Prince Andrew Getting Fired Could Mean the End of the British Monarchy

Even the most optimistic royal follower must know that Prince Andrew’s recent resignation from royal duties — which by this point we all understand was a firing, possibly supported by Prince William in addition to the queen — is a really bad sign. But what exactly does it mean for Prince Andrew to fall from grace in such a dramatic way? And what will the future bring?

Those are answers that no one has right now. But one thing that royal followers can’t help but wonder is whether this huge event could spell the end of the British monarchy for good. Here’s how it could happen.

The royal family
The royal family | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

There was no way for Prince Andrew to continue as a working royal

Everyone who watched or read about the disastrous Newsnight interview with Prince Andrew knows that it’s being called the biggest PR disaster in recent history. The 39-minute spot was meant to clear Prince Andrew’s name and solidify his innocence despite his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Instead, it made everyone more convinced of his guilt than ever.

The short-term consequences are that Prince Andrew lost his job and therefore gave up his allowance from the sovereign grant, a taxpayer-funded allowance that covers expenses such as travel, bills, staff salaries, and palace upkeep. But now the Duke of York’s downward spiral is leading to bigger questions about the monarchy overall.

Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew | Paul Kane/Getty Images

Parliament can abolish the monarchy

Things are different for the monarchy now compared to how it was hundreds of years ago. Though the role is still highly respected, it’s not the governing body for the United Kingdom. And according to CNN, “The Queen only wears the crown by virtue of her majority support in Parliament, which is the only body with the authority to remove it.”

And now that right is being publicly called to question. During a debate on ITV, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn were essentially asked if the monarchy was “fit for purpose.” This is not a normal line of questioning and proves that Prince Andrew’s actions had far-reaching consequences.

Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth | Alastair Grant – WPA Pool/Getty Images

People are wondering if the monarchy is needed in the modern age

Royal commentator Peter Hunt put it this way during an interview with CNN. “The sacking of Prince Andrew, as it is, is unprecedented. We have to go back to the abdication of Prince Edward VIII in 1936 to see anything vaguely comparable,” he said.

“The position of the monarch is now up for question in 2019 which it wouldn’t have been just a few weeks ago. It’s being raised in debates during the British general election campaign. It’s being raised in debates on phone-ins across the UK on British radio stations. That is pretty unusual and that is why the British monarchy has acted as it has done and acted so speedily in removing Prince Andrew from public life.”

After all the work Queen Elizabeth put into elevating the reputation of her family, it’s amazing how one interview may have undone decades of strategic moves. But even if she’s furious with her favorite son, she’s not saying so publicly.

We’ll have to wait and see what kind of long-lasting impact this whole thing has on the monarchy and the future.