The first and second in line to the British throne, Prince Charles and his son William, encouraged the queen in her decision to ruthlessly cut Prince Andrew out of the royal family and force him to surrender his HRH title, it was reported Friday.
The Daily Mail and the Telegraph both reported that William and Charles had significant input into the brutal defenestration of Andrew, which took place in a 90-minute meeting with his mother at Windsor Castle on Thursday.
Charles was in regular contact with the queen by phone from his home in Scotland, but William was at Windsor Castle on Wednesday, and it is believed he spoke to his grandmother in person about the extraordinarily sensitive matter of Andrew’s future outside the royal fold.
The Mail quoted a source as saying the father and son duo had been “instrumental” in the dramatic move, while the Telegraph said the move was made with “input from other members of the Royal Family, including the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge.”
It has also emerged that Andrew was summoned to his mother’s private apartments at Windsor Castle to be told the bad news in person. He tried to take his personal lawyer, Gary Bloxsome, into the private audience with him, but Bloxsome, who has been nicknamed “Good News Gary” because of his reported tendency to always paint a bright picture of his prospects to Andrew, was not allowed to attend the meeting, and was instead forced to wait in the car park.
Andrew’s final excommunication from royal life came in a typically concise statement issued by the queen after a New York judge threw out his last-gasp attempts to have a civil case being brought against him by Virginia Roberts Giuffre dismissed. Giuffre accuses him of raping her three times when she was 17.
The best way of insulating the family from Andrew’s legal woes has been a matter of intense discussion among the family for weeks, amid fears that lurid claims about Andrew’s sex life will overshadow the platinum jubilee celebrations this year to mark the queen’s years on the throne.
Ultimately, the Mail reports, it was decided to follow “the same model” as in the case of Harry and Meghan, where rather than having the HRH legally removed, they were simply asked to stop using it.
“They have taken this decision to insulate the institution from being hit by all the shrapnel that is flying around,” a source said. “It follows the same model as the Sussex separation. The removal of titles and patronages means the institution can now legitimately say it is not involved. It was a ruthless and swift decision which will have been recommended by the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge and sanctioned by the queen.”
Another source quoted by the Mail said: “She loves Andrew and this doesn’t mean he is no longer her son. But a decision had to be made as it was overshadowing everything the family did and her forthcoming platinum jubilee. Everyone will be feeling very relieved he has finally been cut adrift. It may even help him to have more clarity in fighting the case.”
The Mail’s correspondent Richard Kay said that the role of “domestic enforcer” had fallen to Prince Charles following the death of his father, Prince Philip, but said he “did not act alone” and was supported by Prince William, who “has recognized the risk to the royals’ good name that his uncle poses.”
Sources close to Andrew tried to paint the move to The Daily Beast as an agreed-upon resolution between Andrew and the queen rather than something “imposed” on him.
In a similar vein, the Telegraph quoted a friend of Andrew’s as saying: “I genuinely believe in the long run this will prove to be the duke’s independence day. It’s been almost impossible for him to do anything without worrying about damaging the monarchy, or his mother. This was really the only viable option available to him. If he has learned anything from the past two years, it is that if you are a member of the royal family, falsely accused of heinous crimes, then it is almost impossible to clear your name. If he says nothing, he’s accused of hiding behind his mother’s skirts, and if he speaks out, he’s victim-shaming. He now has the latitude to clear his name as a private citizen.”
The outlet added that Andrew’s ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, “helped to persuade him that this was the only way forward.”
Virginia Giuffre took to Twitter on Friday, writing that she was “pleased” her “case against Prince Andrew” would now “go forward.”
She added: “I’m glad I will have the chance to continue to expose the truth & I am deeply grateful to my extraordinary legal team. Their determination helps me seek justice from those who hurt me and so many others. My goal has always been to show that the rich and powerful are not above the law & must be held accountable. I do not walk this path alone, but alongside countless other survivors of sexual abuse & trafficking.”