There’s an old saying in politics: you can survive criticism, but you can’t survive ridicule.
On the latest episode of Good Weekend Talks, Rob Harris, Europe correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, explains how the fall of Prince Andrew in some ways came less in the wake of serious sexual assault allegations (related to the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein), and more in the aftermath of a car-crash BBC interview in which he became “royal roadkill”.
“It just became one of those moments that permeated through daily life,” Harris says. “Memes, spoof videos … It really did lend itself to a lot of mickey-taking.”
Freelance writer and former BBC correspondent Nick Bryant, who wrote our featured story this week on the Queen’s beloved second son – Fall Of the Favourite – points out on the podcast that Andrew’s fortunes have seemingly paralleled his country’s place in the world, with his latest annus horribilis just another instalment in a lengthy saga.
“Charles could often seem quite tortured. Maybe that’s the curse of the heir, as opposed to the spare, to use the language of the aristocracy. Andrew was more straightforward. More fun. And that seemed to elevate him to this favoured-son status,” Bryant says. “But when people saw Andrew raw – Andrew as himself – a lot of people just didn’t like what they saw.”
Harris points out, too, that we’ve entered an era in which the crown is in full transition. “Charles is the CEO of the family, and the Queen is chairman of the board … It’s very much their monarchy now. And I think they’re very wary of these threats to the family’s reputation and image.”
Hosting this discussion – about everything from the Falklands war to Fergie – is Greg Callaghan, the deputy editor of Good Weekend.
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