13 January 2022
Cogito Ergo Non Serviam
Queen Elizabeth II's middle son, Andrew, has managed to get himself in trouble with Mum. When Mum is the sovereign, that is worse than it is for most people. His friendship with the late child molester Jeffrey Epstein has brought him into the spotlight with a civil suit over allegations of sexual assault against a minor. A while back, he was forced into semi-retirement as an active royal. The Palace has decided that he has not been punished enough. Now, he has lost his military titles and his positions of royal patronage. His Royal Highness will no longer use "His Royal Highness" either. The Firm (a/k/a the House of Windsor) is circling the wagons, and Prince Andrew is on the outside looking in.
The move came after a judge in a US court ruled that Prince Andrew was not necessarily shielded from legal action as part of the settlement that Virginia Giuffre, the plaintiff, made with the late Mr. Epstein. US District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan wrote, it is "not open to the Court now to decide, as a matter of fact, just what the parties to the release in the 2009 settlement agreement signed by Ms. Giuffre and Mr. Epstein actually meant." Because the agreement is open to more than one interpretation, Ms. Giuffre's suit against the prince can proceed.
That coincided almost exactly with a letter sent to the Queen by more than 150 senior veterans asking for action against the prince. "Were this any other senior military officer it is inconceivable that he would still be in post," they wrote. "Officers of the British armed forces must adhere to the very highest standards of probity, honesty and honourable conduct.
"These are standards which Prince Andrew has fallen well short of. It is hard not to see, when senior officers are reportedly describing him as 'toxic', that he has brought the services he is associated with into disrepute.
"We are therefore asking that you take immediate steps to strip Prince Andrew of all his military ranks and titles and, if necessary, that he be dishonourably discharged."
The vets also wrote, "We understand that he is your son, but we write to you in your capacity as head of state and as commander-in-chief of the army, navy and air force. These steps could have been taken at any time in the past 11 years. Please do not leave it any longer."
Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Thursday, "With the Queen's approval and agreement, the Duke of York's military affiliations and royal patronages have been returned to the Queen. The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen."
His British honorary military titles included: colonel of the Grenadier Guards; honorary air commodore of RAF Lossiemouth; colonel-in-chief of the Royal Irish Regiment; colonel-in-chief of the Small Arms School Corps; commodore-in-chief of the Fleet Air Arm; royal colonel of the Royal Highland Fusiliers; deputy colonel-in-chief of the Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths' Own) and royal colonel of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
Prince Andrew is, of course, entitled to mount a defense and one sincerely hopes Ms. Giuffre is mistaken. Nevertheless, a person in the public eye (like the man who used to be HRH) is always a target, and therefore, must be purer than Caesar's wife. Perhaps, it is unfair to a man born with few options, but by same token, he has had his entire life to learn the ropes.
HM Queen Elizabeth has done what is necessary to distance the monarchy from her son's behavior. Of course, in a republic, it would not have been such a problem.
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