Prince Andrew has repeatedly denied claims of sexual assault. Now, he faces a civil lawsuit in New York by Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre.
[T]he monarchy has been historically complacent about the patriarchal nature of the institution, and the suffering of women within it.
Consider Henry VIII. Representations of Henry VIII and his six wives are recounted in British history curriculums, including the beheading of two when they failed to birth a male heir. This history is devoid of any engagement with ideas of violence against women, patriarchy, misogyny or male entitlement. Rather, it is narrated as a quirk of historic custom; a fairy tale about the eccentric private lives of royalty.
Just as the royal family prioritised the image management of hiding Andrew from official royal photographs over insisting on his co-operation with the investigation, it also seemingly put the appearance of the institution over Markle’s wellbeing. In both cases, it is women who are suffering.
Moreover, Andrew is not the only contemporary prince consorting with notorious sexual abusers. Prince Charles had a 30-year friendship with Jimmy Savile, whose OBE for “charitable services” was not revoked even with Savile’s 214 confirmed sexual offences. Despite multiple public allegations before Savile died, Charles “led tributes” sending public condolences after his death.