Camilla Tominey over at the Sunday Express has a new article about the war between Prince Charles and Prince Andrew over Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie having a public royal role, and now apparently they’ve dragged the Queen into it.
According to Tominey, Andrew wants his daughters to have a taxpayer-funded royal role and accommodation at Kensington Palace, while Charles wants to have a smaller public royal family going forward, leaving the York princesses to fend for themselves. And apparently they’ve now dragged the Queen into it, but of course she handed it off to someone else to deal with because burying her head in the sand is how she deals with conflict.
“THE Queen is at the centre of an extraordinary row within the Royal Family over whether the Duke of York’s daughters should become full-time members of ‘The Firm’. Prince Andrew wants Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie to be given taxpayer-funded royal roles and new accommodation at Kensington Palace but the move has been blocked by Prince Charles. The 90-year-old monarch has been caught in the middle of the royal rift and has been at such a loss over what to do about her warring sons that the Government has had to help smooth things over.
“The row escalated after Andrew, 56, wrote to his mother demanding that Beatrice and Eugenie carry out full-time royal duties supported by the Sovereign Grant – the public purse which funds the Royals’ work. The letter, originally drafted by the Duke’s private secretary and ‘gatekeeper’ Amanda Thirsk, complained that the princesses were in danger of being overshadowed by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry when Charles becomes king. It demanded that his daughters, who are seventh and eighth in line to the throne, be given better accommodation at Kensington Palace instead of having to put up with ‘small’ apartments at St James’s Palace.
“A source said: ‘Amanda originally drafted the letter and couched it in very reasonable terms, but the Duke did not think it made his case strongly enough so tore it up and put pen to paper himself. He believes his daughters are already being overshadowed by William, Kate and Harry and the situation will get worse as Prince George and Princess Charlotte get older. He has long argued that as the only ‘blood princesses’ in the family, Beatrice and Eugenie deserve proper royal roles like their cousins, along with the same standard of accommodation at Kensington Palace. He fears that they will be totally sidelined when the Queen dies.’
“Her Majesty was apparently so stunned by the letter that she felt unable to reply and handed it to her private secretary Christopher Geidt to deal with. He raised the matter directly with Charles, who suggested someone in Government should break it to his younger brother that while he will continue to play a formal role in the Royal Family in the future, his daughters will not. The heir to the throne, 67, wants a more ‘streamlined’ monarchy with only William, Kate and Harry taking centre stage at major royal events.
“A source said: ‘The Prince of Wales is already conscious that he divides opinion more than his mother. The last thing he wants is additional criticism by keeping peripheral royals on the public payroll.’
“His austerity-driven approach is understood to have already caused friction with the Earl and Countess of Wessex, who both gave up careers to become full-time working royals. In order to preserve their status in the royal pecking order, behind palace gates the Queen has decreed that Prince Edward will inherit his father’s title as the Duke of Edinburgh when the time comes. Princess Anne is less put out because her children Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall do not have royal titles and have pursued their own careers. Andrew, Anne and Edward have grown used to taking a backseat at major royal occasions, like the Diamond Jubilee, when only the socalled ‘magnificent seven’ appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony – The Queen, Prince Philip, Charles, Camilla, William, Harry and Kate.
“Beatrice, 28, and Eugenie, 26, are both university educated, charming girls who are very popular within the royal fold. But other than accompanying their father on the occasional royal engagement, they have not been encouraged to take on royal duties but to carve out careers for themselves instead. Despite starting four different jobs in the past five years, Beatrice announced in July that she was stepping down from full-time employment to ‘pursue her entrepreneurial ambitions’. In between ‘exploring her career options’ the sun-worshipping royal has enjoyed a string of luxury holidays. Between December 2014 and December 2015 the princess racked up 18 foreign jaunts, including a trip on Roman Abramovich’s £1.5billion super-yacht in Ibiza. She broke up with Dave Clark, her boyfriend of 10 years, over the summer. As this newspaper exclusively revealed in August, Eugenie is keen to settle down with her boyfriend of six years Jack Brooksbank and as a concession to Andrew’s demands, the couple have been given a cottage at Kensington Palace which is currently undergoing renovation.
“They plan to announce their engagement in the coming months and a royal insider said Eugenie was keen to settle down and start a family. ‘I’m not sure carving out a career is her top priority,’ added the source. The sisters have been trying to raise their profile, meeting Prime Minister Theresa May earlier this month to discuss modern slavery. Last week Eugenie recorded a video for the Salvation Army to highlight the plight of trafficking victims and the week before she and Beatrice joined the Prime Minister at a Westminster Abbey service for William Wilberforce, who led the movement to abolish the slave trade. It came after Beatrice recorded a podcast for the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre, of which she is patron, to raise awareness of the condition with which she was diagnosed aged seven.
“In 2010 the princesses were stripped of their 24-hour police protection because of the £500,000 annual cost. The move came months after Andrew was forced to step down as the UK’s special trade envoy amid criticism of his links to shady Middle Eastern leaders and the convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. The Duke fought ferociously for the protection officers to stay, arguing that his daughters should be treated differently from other minor royals because they enjoy HRH status. But his argument failed because their cousin Zara has no bodyguards, even though she has a higher public profile as an Olympic silver medallist.”
Two quick notes: Beatrice was not at the Westminster Abbey service with Eugenie, and I cut out the end of the article as it moves to talk about Sarah.
The article is interesting… in that it’s not that interesting. We’ve heard that Charles and Andrew are at odds over Beatrice and Eugenie’s royal role for a while now, so that’s no revelation. We’ve also heard before that Andrew was upset that only Charles and his family were on the balcony for the Diamond Jubilee, and that there is friction between Charles and Edward and Sophie over their future roles within The Firm. And, I mean, this supposed letter Andrew wrote to HM can’t be the first she’s hearing about this disagreement between Charles and Andrew as we’ve heard about it for years now.
The thing I actually find the most interesting is about Eugenie’s future: “I’m not sure carving out a career is her top priority.” I’m curious, because if carving out a career is her top priority and instead wants to be a wife and mother (which is totally fine if that’s her choice), then who’s going to be paying for her? She has her own trust fund and whatnot, and Jack has a job, but is that enough to fund their lifestyle? Would Andrew be spending some of his money paying for Eugenie and her family? Is this why Andrew wants Eugenie to have a public royal role, so that she can do a few royal duties here and there and spend most of her time raising her family while the public pays for it (like Kate)? I’ll be very interested to see what happens with Eugenie once she marries and starts to have kids. Will she quit her job at the art gallery, or will she continue to work? Hm…
Sunday Express front page:
Queen acts on warring princes#tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers pic.twitter.com/mLpN6EyIEH
— Nick Sutton (@suttonnick) October 22, 2016