A prime example of why the British royal family is a pestilence

Now that Jeffrey Epstein has died, attention has shifted to the others in his circle, like Ghislaine Maxwell. Of course, the more prominent the person, the greater the interest and one of the most prominent is Prince Andrew whom one of the young girls has accused of being forced by Epstein to have sex with him. He has denied the accusation, even though he continued to be intimate with Epstein even after his conviction for sex abuse and stayed at his home multiple times with young women going in and out.

I have ranted at various times about how useless the British Royal family is and avoid reading about them. So at first I was hazy about where he fit in within the family and it appears that he is Prince Charles’s younger brother, though given the rules of succession, he has been sliding steadily down the line of succession, from second after Charles to something like eighth or something now as the number of mouths to be fed out of the coffers steadily increases.

I am willing to concede that the Queen has a role to play in the constitutional structure by providing a mechanism for orderly transitions though it hardly seems to warrant all the lavish lifestyle that she has. A nice little house with a couple of domestic aides and a monthly stipend would seem to be sufficient. But there is absolutely no need for any other member of the royal family, though of course one can assign them some tasks to give the impression that they are a not a complete waste of oxygen. But it turns out that even this minimal requirement was too much for Andrew and the recent investigations into his behavior shows that in addition to being useless, he is a a real jerk. That is not an uncommon result of people being pampered all their lives and never having to do a real job.

Time and again, Andrew, who a courtier once reportedly described as having “a pompous level of self-importance”, has demonstrated an eye-watering lack of judgment. Palace staff have rated him the rudest of royals, according to reports. A secret cable, published on WikiLeaks in 2010, revealed a US ambassador describing Andrew speaking “cockily” during one official lunch, leading to a discussion that “verged on the rude”.

In 2011, following pressure over the Epstein connection, he stood down from his role as UK special representative for trade and investment. It did not help when his ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, admitted having accepted £15,000 from Epstein to help pay off her debts.

His links have often raised eyebrows; meetings with the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif; entertaining the son-in-law of Tunisia’s ousted president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali at Buckingham Palace; his relations with Timor Kulibayev, son-in-law of the president of Kazakhstan, who purchased the duke’s Sunninghill Park home for £3m more than its £12m asking price in 2007.

“Rightly, or wrongly, there is a perceived air of arrogance about Andrew, and he is described by various people as boorish and very self-centred,” said Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty Magazine. “Perhaps we shouldn’t be judging the book by its cover. But, certainly, that’s the impression he has given for a very long time.”

His fate is that of the typical second son, struggling to find a role. “I think despite knowing he was always going to go down the line of succession, the fact that in his youth he was second in line to the throne, and now he is wherever he is, that must be quite a blow to your confidence and feeling of importance,” said Little.

The fact that he once had a sense of ‘confidence’ and a ‘feeling of importance’ despite never having done anything in his life that was not handed to him on a platter, shows the kind of person this rotten system breeds.

They should go.


  1. says

    “Rightly, or wrongly, there is a perceived air of arrogance about Andrew

    He was raised as an aristocrat. ‘Crats gotta ‘crat. If he had grown up as a plumber in Manchester he’d probably be a decent sort.

  2. errantmoon says

    I know someone who used to part of the royal protection team. He doesn’t tell tales about them, but he does shake his head wearily whenever they are mentioned.

  3. rockwhisperer says

    I think Andrew is actually the son of Charles and Diana, and was second in line to the throne until his older brother Harry had a son. Not that I follow any royals, British or otherwise, but sometimes I’m in places where I can’t escape TV news.

    I, too, can’t imagine why the British people haven’t demanded an end to public subsidy of the royal family beyond supporting their queen in comfort but not in excess. OTOH, I’m USian, and don’t understand why you’d want a queen in the first place, so I have my own biases.

  4. sonofrojblake says

    “never having done anything in his life that was not handed to him on a platter”

    … Apart from, y’know, going and serving as a helicopter pilot in an actual shooting war. Not to defend a probable paedo, but have some fucking respect for service, given that your head of state is famous for his fucking “bone spurs”.

  5. birgerjohansson says

    I am glad to see there are some royals that are at least as useless as the Scandinavian ones. BTW an advantage of living in smaller countries is, it is harder to cover up stuff.

  6. cartomancer says

    Many of us DO demand an end to this. Sadly not enough of us. On the other hand, the royals are hardly the most pressing financial issue we have -- that would be the Tory austerity horrors -- so even those of us who would like to see the back of them recognise that our energies would be better spent elsewhere.

  7. Rob Grigjanis says

    Pestilence, really? In the grand scheme of things, more like a bad cold. And one that most Brits seem happy with, because…well, because there’s nowt as queer as folk. The pestilence is the system which allows truly destructive parasites like the Trumps and Sacklers of the world to prosper.

  8. stumble says

    Ending the monarchy is a political issue I have zero thoughts about. But the royal stipend IS NOT A DRAIN on the treasury. It is simply factually wrong to think it is. 300 years ago a deal was made by parliament to pay the Monarch a fixed fee every year in exchange for all the revenue derived from the Crown Estates. But at root those estates are the personal property of the reigning monarch. Should parliament choose to the the agreement the fallout would be for the Queen to retake those revenues.

    Since the total value of the annual stipend is about 1/5 the revenue from the Crown Estates it would be a terrible financial decision to end the agreement by parliament.

  9. says


    …would be for the Queen to retake those revenues.

    Why? I mean, if the monarchy were abolished, and the royal family were to become ordinary people, why should they be allowed to hold onto the property that was acquired and held onto purely due to them being, you know, royal? In other countries where monarchies were abolished the former royal families were not allowed to keep their property afterward. It is not necessary to chop their heads Cromwell style, we should be past that barbarism, but what is wrong with just saying to the whole royal family simply: “You are on your own from now on. Here is some property for each of you, representative of what an average Brit owns, the rest is confiscated and belongs to the country from now on. Now go on and work for a living, like everybody else does.”

    And even if not talking about abolishing the monarchy per se, why not just make a new deal: “Your personal property, your Higness, belongs to the state now. From now on you are a paid representative of the state -- with generous salary and lodgings, similar to what presidents become -- but the rest of your family must work, until the time comes for one of them to succeed you in your position. Take it or f* off all of you.”

    Why should that bunch of parasites be allowed to hold onto the property amassed by their predecessors by violent means over centuries, and why so many Brits still fail to wrap their heads around the idea that this is not how things just must be is something I will never understand.

  10. fledanow says

    I’m a Canadian. The UK monarchy is unfortunately my monarchy, too. I’m with Charly. The royals are an anachronism I’m not willing to support, and it sticks in my craw to see people agree that they are somehow special because they come from a rapacious line of nasty people.

  11. jrkrideau says

    @ sonofrojblake
    Apart from, y’know, going and serving as a helicopter pilot in an actual shooting war

    Thanks, I was just going to track that down. He has had everything handed to him,
    including incoming Exocet missiles.

    He has almost as distinguished a record as Corporal Bonespurs. 🙂

  12. jrkrideau says

    I’m a Canadian.
    And so am I. I have never lived in anything but a monarchy and the idea of living in a republic makes my skin craw.

  13. jrkrideau says

    @ 13 Charly
    Why should that bunch of parasites be allowed to hold onto the property amassed by their predecessors by violent means over centuries

    Good point. We should be seizing property from every rich person who inherited money or property in the last 250 or 300 years?

  14. bmiller says

    jkrideau: I like most of your comments here, and I am struggling a bit to understand your somewhat craven need for a monarchy. The idea of bowing and scraping before someone as inbred as Charles makes MY skin crawl. There is just something so creepy about hereditary aristocracy.

    But you are right about one thing. I see Mr.Singham as a closet Maoist pining for the next Cultural Revolution. /sarc/

  15. Rob Grigjanis says

    bmiller @18: I’m struggling a bit to understand your use of “craven”. One great thing about a parliamentary system with a figurehead head of state is that we’re much less likely to get pond scum dictators or wannabe dictators like Trump, Putin, Duterte or Bolsonaro fucking things up. There’s just something so creepy repulsive about systems like that. And nobody has to “bow and scrape” if they don’t want to. I’ll take the Windsors over that shit any day. I’d also be fine with them going away, as long as the alternative isn’t anything like the nightmare freak show in the US.

    As far as aristocracy is concerned, well yeah. Get rid of that crap too. Dukes, earls, Gates, Bezos, Musk, Beckham, Beyoncé, Cruise, Clooney, etc. Fuck ’em all. Seriously. None of them earned the obscene wealth they’ve accumulated, whether it took 10 years or 1,000 years.

  16. bmiller says

    Rob: Sure: I see your point to some extent and would have no problem with a parliamentary system. Not sure it would work in such a divided and fractious country as the United States (see: Italy). But there are countries/systems which avoid the problems with the unitary executive while still not requiring a hereditary monarchy or an aristocracy. They typically have a more ceremonial “President” and an active Prime Minister.

    Your last paragraph is an excellent Cri de Coeur. I’m not sure how one can accomplish that practically speaking. The Cultural Revolution noted in my comment may be one way, but I am guessing we do not want to go all Holiday in Cambodia on the elites. I still think there IS a difference between first generation wealth, no matter how callously earned, and hereditary aristocracies based almost solely on lineage. Of course, some may argue that OUR elites are busily working to establish such hereditary aristocracies (Google and check out the story about the awful, awful shirts “designed” by the Koch scion!), only many of our Barons and Earls of Industry and Finance have NO sense, even pretend, of noblesse oblige, so….who knows.

  17. bmiller says

    I might also note that Britain may not have “pond scum dictators”, but you sure have picked some doozies lately as PM. May? BORIS?

  18. Rob Grigjanis says

    bmiller @21: I’m English by birth, but Canadian by residence. And Ontarian specifically. We picked Doug Ford, who would love to be Trump. But neither he nor Boris have the powers that Trump has.

  19. says

    @jrkrideau, maybe you jest, but I do not. Indeed inheritance should be capped, as should be (personal) income. At best by heavy and strongly progressive taxation. No one person needs to own land that can feed and/or house thousands, if not milions. No one person needs to have millions of dollars on their accounts. No one person needs to be excessively wealthy.

    All income above (lets say) 6x the population average income should have 100% tax on it. Similarly all inheritance above 6x the population average wealth should have 100% tax on it. Thus received money could then be used by the state to improve infrasturcture and redistribute the wealth among those who were not born with silver spoon up their arse because their grand-grand-grand-grandfather was a rapacious murderer.

    I do not think that the concepts of personal property and wealth should be abandoned -- that does not work, people do not work like that -- but I think that it should be heavily regulated.

  20. Dunc says

    I’m always bemused in these arguments that so many people seem to think that the only two possible constitutional systems are British-style constitutional monarchy or US-style executive presidency… I suppose it’s a system of Anglophone insularity.

    There’s a whole world of other options out there.

  21. Rob Grigjanis says

    Dunc @24: Of course there are other options, requiring really tiny adjustments to existing systems. In Canada, the ties to the monarchy are quite flimsy. The Governor General, who is the viceregal representative of the monarch, could simply be renamed the (ceremonial, with some constitutional duties) head of state.

    They could do the same in the UK, if the Windsors weren’t so popular.

  22. Rob Grigjanis says

    I’ll add that I’d be opposed to calling the head of state ‘President’. To me, and I suspect many others, that title has long (even before Trump) been tainted by association, much as the title ‘Imperator’ and its descendants have been.

  23. unit000 says


    Ireland has it right -- a figurehead President as head of state (other countries do this also, eg. Italy)

    I struggle to understand why anyone could feel positive about the monarchy. I assume it’s to do with valuing tradition for tradition’s sake, which seems foolish to me.

Leave a Reply

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