Dear Gossips,

Everyone is still talking about Prince Andrew announcing yesterday that he would be stepping down for the “foreseeable future” from public duties on behalf of the British royal family. In the letter that was released confirming the decision, Andrew says that he was the one who decided to quit and cleared it with the Queen. As I wrote in my post about this yesterday, no one believes that that’s how it went down – and it’s not how it went down. Almost every UK outlet has reported that it was the Queen, in consultation with Prince Charles via telephone from New Zealand, who decided to bench her second son. They let him write the statement so that he could save face, as if any face could be saved after he went on television to talk about how he’s incapable of perspiring while trying to claim that Virginia Roberts Giuffre wasn’t sex trafficked to him. 

But it’s not necessarily over yet. Word is Buckingham Palace is bracing for an “imminent” summons from US investigators for Prince Andrew to give testimony under oath about his friend, the dead rapist pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. So much of his sh-t didn’t line up in the BBC Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis and if he is called and questioned, they’re going to check him on every one of his pathetic excuses. Not to the mention the cost the royal family will incur for legal representation – and it’s a cost he can no longer feebly justify with royal duties since he now no longer has any. But given how incompetent he’s proven himself to be, he’s going to need the best lawyers available, if in fact he is called in for questioning, because left to his own devices, he’d just bury himself. And it’s not like he has advisors he listens to; the one dude who actually gave him good advice, Jason Stein, quit after a less than a month because, well, he wasn’t being listened to. 

About those aides though – as I wrote yesterday, they did a piss poor job staffing him before, during, and after Andrew’s Newsnight interview and many of you have emailed to me suggesting that, perhaps, this was deliberate: let him hang himself so we can get rid of him. 

I get why some might think to go there but it’s impossible. First of all, now that Andrew’s been sacked, their jobs are on the line too. But mostly, no one would have wanted this for the Queen and the monarchy. Prince Andrew’s story has pushed the British election off the front page, which is terrible form for the royal family. It’s always been understood that they stay way clear of politics, that they avoid affecting the political landscape as much as possible. In 1992, during her “annus horribilis”, when the royals were making all kinds of headlines during the election, and some believed those headlines to have had an impact on the election, the Queen reportedly apologised to then Prime Minister John Major for the disruption. 

So, no, this wasn’t a setup. This was a f-ckup. 

And now? Now Her Majesty has taken decisive action …although some royal observers are seeing this situation as an example of Prince Charles’s growing assertiveness. This thread below sums it up. Make sure you read all the tweets: 

Prince Andrew has been his mother’s blindspot his whole life – and now it’s come back to tarnish her reputation. His errors have reflected poorly on her and that, in turn, makes Charles, who has distanced himself from his brother’s messes for some time, seem prepared and responsible in comparison, especially since he’s been pushing for a slimmed down monarchy for years. He’s now more justified than ever in that respect. And his priority now is to re-strengthen the institution his brother has weakened. Remember, their whole sh-t is to justify their existence. So it’s not like Charles is doing a happy dance about this either. Andrew’s mistakes could have an impact on them all, especially since we still don’t know what investigators might continue to uncover about Jeffrey Epstein’s crimes and associates.  

Yours in gossip,