Watching Prince Andrew on ‘The Crown’ is deeply uncomfortable

Watching Prince Andrew on ‘The Crown’ is deeply uncomfortable

Royal family, your crazy antics have finally convinced me to watch “The Crown.”

Yes, the Netflix show has been on since 2016. But now, in its third season, there is drama I genuinely care about — hello, Charles and Camilla.

A year of ever-flowing gossip — Prince Philip’s car crash, William allegedly cheating on Kate, Archie’s birth and everyone unfairly hating Meghan Markle — piqued my interest enough to binge the royal TV drama.

And binge I did. In a matter of days, I happily learned about scandals from Queen Elizabeth’s early days, like the Duke of Windsor’s Nazi ties and Prince Philip’s sleeping around.

But it’s the most recent royal ruckus that’s tainting the show for me, one the showrunners never intended: Prince Andrew’s connection to dead pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Virginia Giuffre claims to have been sex-trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein and his alleged partner in crime, Ghislaine Maxwell, and says she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew three times starting when she was 17. Last week, a second accuser came forward claiming to have had non-consensual sex with Queen Elizabeth’s son.

Andrew, 59, and Epstein were longtime pals, something the prince doesn’t deny but does regret.

In a nail-in-the-coffin interview with the BBC in November, Andrew claimed his encounters with Giuffre couldn’t have happened because of a bizarre medical condition, and the palace issued its own sets of denials.

But the evidence against Andrew is damning. The prince has stepped down (or, perhaps, was fired) from his public royal duties and was stripped of his military titles. One photo shows him with Giuffre and Maxwell. Another shows Epstein, Maxwell and accused serial rapist Harvey Weinstein at a party hosted by Andrew.

As headlines kept crashing on the prince’s reputation, I was watching Claire Foy portray the queen giving birth to her third child on Season 2.

Prince Andrew, fourth from left, as portrayed in Netflix's
Prince Andrew (fourth from left) as portrayed in Netflix’s “The Crown.”Netflix

“We’ve decided to call him Andrew, after Philip’s father,” she says, and I snap out of hypnosis from the show’s old-timey glamour. “The bankrupt philanderer?” retorts Princess Margaret. She wasn’t far off about her nephew’s fate.

For a show about a family caked in chaos, its writers know a thing or two about hindsight. When watching, the cameras and the audience are in on a little secret: Unlike the characters, we know how each storyline is going to end and how it will be remembered some 50 years later — like in the third season when a 20-something Prince Charles whines about his then-girlfriend Camilla Shand. “I don’t want to lose her ever, she’s the one,” he says. As a viewer, it’s stupidly satisfying to watch, the ultimate intentional know-it moment. Just you wait, TV Charles.

The show works best when it’s teasing these scandals. Its flaw is that reality moves faster than production. Season 3 premiered in November, just as news stories about Andrew’s Epstein connections were ramping up. Producers couldn’t have anticipated this fire.

While “The Crown’s” child Andrew doesn’t have as much of a role as his older siblings, Charles and Anne, do, he’s not forgotten. Viewers see him giddily walking to church. He bounces on balls and is carried by Prince Philip, playing in awe as the first man steps on the moon. It’s supposed to be a heartwarming family scene.

But all I can do is wince.

Oh boy, TV Andrew, you have no idea what a monster you’ll become.


Source : Marisa Dellatto Link

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