As one decade ends and a new one begins, it is perhaps sensible to look back at the past ten years – what we did well, and what we didn’t do so well. The Queen of course had many highlights, from jumping out of a helicopter for London 2012, and inviting Sir David Attenborough to Buckingham Palace for the filming of a documentary.
When looking back at The Queen’s mistakes however, there is one moment that stands out above all else – the ousting of Lord Geidt from the Royal Household.
Lord Geidt, or Sir Christopher Geidt as he was known at the time, was Her Majesty’s Private Secretary for ten years, and her Deputy Private Secretary for a number of years before that.
He was known to be straight talking, often telling members of the Royal Family things they wouldn’t like to hear, but should listen to.
It was in July 2017 when Her Majesty’s most trusted aide was forced out of the job by the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York in what the media described as a ‘power struggle.’ at the time.
The power struggle is thought to have centred around the plans in place for when Prince Charles turned 70. The heir-to-the-throne wanted a much greater role in preparation of becoming King, however, it is understood Sir Christopher raised concerns.
Prince Andrew backed his brother in this unprecedented row, helping remove Sir Christopher from his role as Private Secretary. Sources said that Andrew shared a great dislike to Sir Christopher in the same sense as his brother did.
One source said Andrew was still furious about Lord Geidt’s role in getting the Prince removed as the UK’s trade envoy in 2011 due to his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Others said it was because Sir Christopher heavily controlled Andrew’s expenditure.
Responding to reports of a power struggle at the time, the Royal Household issued a statement, saying: “While we never comment on the confidential employment details of individuals, it was previously announced in July that Sir Christopher Geidt is stepping down after 10 years as private secretary.
“At the time of the announcement, the lord chamberlain paid tribute to the major contribution made by Sir Christopher who, in turn, commended the support offered to Her Majesty by other members of the royal family.
“The Prince of Wales and the entire royal family are committed to supporting the Queen in whatever way they can at Her Majesty’s request.
“Beyond that, we are not going to engage with a story based on rumours from unnamed sources.”
One can’t help but wonder how much regret The Queen feels for not doing more to prevent the loss of Lord Geidt from her office.
Since his departure, The Queen has appeared weak. It is as if she cannot control her family, from Prince Andrew’s further Epstein troubles to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s ‘hurtful’ statement.