The duke of hazard

Could Prince Andrew become another royal export?
Rufus Sewell as Prince Andrew in the Netflix film “Scoop”. PETER MOUNTAIN / COURTESY NETFLIX

Royals watching Scoop, the recent Netflix dramatisation of the real-life story of Prince Andrew’s car crash interview with BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis, must have squirmed in their seats (along with the rest of us) as the movie showcased his long-term involvement with convicted sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein. The beleaguered Duke of York came over as an entitled and naively pompous buffoon, the film relentlessly hammering his already battered image, leading to a resurgence in the accusations and allegations aimed at the late Queen’s supposed favourite son. Although it’s been riding high in the TV ratings, the royals might have comforted themselves that the public’s interest would quickly fade once the filmic fairy dust settled. Not a bit of it. Hot on the heels of Scoop followed more television torture for the Duke with A Very Royal Scandal, telling the same shabby story, this time not as a one-off movie, but a three-part drama. Both Scoop and A Very Royal Scandal are packed with acting royalty, with Gillian Anderson starring as Maitlis in the former, and Ruth Wilson in the latter; the Duke is portrayed respectively by Rufus Sewell and Michael Sheen. In the teeth of these productions, the real Duke has noticeably been attempting to rebuild some standing with the British public, making smiling appearances since Christmas, alongside other members of the Firm. No longer either a “working royal,” or “His Royal Highness,” he appears desperate to rise from the ashes of his current all-time low. But a resurgence seems unlikely, given the early New Year release of hundreds of new files related to the Epstein case, further damaging a reputation already in tatters. Polls show that while the royals are not universally loved here, they’ve received widespread support due to the serious health issues faced by the King and Princess Kate. But the Andrew problem does nothing to enhance the long-term prospects of the monarchy. So, should the disgraced duke pack his bags and his teddy bears and depart for pastures new? It’s not unprecedented for a royal to take such an action and, by following suit, might Andrew at last be doing his bit for King and Country?

More Like This

Get a free copy of our print edition

June / July 2024, Surveys

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

Your email address will not be published. The views expressed in the comments below are not those of Perspective. We encourage healthy debate, but racist, misogynistic, homophobic and other types of hateful comments will not be published.