is the loser.
Source: Daily Mail.
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