Friday, 9 December 2016

The Duke of York marches into a media storm

The Duke of York has issued a rare statement denying reports about his intervention in his daughters' futures
(photo by By Northern Ireland Office -, CC BY 2.0, Link)

The Duke of York is not happy and he has made that very clear. The second son of the Queen has issued an unprecedented statement denying a rift with his brother and rumours that he had asked that the future husbands of his daughters be given titles. In a firm statement, published via his Twitter account, Prince Andrew said that he cannot continue to stand by and have the media speculate on the futures of Beatrice and Eugenie. Dads and daughters.

The Duke of York's statement 

The statement was released on December 9th 2016 in a tweet signed AY, the personal motif that shows the Duke of York is himself responsible for the message. In the statement linked to the tweet, Andrew began by referring to a 'number of stories' that 'have no basis in fact' before going on to detail them and strongly deny them.

One of the issues to which he refers has been in the news in recent days after Princess Eugenie was spotted with a ring on her engagement finger. Amidst all the speculation (denied) that she is about to announce marriage plans with long time boyfriend, Jack Brooksbank, were reports that Andrew wanted anyone who said 'I do' to one of his daughters to become an earl. In this statement, the Duke of York says that is a 'complete fabrication'.

He also addresses another set of rumours that have been circulating for several weeks, namely that he is involved in a row with his brother, the Prince of Wales, over whether Beatrice and Eugenie should become full time royals. The reports had suggested that Andrew wanted them to take on higher royal profiles while Charles was keen to keep the duties confined to a nucleus based around his own family. Again, there are firm denials with the statement saying that 'there is no truth that there could be a split between the Prince of Wales and I over my daughters' participation as Members of the Royal Family' and adds 'any continued speculation is pointless'.

His statement came just hours after Beatrice and Eugenie joined their mother at the University College Hospital to meet young cancer patients as part of their role as patrons of the Teenage Cancer Trust.  Andrew says that all he wants for his daughters is that they be 'modern young working women'. He finishes by saying that while he understands there will be interest in the princesses, as granddaughters of the Queen, he 'cannot continue to stand by and have the media speculate on their futures, based on my purported interventions, which are completely made up and an invention'.

They are strong words from the sixth in line to the throne and leave no doubt as to his position on the two issues. It is interesting to see such a personal statement released, just weeks after Prince Harry sent out his own unprecedented release calling for Meghan Markle to be left alone and confirming they were in a relationship. The two forthright interventions have certainly made clear how these two second sons feel but how the statements are received is less in the control of the royals.  Andrew has set out his stall but has he marched into a media storm?

What do you think? Should Andrew have issued the statement or let the storm blow over?

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