The prominence of ‘pleased-as-punch’ Prince Andrew at this week’s Windsor memorial service served as a vivid reminder of the troubles now besetting the Royal Family.
And highlighted how untenable the prince’s position has become.
That’s the view of Richard Eden, writing in the latest edition of his Palace Confidential Newsletter.
With King Charles and Kate indisposed for health reasons, Prince Harry unavailable and Prince William unexpectedly absent, Prince Andrew found himself on the front row of the thanksgiving service for the life of King Constantine of Greece on Tuesday.
Prince Andrew looks pleased to lead the way as members of the Royal Family attend the memorial service for the late King Constantine of Greece
Disgraced or not, he was highest royal in the line of succession to be present at the service.
It was a vivid illustration of the Windsors’ predicament, says Eden, and should prompt the King to act: both Andrew and Harry should be removed from their positions as heirs to the throne.
‘The Royal Family has a problem,’ writes Eden.
‘King Charles, who is undergoing cancer treatment, did not attend and the heir to the throne, Prince William, due to read a lesson, pulled out at very short notice because of an unspecified “personal matter”.
‘With Prince Harry in California, this left the Duke of York to take a most prominent pew at St George’s Chapel. And, boy, did Andrew seem to enjoy being at the centre of things again.
‘Looking pleased as punch, he was even pictured grinning inappropriately as he made his way to join the other mourners for the former Greek monarch.
‘There is, of course, no reason that Andrew shouldn’t have been at the service. Like other royals from across Europe, he was invited by Constantine’s family.
But Andrew’s prominence, in the absence of King Charles, and the Prince and Princess of Wales, draws attention to his untenable status – and that of his nephew Harry.
Prince Andrew found himself on the front row alongside the Duchess and Duke of Gloucester. Princess Beatrice and husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi stand behind the Gloucesters
The King’s younger brother is no longer a working royal, but he remains a Counsellor of State and could be asked to carry out some of the King’s duties in an emergency. He is eighth in line to the throne
Richard Eden says it’s time for the Monarchy to act – and cut Princes Andrew and Harry from the line of succession. Neither is a working royal
‘Neither of them are working members of “The Firm” yet they both remain Counsellors of State who could stand in for the Monarch and they retain their places in the line of succession: fifth in Harry’s case, and eighth in Andrew’s.
‘This needs to be addressed immediately: they must both be stripped of their roles as Counsellors of State and lose their places in line to the throne.’
To read more of Richard’s expert Royal commentary, click here