Axe hovers above Prince Andrew’s aide behind the Newsnight interview3 min read

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Axe hovers above Prince Andrew’s aide behind the Newsnight interview amid Palace fears ALL his staff could lose their jobs

  • Amanda Thirsk is widely expected to be forced to carry the can for the disaster
  • One royal expert predicted his private office at the palace will be closed entirely

Prince Andrew’s spectacular self-destruction raises questions about the future of his courtiers.

His loyal private secretary Amanda Thirsk is widely expected to be forced to carry the can for the disaster.

But with his entire public life now on ice, the Duke of York may find he needs fewer staff altogether, with one royal expert predicting his private office at Buckingham Palace will be closed altogether.

His loyal private secretary Amanda Thirsk is widely expected to be forced to carry the can for the disaster

His loyal private secretary Amanda Thirsk is widely expected to be forced to carry the can for the disaster

His loyal private secretary Amanda Thirsk is widely expected to be forced to carry the can for the disaster

It is paid for by the Queen, at her discretion. The sums involved are not made public, but the office is believed to cost around £250,000 a year.

As well as the formidable Miss Thirsk, the duke’s chief ‘gatekeeper’ for seven years, Andrew has relied on a small team of officials to run his various projects.

Miss Thirsk, a former banker and divorced mother of three, has been fiercely loyal to the duke – but was also the driving force behind last weekend’s PR calamity.

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She negotiated the terms with the BBC Newsnight team, sat in on the interview and encouraged Andrew to use his own words, being convinced it would show him as ‘authentic’.

She had to overrule PR consultant Jason Stein – a former adviser to Amber Rudd until she left the Cabinet – who had been implacably opposed to the whole idea. One insider said of Miss Thirsk: ‘Most people think she will probably carry the can for this. It is inevitable there will be redundancies.’

Miss Thirsk joined his staff in 2004 and is said to regard her work for Andrew as ‘the be-all and end-all’, with one royal insider saying she will be ‘devastated’ at how events have turned out.

Since quitting as the UK’s trade envoy in 2011, the duke has worked to build up his business scheme [email protected], a charity project in which he helps to put would-be entrepreneurs in touch with investors and mentors. It has been a great success, and more than a dozen staff help the duke run it.

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But with the duke the main draw for wealthy investors, its future looks uncertain.

Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, said: ‘Andrew’s office at Buckingham Palace will go. There are lots of … secretaries who have been working hard there for years.

‘He is patron of a lot of charities and there is a considerable amount of work, but I think the office will be shut down.

‘I fear this is also the end for [email protected], at least in its current guise. This disaster is going to affect a lot of staff.’

 

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