Belfast Telegraph

Arrogant Andrew should find his girls real jobs instead of badgering the Queen to let them play princesses

By Lindy McDowell

The poor old Queen. Her family are at it again. After a few placid years during which Charles, Camilla and Co refrained from their former habit of washing their dirty linen in the tabloids, a new row is reported in the House of Windsor.

Prince Andrew is said to be at loggerheads with Chas, older brother - and importantly, heir to the throne - over jobs for the girls. His girls, that is. His daughters Beatrice and Eugenie.

Apparently this delightful duo have at times held down regular day jobs, although what the work entailed is hard to tell. Going by gossip column pics of the pair it seems to have required lots of jumping off yachts in tropical climes, swanning around posh nightclubs, attending parties and dressing up in wildly expensive fashion faux pas for endless society weddings.

Nice work if you can get it.

Andrew, however, is said to be incensed that his gals aren't allowed to contribute more to the gaiety of the nation.

He has apparently written to the Queen gurning that Bea and Eug are not required/permitted to carry out more royal duties.

At first glance you might think this seems like a generous gesture. Here are two girls wanting to do their bit for the family "firm" - to shoulder a bit of the load.

But no. It's more about pompous Andrew feeling slighted that his daughters (and, by extension, himself) are being relegated in the royal rankings. Left on the bench, so to speak, while relatively recent signing Kate is now seen as star striker in the hand-shaking business.

"Blood princesses" is the unusual and telling terminology he reportedly has employed to describe his daughters. A bit of a dig there, you might think, at Duchess Kate, nee Middleton.

But while the Queen is said to be sympathetic to her granddaughters, the big problem is this - there are currently too many royals.

There isn't just an heir and spare, there are now several spares, Andrew included. Andrew, in fact, is now so spare he's more or less irrelevant in the pecking order.

Arrogant, extravagant, with an outsize sense of entitlement, HRH Airmiles Andy is more concerned with keeping up with the Cambridges than he is with bolstering the monarchy. Otherwise, he would know his 90-year-old mother needs another Windsor family row making headlines as much as Bea needs another pretzel fascinator.

In their lifetime, his pampered princesses have cost the taxpayer a blue fortune in upkeep, global travel and security. Throwing a strop over their status just rubs salt in it.

If they want to make a real contribution, nobody's stopping them. There are many ways in which they could do so, but most of those involve working away quietly in the background.

But that's not what Andrew or they (or presumably Fergie) want. They want centre-stage, better billing on the royal circuit and a level of bowing and scraping they would regard as appropriate to "blood princesses."

Charles, however, is said to be adamant that the royal front-row team must be kept pared down. As king-in-waiting, he gets to wield the paring knife and, needless to say, his own offspring are not getting the chop.

Edward's children, meanwhile, are too young for the question of their future role to be an issue. Besides, their mother Sophie comes across as sensible enough to steer them towards more gainful employment. And Anne, of course, by ensuring that her son and daughter didn't have royal titles, swerved the issue entirely.

Beatrice and Eugenie are doubtless lovely girls. But they need to realise that in today's world there are more obvious cases of injustice than two spoilt, rich young women being denied the chance to play the princess. They need to get a real life.

And a real job.

Pesto's giant poppy simply eye-popping

Robert Peston's poppy - have you seen the size of it?

Put it like this, it's hard to miss.

While other television news staff have opted for a discreet pin badge or a standard issue poppy, Pesto has gone for a chrysanthemum-sized lapel piece.

It's like one of those giant poppies people used to put on their cars.

Is this because Mr Peston wants to pay greater homage to The Fallen?

Or because he knows it will get him talked about?

Call me a cynic...

A friend in need is a friend indeed, Cliff

Sir Cliff Richard was back on the red carpet this week, in sparkling form with his friend Gloria Hunniford by his side.

After the ordeal of the past couple of years, he was looking more like himself, as we say here. Gloria told reporters: "I have known Cliff for 45 years. I knew he was clear, because he is a very good man and I have known that for a long time."

A very good man with very good friends. And none better than Gloria herself, who was steadfast and true in his darkest hour.

Which says much, not just about Sir Cliff.

But also about Gloria.

Belfast Telegraph


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