I feel sorry for Prince Andrew - here's why
PUBLISHED: 13:06 18 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:52 18 November 2019
Prince Andrew's interview was extraordinarily unwise, says Liz Nice, but you have to feel a bit sorry for a man so lacking in self awareness that he appeared not to have even the slightest inkling of this...
I feel sorry for Prince Andrew.
But not, perhaps for the reasons his friends and family will no doubt be feeling sorry for him right now.
Obviously, there is the embarrassment aspect.
No one who saw his extraordinary interview on Saturday night can doubt that he has made a fool of himself in the worst way - on national television, with the world watching, and, worst of all, apparently blithely unaware that he is getting the whole thing completely wrong.
I'm sorry for him because I think he thought that if he mentioned Pizza Express we would all think him to be a man of the people.
I'm sorry for him because he thought nothing of correcting Emily Maitlis' suggestion that he had invited Epstein to a 'party' at Sandringham with considerable pity because she hadn't realised the difference between a party and a 'shoot'.
I'm sorry that he doesn't realise that, to the vast majority of people in this country, the idea of a 'shoot' is either repulsive or alien, so maybe best not to mention it, if you have any empathy with your nation at all.
I'm sorry that he is so naïve about the media that he thought his 'sweating' explanation would be the end of this matter. Apparently, and correct me if I'm wrong, because of the Falklands, Prince Andrew didn't sweat when it was claimed that he was sweating, but it might be that he can sweat now.
Naturally, Twitter is alive with memes of a sweating prince, whether genuine or not, just as it is with pictures of him with his arms around various women, after he claimed that, being Royal, he doesn't do physical contact. I'm sorry that after two decades of the internet, it never occurred to him that this might happen.
I'm sorry too that he doesn't know why he is known as the 'Party Prince' because he 'has never really partied' apparently. The poor man, he must be the only man in Britain who hasn't.
He does go to dinner parties however with people whose friendship he has decided he can no longer continue with, because that person has served time for procuring an underage girl for prostitution.
His explanations got more and more cringeworthy with of course the biggest highlight being what some expert or other has apparently told him about sex being 'a positive action'. This meant that he could not possibly have slept with 'this lady' without remembering it, he explained.
Emily Maitlis did a sterling job but was a little too wedded to her questions, I felt, instead of following up on what Andrew was saying. At this point, I felt it might be the time to point out that, 'positive action' or not, it might be seen as quite unusual to have slept with more people than you can actually recall?
Either way, the moment was lost, as was the moment to acknowledge that there were a lot of women who were damaged by being victims of this man Prince Andrew called a friend.
What can have possessed him to go through this rigmarole is anybody's guess.
I think this thing has dogged him for so long that he was prepared to do whatever it took to make it all go away and he honestly thought, like a schoolboy who broke the headteacher's window and finally plucked up the courage to go and face the music, that he would get a pat on the back for his honesty and nothing more serious than a sharp, swiftly administered and quickly forgotten whack with the cane.
This has not happened.
All he has succeeded in doing is putting the spotlight right back on him, and the extraordinary details he offered up have left the entire nation shaking their heads.
Prince Andrew may have felt this story as a 'constant sore' for nearly a decade but the rest of us were just going about our business without giving it any thought whatsoever.
I'm very sorry, Prince Andrew, but after your performance on Saturday, it seems to be all we are thinking about right now.
I went to the Mecca bingo in Norwich on Sunday night and won £100.
It was huge fun and it occurred to me that it is in the bingo halls and the pubs and the football clubs of this country where real life occurs.
Where people who get themselves into bother will be given a good talking to and straightforward advice, no messing, so that they can never get too above themselves or arrogant. So that they can never lose touch with the values of decency and honesty and the ability to laugh at oneself that lie at our nation's heart.
I did not see Prince Andrew at the bingo. I think it would do him the world of good.