AS a monarchist this is something I say with a heavy heart, but the current trauma over Prince Andrew proves the Royal Family must shrink.
The Duke of York’s TV tell-all on Saturday will be legacy-defining —it wasn’t just bad, it was catastrophic.
And it should speed up the necessary process of reducing the front-line members of The Firm, as already planned by Prince Charles.
Here’s the uncomfortable truth: Prince Andrew and his wife Sarah Ferguson have provided nothing but shame and embarrassment for the monarch for the past two decades.
Their daughters Beatrice and Eugenie, while no doubt well-meaning young ladies, are princesses without portfolio.
They love the limelight and want a deeper role, but public demand simply isn’t there.
It’s this type of aimless life — feeling like you’re tied to the responsibilities of a Windsor but lacking an actual purpose — that can lead to, shall we say, “unbecoming” behaviour.
Just look at Princess Margaret to see how unhappy “the spare” can be.
Despite being the Queen’s favourite son, Prince Andrew is a man so out of touch and surrounded by fawning “Yes” people that he’s unable to lead a life that truly helps his people.
If Princess Diana’s Panorama interview proved without any doubt that she was one of us, Andrew’s did the opposite.
We saw an aloof, privileged aristocrat unable to even express empathy with the victims of the most grotesque sexual assault.
Buckingham Palace courtiers are currently overstretched having to look after so many minor royals alongside The Queen and Prince Philip, who should really be their priority.
The Yorks would be better served in the private sector where they could take on their own representation and operate like society celebrities.
If Andrew has any sense, he will take ownership of this reality — and stand down from royal duties.
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