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Coffee House

A princely problem

7 March 2011

7:00 PM

7 March 2011

7:00 PM

Tonight’s Six o’clock news had a long package on Prince Andrew that ended
with Laura Kuenssberg reporting from Downing Street on the government’s attitude to the prince. The fact that the government is now so much part of this story is due to an unforced error on
its part.
 
It was the briefing yesterday about how if more came out then Andrew would have to resign as trade envoy that pushed the government right into the middle of this sorry story. This set journalistic
hares running and had everyone demanding to know what the government’s position was. The government, which had got involved in this story more through cock-up than anything else, quickly
rowed back on Sunday’s lines.
 
In truth, the government is caught between a rock and a hard place. However bad this story gets, Prince Andrew resigning — or being asked to resign — as a UK trade envoy would only
inflame the situation. For if he is not an appropriate person to be a trade ambassador for Britain, how can he be an appropriate person to be fourth in line for the throne?

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


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