Royal Fans Are Fuming About Prince Andrew's Continued Role With King Charles

While members of the British public continue to mourn Queen Elizabeth II ahead of her funeral, their focus has slowly started shifting to the royal family members tasked with preserving the monarchy. As they honor the queen's legacy, the royals have faced a firestorm of negative press. There was a public outcry after a citizen who heckled Prince Andrew during the queen's funeral procession was arrested. "Andrew, you're a sick old man," the heckler shouted, as reported by The Guardian. Video showed the man being tackled by other onlookers in the crowd that had gathered to pay their respects. "How can members of the public attack the heckler and then the police ignore the attackers and arrest the heckler?" asked one Twitter user.

Andrew's public presence has renewed focus on his association with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and the allegations that the Duke of York sexually abused Virginia Giuffre when she was underage. Giuffre filed a civil lawsuit that was settled out of court, with The Telegraph reporting that the queen was going to use her personal funds to help her son pay the $16 million that Giuffre was awarded. "Some media will now give more focus to whether Prince Andrew's heckler should be charged with a crime than whether Prince Andrew should have been," one person tweeted.

Members of the public have also been critical of the duke being allowed to remain in a role that could see him assuming the duties of the new king himself.

Prince Andrew and his daughter now share a position

According to The National, Prince Andrew has been a counsellor of state since 1981, and he's not losing the title as King Charles III assumes the throne. The role basically involves taking on a king or queen's official duties if they are unable to do so themselves. Andrew shares the position with other members of the royal family, whose worthiness to fill the new king's shoes is determined by marriage and the line of succession. The other counsellors of state are Queen Consort Camilla Parker Bowles, Prince William, Prince Harry, and the Duke of York's daughter, Princess Beatrice, who was promoted to the role upon the queen's death.

Learning that Andrew will continue to hold this important position did not go over so well with some Twitter users. "Prince Andrew has been given the role of stepping in for King Charles if he ever becomes sick or leaves the country, meaning he is essentially deputy king. This is grotesque, isn't it?" read one tweet. "Charles III has appointed Prince Andrew as a Counsellor of State who might act in his place despite his obvious inappropriateness for such office. It seems that Charles is intent on undermining the monarchy with everything he does," another person wrote.

King Charles can't strip Prince Andrew of his counsellor of state role

Amid his legal battle with Virginia Giuffre, Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Andrew was being stripped of his military titles and his right to use the "His Royal Highness" honorific in an official capacity. Queen Elizabeth II approved this particular royal downgrade, but King Charles III cannot similarly remove Andrew from his counsellor of state role. Palace officials told BuzzFeed News that Parliament, not the king, has the power to change who can hold the position through legislation. So in this particular case, the anger at Charles is misplaced.

While he may possess the ability to assume the king's royal duties, an insider told The Daily Beast that the Duke of York plans on pulling a vanishing act after his mother's funeral. However, a source with ties to the royal family suggested that the damage has already been done, saying, "Including him in the events of this week is a mistake. This is not a family funeral. It is a state affair. She may be his mother — but she's everyone's queen." And the controversy about Andrew's inclusion is far from over — what he will be wearing at his mother's lying-in-state vigil is also causing outrage.

Prince Andrew was given a privilege denied to Prince Harry

According to People, Prince Andrew has been granted the privilege of wearing his military regalia for the queen's final vigil in Westminster Hall, despite having his military titles stripped. Meanwhile, Prince Harry — who served in Afghanistan — is not being offered the option to do the same. Per royal reporter Omid Scobie, a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released a statement saying, "[Prince Harry] will wear a morning suit throughout events honouring his grandmother. His decade of military service is not determined by the uniform he wears and we respectfully ask that focus remain on the life and legacy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II."

Even media personality Piers Morgan, who is no fan of Prince Harry and Megan Markle, has blasted King Charles III for making an exception for his disgraced brother but not his son. In a piece for The Sun, Morgan predicted that many members of the British public will also have a major problem with the move, and they are already voicing their opinions on the matter. "Hmmm. Prince Andrew will be in uniform but Prince Harry will not be. That tells you a great deal about the value system there," one critic tweeted. Ultimately, Mirror reported that Prince Andrew opted not to wear his military uniform to the service, perhaps in an effort to nip the controversy in the bud.