While Prince Andrew is left the Corgis, his daughter gets Royal promotion

With any sovereign’s death, there always comes a shuffling of cards in the game of royal succession.

And in the case of Queen Elizabeth II, the deck has favoured one granddaughter above all others: Princess Beatrice.

The 34-year-old eldest daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson has moved up to ninth in line to the throne.

But with three primary-school-aged children and a pair of toddlers ahead of her, Beatrice slides into a key role as Counsellor of State.

Along with Prince William, Prince Harry, and her father Prince Andrew, the formerly laid-back royal who was seldom called upon for official duties will now be expected to represent the King at a moment’s notice.

But the lone princess and youngest among the group may expect to take on more than her equal share of the load.

Prince Harry, having resigned from his royal duties in 2020, is now pursuing a private life with his wife Meghan and their two children in the United States.

Meanwhile, Prince Andrew has been largely barred from carrying out official royal duties, after settling a civil sexual assault case that also linked him to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The man once rumoured to be the Queen’s favourite son, in her death has been entrusted with no more than caring for the corgis.

Even before the Queen’s death, royal observers had warned that she must urgently name new counsellors of state to step into her shoes in the event that both Charles and Prince William were unavailable.

And while Queen Consort Camilla may also carry out royal duties on her husband’s behalf, the new line-up will undoubtedly reshape the power dynamics inside the House of York.

Beatrice’s future is shining bright with her big promotion
Beatrice and her younger sister Eugenie hold a special status in the royal family as so-called “blood princesses”.

This means that unlike the newly minted Princess of Wales, they were born royal rather than marrying into the family.

Technically, Catherine is meant to curtsey to her husband’s cousins whenever they enter the room — even though she is the future Queen Consort.

They also had a powerful ally in Queen Elizabeth II, who famously adored her granddaughters, taking them on pony rides around Balmoral Estate when they were little girls.

Both princesses were initially destined to be working royals, according to royal historian Marlene Koenig.

But she believes a string of divorces, including the girls’ parents in 1996, forced a rethink about the future of the monarchy.

“I think if there were no scandals in the 1990s — Charles and Diana, Andrew and Sarah, and to a lesser extent Anne and Mark — it is possible that say Andrew and Sarah had remained a happily married couple, I do think those girls would be working royals,” she told UK Express.

To minimise the possibility for scandal and the taxpayer-funded expense, the Queen and her heir Prince Charles decided to “slim down” the British royals.

While the balcony of Buckingham Palace was positively heaving with minor Royals in the 1980s, Charles wanted it reduced to a core seven or eight main players by the time he ascended the throne.

That meant the York princesses were expected to get jobs and earn their own money — something they both did to varying degrees of success.

Princess Eugenie has worked full-time at a ritzy art gallery in London for many years, while Princess Beatrice initially appeared to struggle figuring out her passion.

In 2015, she worked briefly at Sony for a salary of $33,175 a year.

But she was criticised by the British tabloids for taking 15 international holidays, including a ski trip to Verbier, a yachting jaunt around Ibiza, and New Year’s in St Barts, in the space of just a few months.

Then, in 2016, she was accused of accidentally slashing the face of singer Ed Sheeran as she pretended to knight James Blunt with a decorative sword at a party in Windsor.

“Certain people said, ‘Oh, you should lie and say it wasn’t her and say it was someone else’,” Ed Sheeran’s manager, Stuart Camp, said of the incident in 2020.

“I said, ‘well, we’re not telling anyone anything. I’m not lying, just because someone’s a f***ing idiot and they’ve been waving a sword around when you’re all drunk’. It’s not safe!”

Princess Beatrice eventually found steady work as a strategist at a technology firm called Afiniti, and was praised for raising awareness about dyslexia.

Amid rumours that Prince Andrew was pushing his brother to finally allow Beatrice and Eugenie to become working royals, he released a statement to the media.

“As a father, my wish for my daughters is for them to be modern working young women, who happen to be members of the royal family, and I am delighted to see them building their careers,” he said.

The mother of the princesses, Sarah Ferguson, also dismissed the reports and said they should be praised for their philanthropy.

“Let’s focus more on this and less on tittle-tattle gossip. Stop bullying the York family, please,” she said on Twitter.

When their father was engulfed in scandal in 2019 due to his association with late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the York sisters publicly distanced themselves from Prince Andrew.

Beatrice, who borrowed a dress from the Queen for her wedding, ensured the Duke of York did not appear in publicly released photos of her nuptials.

But now as she prepares for her key role serving the King, her father’s position is far less certain.

Prince Andrew’s future in retirement
This week, Prince Andrew stood out as the only one of his three siblings dressed in civilian clothes as the royal family gathered to honour their mother at a moving vigil in Scotland.

The Duke of York has been granted a special one-off dispensation — out of respect for Queen Elizabeth II — to wear his military uniform during her final vigil at Westminster Hall.

But the prince’s public role has already caused a stir, with the Queen’s second son singled out and heckled by a member of the crowd as he followed his mother’s coffin last week.

Eyewitness footage showed a man among a throng of mourners shouting: “Andrew, you’re a sick old man.”

With the tide of public opinion so decidedly set against the prince, it seems almost certain that he will remain out in the cold, and far from his brother’s inner circle, royal observers say.

“I think that he will remain very much in the background. There is no way he is going to resume royal duties. So, you could say his retirement continues,” Joe Little, the managing editor of Majesty magazine, told the Guardian.

“There is no hope, I would suggest, of him returning to the working-royal fold anytime soon.”

It was only three years ago, as media scrutiny of Prince Andrew reached a fever pitch following his disastrous BBC interview, that the then Prince of Wales reportedly urged his mother to sack his younger brother.

While on tour in New Zealand, Prince Charles picked up the phone and told the Queen that Prince Andrew should be withdrawn from the spotlight, worried the scandal would overshadow the UK election, the Times reported.

Aides reportedly became concerned after the duke’s name was raised in a debate between Labor’s Jeremy Corbyn and the Conservative Party’s Boris Johnson.

While it’s unclear exactly what conversations took place behind the scenes, the duke confirmed he would be stepping down from his role just four days after the interview.

But it didn’t end there. A number of charities and patronages cut ties with the duke and he was later stripped of his HRH and military titles amid a legal battle with his accuser Virginia Giuffre.

Though he eventually reached an undisclosed financial settlement with Ms Giuffre, the scandal-plagued prince was back in the news only a few months later with his reappearance at his late father’s memorial.