Queen's decision to banish Prince Andrew was 'final gesture of self-sacrifice'

The Queen’s decision to boot Prince Andrew out of the monarchy as he faced sex abuse claims was a ‘final gesture of self-sacrifice’, a new documentary claims.

The Duke of York, 63, was stripped of his honorary military titles and forbidden from using his birth right HRH style as Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre’s case gathered pace early last year.

He would eventually pay millions to settle it out of court, having always vehemently denied the allegations.

Episode five of The Real Crown: Inside the House of Windsor, which airs on ITVX on Thursday, explores Her Late Majesty’s loyalty to her second-eldest – and so-called favourite – son.

Titled Heirs and Spares, it notes how the Queen stuck by the disgraced duke in the wake of his disastrous Newsnight interview.

It caused outrage when he failed to show remorse for his friendship with Epstein or display any sympathy for the paedophile financier’s victims.

Showing footage from the Queen’s final appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony, accompanied by Charles, Camilla, William and Kate, it suggests the most telling insight could be gleaned by those who were not invited to join her.

The voiceover says: ‘Harry has left the country and builds a new life in America.

‘And now, the Queen has stripped Andrew of his HRH title. A final gesture of self-sacrifice.’

The series chronicles the royal family throughout the Queen’s reign and her successor the King, featuring interviews with contemporary figures.

Elsewhere in the final episode, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, reveals how the Queen told him ‘I can’t resign, I can’t surrender’ when he stepped down.

Recounting his conversation with the monarch, he says: ‘I remember going to see the Queen once to hand in my resignation and said: “Your Majesty the time has come”.

‘And she looked at me, more or less she said: “You people come and go, I can’t resign, I can’t surrender – I’ve got to keep going”.

‘And I said: “Well, the Lord tells me at the age of 70 I’ve got to go”. But she would never go anyway.’

All five episodes of The Real Crown: Inside the House of Windsor are now available to screen on ITVX.

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