Amidst expressions of respect and sympathy following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, one person at funeral ceremonies arouses extremely negative emotions in the British – her disgraced son Prince Andrew, writes Reuters.
Prince Andrew, attending the funeral ceremonies of Queen Elizabeth II, provokes extreme reactions from the British. There have been rumors in the past that the Queen’s son was stripped of most of his titles and relieved of royal duties due to the scandal surrounding his acquaintance with Jeffrey Epsteinan American businessman convicted of sexual crimes.
Prince Andrew, who has not been charged with any criminal offense, persistently denies having committed any wrongdoing. Although he is a veteran Falklands Warhowever, he was not allowed to wear a military uniform in solemn processions in Edinburgh and London.
While King Charles III, Princess Anna, and Prince Edward marched in gala uniforms, Prince Andrew, walking in a suit, drew the attention of the audience, commentators, and the media.
The only foreseen moment at which the prince will be able to wear the uniform is the time of the last vigil.
Prince Andrew causes negative moods among the British
Negative moods around Prince Andrew are visible even during the mourning ceremonies. – Andrzej, you are a sick man – shouted on Monday in Edinburgh one of the observers of the procession.
The man was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace. While this was a rare case of such high-profile opposition to Andrzej, the sentiment seems to be more widely shared, notes the Reuters agency.
– There is no place for Andrew in the future of the royal family. I think it was right that the queen pushed him aside. He brought shame and I think his family knows what the British think of him, said 47-year-old Brighton resident Mary Burke, who waited in a long line to view the queen’s coffin at London’s Palace of Westminster.
Andrzej does not participate in events in which members of the royal family greet the audience. The British are surprised that the prince still holds the position of state councilor.
“If this does not change, the monarchy will lose many sympathizers,” wrote Sheila Le Mottee in a commentary on an article in the Scottish newspaper The National. “The only reason he’s being tolerated now is because he’s the son who just lost his mother,” she added.
From playboy to pariah
The Reuters Agency points out that Prince Andrew was very popular at one point. The tabloids called him “The Prince of Playboy” and happily recounted his love life. He had earned respect earlier, most notably for his service as a helicopter pilot during the Falklands War.
Marrying Sarah Ferguson in 1986 was then seen as bringing a breath of fresh air to the ossified institution of the royal family. With time, everything started to deteriorate.
As a trade ambassador, he drew attention with frequent air travel. In 1996, he divorced and the media began to criticize him for his arrogant behavior and extravagant lifestyle.
However, he was disgraced only in connection with the Epstein affair. Prince Andrzej stayed overnight in some of the businessman’s estates, and one of the recordings showed him being greeted by a woman at the door of an American’s mansion. Epstein was convicted in 2008 of sexual offenses against underage girls.
The greatest outrage was caused by a photo of a young girl named Virginia Roberts. Years later, he was accused by a woman of sexual harassment. She was also visible in the photo Ghislaine Maxwella woman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in June for trafficking children for sexual purposes.
Roberts, who now bears the name of Giuffre, told prosecutors that in 1999-2002, as a teenager, she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew in New York City and on a private Caribbean island.
In connection with the scandal, Prince Andrew tried to clear himself of the charges and gave an extensive interview to the BBC. He said he did not regret his friendship with Epstein and denied having ever had sex with Virginia Roberts. He said he didn’t even remember meeting her. Giuffre finally sued Andrzej. The prince did not plead guilty, but signed a settlement that included the payment of money to the woman.
The media speculate that Andrzej still hopes for a full return to public life, but life observers British royal family find it highly unlikely – especially since Charles has already spoken of a weakened monarchy.
Eventually, Andrzej took on a new role – a spokesman for Buckingham Palace said he would take care of his deceased mother’s two corgi.
Main photo source: NEIL HALL / PAP / EPA