Queen's actions in Prince Andrew scandal sullies royal family reputation - opinion

A woman with a voice, louder and more significant than that of any other on the planet, said and did nothing to acknowledge the suffering of other women, which was known to have taken place.

 A PORTRAIT of Britain’s Prince Andrew is seen on display on a sign outside the Duke of York public house in London last month. (photo credit: JOHN SIBLEY/REUTERS)
A PORTRAIT of Britain’s Prince Andrew is seen on display on a sign outside the Duke of York public house in London last month.
(photo credit: JOHN SIBLEY/REUTERS)

For most, the revelations surrounding Chaim Walder’s serial sexual abuse of woman and children is yesterday’s news. However, for his victims it’s anything but forgotten.

Sadly, it isn’t known how many suffered at his hands, such was the length of time that the abuse went largely undetected. Influential people who knew of it, or at least suspected that something was amiss kept quiet, even going so far as to silence those who spoke out in some cases. Through their actions, his abuse went unchallenged for years.

A similar situation concerning a senior member of the British Royal Family, Prince Andrew, The Duke of York has been rumbling on for over a decade.

His connections and supporters have enabled him to escape justice for his alleged crime of sexual abuse against a minor thus far.

The Duke’s most ardent supporter, his mother, HM Queen Elizabeth II, has been picking up the pieces on her son’s behalf in recent weeks.

 Britain's Queen Elizabeth attends the National Service of Remembrance at The Cenotaph on Whitehall in London, Britain November 8, 2020. (credit: AARON CHOWN/PA WIRE/POOL VIA REUTERS/FILE PHOTO/FILE PHOTO) Britain's Queen Elizabeth attends the National Service of Remembrance at The Cenotaph on Whitehall in London, Britain November 8, 2020. (credit: AARON CHOWN/PA WIRE/POOL VIA REUTERS/FILE PHOTO/FILE PHOTO)

According to some sources, Prince Andrew is very close to his Mum. The third of her four children, he is widely believed to be her favorite; overindulged, utterly entitled and spoiled.

That said, like all of his siblings, the majority of his childhood was spent in the company of nannies and courtiers, his mother and father merely peripheral figures in his early years.

This lack of parental guidance may account for his lack of moral compass and unhealthy view of women (the moniker Randy Andy springs to mind). Therefore, it is little wonder that he has displayed what some might argue is a sinister side when it comes to women.

Ironically, it is the Queen who has, in part, facilitated her son’s obnoxious behavior, by standing by him while remaining silent on the subject of sexual abuse. Not even a word of support for victims of abuse has been spoken by her at any time.

One may sympathize with the Queen who, as a mother, will undoubtedly have wanted to protect her son and second, as the head of state in her platinum jubilee year, will have wanted to avoid a scandal.

It all began in 2011, when Prince Andrew’s role as trade envoy was terminated, following widespread criticism of his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Subsequently, a truly shocking allegation was leveled against the Duke, namely that he had participated in sexual activities with Virginia Giuffre, who had been trafficked for sex by Epstein when she was only 17. To this day, Prince Andrew has denied these allegations, claiming never to have met Virginia Giuffre, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, including a photograph of the two of them together. He says it was fake and edited.

Following these allegations, a disastrous interview took place between Prince Andrew and the BBC’s Emily Maitlis at Buckingham Palace in November 2019. In it, not only did the Duke deny having sex with Giuffre, he made a series of preposterous and fanciful assertions. He concluded by saying that one of his flaws was that he was, “too honorable a person,’’ in a bid to try to explain why he went to the trouble of meeting with Epstein in order to sever ties with him.

Despite being happy with the interview, the Duke placed the Royal family in the grip of one of the worst public relations crises to date.

Many were sickened by his failure to acknowledge the gravity of the allegations made against him or the appalling sexual exploitation of teenage girls by his friend, Epstein.

One by one, Prince Andrew’s supporters fell away. In November of that year, he relinquished his public duties with the consent of his mother and faded from public life, having made the small concession that he sympathized with Epstein’s victims.

Unfortunately for the Duke, it was too little, too late.

The story did not end there.

In August 2021, Giuffre sued Prince Andrew, accusing him of “sexual assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress.” She alleges that she was forced to have a number of sexual encounters with him at the age of 17, having been trafficked by Epstein.

Although Prince Andrew has always denied these claims, even going so far as to say he has no recollection of having ever met Giuffre, he agreed to make a substantial donation to Giuffre’s charity for victims of abuse in an out of court settlement on February 15, 2022.

According to reports, the Queen contributed significantly to this settlement made without an admission of guilt, although all of the evidence leads to the inexorable conclusion that the allegations are true.

Whether or not this is in fact the case, the Queen’s actions throughout this whole disgraceful saga have been extremely disappointing. True to form, she has remained stoically silent. No denunciation of the behavior of her son’s cohorts or words of support for their victims. Instead, she’s watched from the sidelines as events have unfolded, supporting her son throughout.

A woman with a voice, louder and more significant than that of any other on the planet, said and did nothing to acknowledge the suffering of other women, which was known to have taken place.

Had she spoken out, a light would have been shone on the victims of abuse who all too often go unnoticed.

Lending her voice and support to the cause would have given it a huge boost. Instead, by her silence, she lent her considerable weight to its minimization and attempted cover up. Instead of making her son face up to his accuser, she facilitated his denial and gave succor to his lies.

The actions of the Queen throughout the whole sorry affair has not only damaged her own reputation, it has also plunged the royal family into further disrepute.

And so the grand old Duke of York isn’t so grand after all. He’s just a pathetic excuse of a man who hides behind his mummy in order to avoid facing justice.

The writer is a former lawyer from Manchester, England. She now lives in Netanya, where she spends most of her time writing and enjoying her new life in Israel.