PRINCE Andrew has reflected that the tragic loss of his mother now means he is only seven further unexpected losses away from becoming King.
The Duke of York cannot help but muse that notwithstanding his issues with public perception, the hereditary principle continues to operate regardless.
He said: “Of course, should a terrible and scarcely credible sequence of events take place, none of what I said to the Maitlis woman would matter. I would still be crowned.
“It would make no difference if newspapers said I should be exiled from public life, or naysayers doubted my alibis, or if Americans called me a ‘nonce’.
“The throne is indifferent to such trifles. It stands waiting for the next in line, whoever he or she may be. Whether second in line, as I was for more than two decades between 1960 and 1982, or eighth as I am today.
“I find myself tortured by thoughts of illness or accidents befalling my older brother and his descendants. People, even if Royal, are so fragile and the world so capricious and harsh.
“I am resolved that, no matter what, I shall do my duty. Only eighth now. Mm.”