Queen Elizabeth brings Andrew back into the royal fold
Is the Royalist’s power of recall on the blink? One feels sure of a very definite memory of Prince Andrew being effectively expelled from the royal family just a few months ago.
Why, yes, on 13 January, as we reported, the queen herself issued a statement saying the duke would not undertake any “public duties” and was defending himself against Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s sexual assault allegations as “a private citizen.”
It was also briefed on background by the palace that he would no longer use his HRH title. A few weeks later it was announced that Andrew was settling with his accuser, and reportedly using substantial sums of his mother’s money to do so. The reason widely given by palace officials at the time was that this was done so that Andrew’s legal woes would not overshadow the queen’s jubilee.
So, why is the Duke of Disgrace reportedly now going to attend one of the most ceremonially important fixtures in the royal calendar, Garter Day, as an HRH? The Telegraph reports Andrew will attend the Order of the Garter ceremony on June 13, alongside the queen, senior members of the Royal family and former prime ministers.
The palace is trying to advance spin this bizarre decision as based on the fact that Andrew was appointed “personally” by the queen to the Order of the Garter. It seems more and more apparent that the queen has no intention of completely expelling her favorite son from royal life.
As long as she draws breath, Andrew clearly has a foot in the door.
This raises the question of why she helped him pay off Giuffre. Could it be that rather than making all thoughts of Andrew go away, the queen wanted the case settled to actually enable Andrew to join key moments of the celebrations?
Was allowing him to walk her on his arm to her seat at the memorial for Prince Philip in March actually a softening up exercise for the delicate reinsertion of Andrew into royal life over the jubilee period, when criticism of the queen will naturally be muted?
This theory will only gain ground if, as the Telegraph reports, Andrew will be referred to in the next day’s Court Circular as His Royal Highness. There seems no reason to disbelieve the Telegraph, which appears to have this nugget on good authority. A palace source told the paper this would be “standard practice.”
Newsflash: there is nothing standard about Prince Andrew being forced to settle, for millions of dollars, accusations of sex crimes.
The Order of the Garter is Britain’s most senior Order of Chivalry. It has just 24 members at any one time. Being invited to join is the ultimate mark of establishment respect.
The Sunday Times reports that the queen will not appoint a new royal colonel of the Grenadier Guards before the Trooping the Color on June 2, to reportedly “spare” Prince Andrew’s embarrassment. Andrew was stripped of his military titles in the wake of settling with Giuffre.
It’s hard not to come to the conclusion that the queen wants to salvage what she can of his position before she dies.
Queen will not take “royal salute” at Trooping the Color
Prince Charles, Prince William, and Princess Anne are reported to be taking “the royal salute” at the Trooping the Color ceremony—with Queen Elizabeth not doing so for the first time in 70 years, the Sunday Times reports.
Although the queen has been seen in recent days out and about looking bright and cheerful at the Royal Windsor Horse Show and visiting the new “Elizabeth” London Underground line, and will be present for a period of time during Trooping the Color, “the ceremony is being modified with her comfort in mind,” the paper reports.
The queen might “travel in a carriage from Buckingham Palace to briefly inspect the troops, before retiring for the rest of the ceremony,” the Sunday Times says, before appearing on Buckingham Palace’s balcony with other members of the family. An alternative is that the queen just appears on the balcony. It all depends on the “episodic mobility problems” the palace has said the queen has been experiencing.
Meanwhile, two sections of the bleachers collapsed Saturday during an official rehearsal for “Trooping.” Five people were treated at the scene and three were taken to hospital. A witness told the Mirror: “We were told to stand and heard a scream and then there was chaos in the section. Turned out part of it had collapsed and a woman had fallen through. The paramedics rushed in but started yelling, ‘We can’t find her.’
“She was extracted after several minutes and seemed fine but badly shaken and was put on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance. The crowd was calm but was later moved out of that section. Then a second section had a similar collapse and the crowd was moved but with no one falling through.”
“Mystery” over whereabouts of Harry’s memoir
Prince Harry’s memoir was billed, much to the royal family’s panic in Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee year, as the ultimate tell-all scheduled for “late 2022.” Post-explosive Oprah interview and at a time when the royal family wanted a controversy-free celebration for the queen, the palace was worried that Harry might possibly spill more dish on the strained relationships with his father Prince Charles and brother Prince William—even if Harry promised “an inspiring, courageous and uplifting human story.”
But now, the Sunday Times reports, a spokeswoman for publisher Penguin Random House told the paper it did not yet have a publication date, and would not confirm whether the book would still appear this year as planned. Harry’s spokesperson gave the Times “a similar response…and another source said there was ‘some uncertainty’ over the book’s publication date.”
Toya Holness, Harry and Meghan’s global press secretary, has also left her post, the Times reports.
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Charles and Camilla to appear in EastEnders
Let’s hope there are no hitmen with guns hidden in bunches of daffodils. And will somebody keep ‘em pealed for Janine; you know what she’s like around men with a bit stashed away.
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles are set to appear in the June 2 episode of long-running BBC primetime soap opera EastEnders, playing themselves in a storyline themed around Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee, the Sun reports.
Fans of the show—set in a fictional East London square full of love, betrayal, murder, and other storylines far too insane to relate here—will know plans for a Jubilee celebration are underway, so in this meeting of real life and art, said celebration will be underway when the royal couple shows up.
A scene involving Charles sees the Prince of Wales enter the iconic Queen Victoria pub. Mick says: “Welcome to your great-great-great-grandmother’s boozer.”
What Prince Charles says in response isn’t known, but fans would advise him to approach the bust of the queen with care. It was used as the murder weapon to finish off—and how we cheered—the evil Archie Mitchell, and had to be rescued from the Thames itself when it sank into the river’s murky depths after a boat disaster in 2020.
Kellie Bright, who plays Linda Carter—presently trying to win her husband Mick (Danny Dyer) back from the clutches of the wicked Janine (Charlie Brooks)—said of Charles and Camilla, “I did think what amazing sports that they’re just willing to do it. It must have been nerve-racking for them and completely out of their norm. So I just hope they enjoyed it as much as we did.”
It’s not the first time, British public figures have popped into the Vic. Boris Johnson, then mayor of London, showed his face in 2009 when Peggy Mitchell (Barbara Windsor) was landlady.
Sir Norman Hartnell’s coronation reflections
A wonderful excerpt from the diary of the late Sir Norman Hartnell, the couturier who dressed the queen for both her wedding and coronation, appears in today’s Daily Mail. Hartnell, who died in 1979, sketched out nine designs, and writes: “I thought of lilies, roses, marguerites and golden corn; I thought of altar cloths and sacred vestments; I thought of the sky, the Earth, the sun, the moon, the stars and everything heavenly that might be embroidered upon a dress destined to be historic.”
In the end, however, the dress bore a rather less exalted motif: a leek. Hartnell had thought that he could use a daffodil to symbolize Wales and was horrified when the Garter King of Arms, who is responsible for heraldry, told him: “A daffodil! On no account will I give you a daffodil. I will give you the correct emblem of Wales, which is the leek.”
Hartnell writes: “I complained that I would be dressing a beautiful young woman in vegetables if compelled to embroider leeks on to the dress. However, Garter stood firm and the decision was final: leeks.
“It became, in the end, not so much a dress as a diplomatic plot. The leek, I agreed, was a most admirable vegetable, full of historic significance and doubtless of health-giving properties, but scarcely noted for its beauty. Could he not possibly permit me to use the more graceful daffodil instead?
“‘No, Hartnell. You must have the leek,’ said Garter, adamant.”
Hartnell learned to love the leek and writes that in the end, he was “able to transform the earthy leek into a vision of Cinderella charm, worthy of mingling with her sisters, the rose and mimosa, in a brilliant Royal assembly—and fit to embellish the dress of a queen.”