Prince Andrew’s plot to oust Queen’s aide who threatened daughters’ roles in Royal family
THE downfall of the Queen’s top aide followed attempts to streamline the monarchy which would have pushed Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie down the Palace pecking order, according to royal insiders.
As sources sought to distance Prince Charles from claims he had helped to force out Sir Christopher Geidt, it was claimed that the Queen’s former private secretary had been “adamant” Prince Andrew’s daughters would not have full-time roles in the Royal Family.
According to reports, the Duke of York “colluded” with his brother to oust the monarch’s most senior courtier.
Last night a well-placed royal source said: “Sir Christopher had a slimmed down vision for the monarchy. The area he really held the line on was on Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie having no future role. He was absolutely adamant about that and it caused a lot of tension within the household.”
In December Andrew, 57, issued an extraordinary denial following reports of a rift between him and Charles over the status of his daughters.
Dubbing the stories “completely made up” he said he had taken the rare step of issuing a statement in his own name “to terminate further speculation and innuendo”.
Yesterday’s reports suggested Sir Christopher, a former Army intelligence officer, was “deeply disliked” by Andrew and the “feeling is mutual”.
It has been suggested that Andrew’s “antipathy” stems from the role played by Sir Christopher in forcing him to step down as trade ambassador in 2011 over his friendship with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Another source suggested that Andrew disliked the fact that Sir Christopher controlled his expenditure.
Andrew, who will be pushed from sixth to seventh in the line of succession following the birth of William and Kate’s third child, is flying to Australia this weekend for a 12-day tour – his sixth foreign visit this year.
Beatrice and Eugenie will be pushed to eight and ninth respectively.
Yesterday the three Royal Households – Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace – released a joint statement saying: “The Prince of Wales and the entire Royal Family are committed to supporting the Queen in whatever way they can. Beyond that, we are not going to engage with a story based on rumours from unnamed sources.”
It has been suggested that Charles’s private secretary Clive Alderton was infuriated by a speech Sir Christopher gave to 500 royal staff in May announcing Prince Philip’s retirement.
Sir Christopher’s manner was allegedly regarded as presumptuous.
One source reportedly claimed: “Charles was told about this, was furious and went to see his mother.”
The allegations are denied by Clarence House.
A Palace insider said last night: “Sir Christopher was seen by some as being a little heavy-handed and it caused festering resentment between him and Clive. The Duke of Edinburgh announcement was perceived to be a bit of a cock-up. Clarence House staff didn’t have much prior warning.”
A source close to the heir to the throne last night sought to distance him from the furore.
“There is absolutely no way the Prince of Wales would interpose himself in a discussion about staffing at Buckingham Palace,” the source said.
“He is polite to a fault and doesn’t have a cross word to say about anyone.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK
Tags: Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie