Queen to blame for Prince Andrew’s bratty behaviour
Yes, I'm calling you Liz, because I'm not writing to you as my monarch, but as one mother to another.
You've been a mum for 71 years, and I have only been a mum for 12.75, but one thing is apparent to me: The sh*t show that is your second son's life is your fault.
Well, not the association with a paedophile - that's all on Andrew. But his sense of entitlement and gobsmacking misunderstanding of reality? That comes back to how he was raised.
I know that's harsh. I know that's judgmental. And I know I may be eating my words in a few decades' time when my son does something totally reprehensible, totally irresponsible, and outrageously damaging to the entire family. I doubt it, though, because I've bloody raised him right.
My son knows that behaving with respect and kindness are important. And not just when people or television cameras are looking, but all the time.
He knows that one must apologise when they've c*cked things up. He's still young, but I can already see he knows these things by his actions and the decisions he makes.
Liz, your second son on the other hand, has had a very different upbringing. It seems that anything about morals that you've tried to teach him has been overwhelmed by his incredible privilege.
And as his mum, you let that happen. (Yes, Prince Philip has fault in here, too, but he's boring and I would never write to him.)
I know this will hurt, but Andrew's a spoiled brat who is entitled and thinks he's above basic human standards. But the thing is, he's never known anything else.
For most of his life, Andrew's pretty much been off the hook in terms of succession, and with every additional royal birth, increasingly so.
But as you well know, because you're in control of it, this hasn't affected his lifestyle. If anything, it's given him more freedom to be whomever he wants to be without worrying too much about public opinion … or anything else, for that matter.
Andrew has never had to consider the immense duties that Charles has had. He's never had the pressures that come with knowing one day he will be the King of England.
As a royal, he's had endless job security, a title - His Royal Highness - that only a select few in history have had and endless cash. He's never had to worry about how he will make rent or pay an electricity bill. He's got a penchant for jetsetting around the world, earning him the nickname, Air Miles Andy.
And look, I know Andrew's your favourite son. But, could you not, at any stage, have introduced a bit of balance? I mean, if his own mum won't do that, how was he ever going to learn?
Couldn't you just have lied like most parents do and tell him you couldn't afford something, just once? Couldn't you have taught him that any good he does in the world through his charitable work will be eclipsed by things such as a friendship with the son of former Libyan dictator, Colonel Gaddafi? Perhaps subtly let him know that his involvement in the Arms Trade was confusing and completely unnecessary?
As a mother, I know it's not easy to give your kids boundaries. And we all have it on good authority that Andrew's your favourite son, so the last few weeks especially must have been hard on you. Forcing him to resign from his royal duties. Cancelling his 60th birthday party. Turfing him from Buckingham Palace. These are boss parenting moves. But they should have come a little sooner.
Still, at least you're trying now.
The one thing you can comfort yourself with is that Andrew created the mess with Jeffrey Epstein all on his own. That one is not your, or anyone else's, fault. Nor could you have anticipated how badly he would handle that BBC interview last week.
No one could, especially not the innocent parties who were dragged into it like Princess Beatrice and Woking's Pizza Express franchise.
Andrew didn't say he regretted his friendship with Epstein. He didn't apologise to the victims.
I'm sure you tried to teach him better, but his lifelong sense of entitlement got in the way.
I'm sorry you've got to deal with this, at age 93. Surely, one would have thought your parenting days are long over. I certainly won't be pleased if mine aren't by that age. However, considering how extremely judgey this letter is, it's almost inevitable I'm going to be dealing with similar sh*t in the future.
Then again, that's motherhood for you. It will always bite you in the arse at some point. Even if you are the Queen of England.