Prince Harry’s ‘slap in the face’ to Queen discussed by expert
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Christopher Geidt worked as private secretary to the Queen from 2007 to 2017 – with his resignation and subsequent departure coming as a surprise to many. Royal biographer Matthew Dennison has lifted the lid on why Lord Geidt hurriedly quit and revealed Prince Charles and Prince Andrew were behind the move.
The author said the Queen was “under pressure” to force Lord Geidt’s resignation from Charles, after the aide’s speech announcing Prince Philip was stepping down from royal duty.
The private secretary announced the news to 500 royal staff who had gathered in the ballroom of Buckingham Palace and urged everyone to come together to support the monarch.
However, the speech, dubbed as “a rallying address” by the press, was not well received by the Prince of Wales.
Mr Dennison wrote: “Charles’s staff resented Geidt’s suggestion that Philip’s departure created opportunities for all of Elizabeth’s family: their preference was for an enhanced king-in-waiting role for Charles.
“Despite denials, Charles appeared to agree.”
The royal biographer also noted that Prince Andrew was also in favour of Lord Geidt’s resignation, due to a prior grievance with the aide.
Mr Dennison noted the Queen’s second son blamed the private secretary when he lost his role as special representative for trade and investment.
The Duke of York had held the role for 10 years, from 2001-2011.
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Commenting on this, the biographer wrote: “Gedit’s resignation, initiated on Elizabeth’s behalf by her lord chamberlain, Earl Peel, was attributed to Charles’s intervention with his mother, supported by Andrew.
“Roots of Andrew’s animosity lay in Geidt’s part in his loss of his special adviser role.”
Mr Dennison notes that Lord Geidt’s departure in 2017 came as a shock, with many blaming Clarence house for the move.
He wrote: “Geidt had served her [the Queen] well and may have anticipated remaining en poste until her death.
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“A commentator quoted by Robert Lacey blamed Charles and the staff at Clarence House for a ‘shameful… shabby’ decision.”
Mr Dennison added: “Anne and Edward voiced their unhappiness at what had happened.”
Lord Geidt joined the royal household in 2002 after a career in military and diplomatic service.
He served as the Queen’s private secretary between 2007 and 2017.
He was subsequently created Baron Geidt and sits as a crossbench peer in the House of Lords.
In March 2019 he was appointed a permanent Lord-in-waiting.
Earlier this year it was announced Boris Johnson had chosen Lord Geidt as the Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests.
Last month he published a report on allegations surrounding the financing of Downing Street refurbishment, which concluded the Prime Minister did not breach the Ministerial Code.
The Queen by Matthew Dennison is available to buy now.
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