It’s not only Prince Andrew who is out of touch with the spirit of our age. The royals must modernise or die

His world was still that of the old-style aristocratic house party or officers’ mess, where ‘conduct unbecoming’ could stand for a multitude of sins

It felt as if the prince was being shoehorned into a modern lexicon that really did not represent what he meant
It felt as if the prince was being shoehorned into a modern lexicon that really did not represent what he meant

It took four days, start to finish. That is the time between the broadcast of Emily Maitlis’s BBC interview with Prince Andrew, last Saturday evening, and the prince’s announcement, in a formal statement from Buckingham Palace, that he was “stepping back from public duties for the foreseeable future”.

It is hard to imagine that his official life will resume. The rush by organisations and individuals to dissociate themselves from his patronage had left him with little choice. A spell of charity work, a long way from the public eye, might be in order.

As it happens, I was not among those who judged the prince’s interview to be a “car crash” – or, at least, it could have been quite a lot worse. He did not lose his cool; he was not caught out on any specific facts; for the most part, he answered the questions.

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