Her Majesty the Queen is prepared to take radical action if her second son, Prince Andrew, is forced to relinquish his royal titles as a result of legal action now under way in the USA.
The Duke of York could be stripped of his titles if convicted of charges linked to his alleged involvement with then underage women associated with the late sex fiend Jeffrey Epstein and the just-convicted British ex-pat Ghislaine Maxwell.
My Buckingham Palace sources tell me that royal courtiers have been puzzled about how to approach the very real problem of having someone so senior in royal ranks potentially convicted of an offence or offences requiring them to abandon their titles.
But, they say, Her Majesty herself has devised a response if one is ever needed by One.
“As usual, Her Majesty is a step ahead of everyone else when it comes to responding to a crisis,” one senior royal adviser told me.
“The first part of her plan is already in play and involves Andrew changing his full name by deed poll.
“He was born in 1960 and christened as Andrew Albert Christian Edward Windsor.
“Under the Queen’s plan he will add a new name, ‘Prince’, and change his current surname to ‘Andrew’ so that people can legitimately address him as Prince Andrew.
“The second part of Her Majesty’s plan is to appoint him to a new peerage which she has the power to create.
“If necessary she will appoint Andrew to a new dukedom she will create based on the Shire of York, a small local council in the wheatbelt east of Perth in Western Australia so that he will be able to style himself as Duke of York.”
My palace source said eagle-eyed royal watchers would have noticed that Her Majesty had even initiated action to secure a new royal residence in York WA.
“An offer has already been made on a small cottage in York in which Andrew would reside. (pictured)
“Most people would not know that the dwelling is under offer only because Her Majesty wants to keep it in reserve if needed.”
My source told me that Her Majesty was well aware that her entire contingency plan was possible only because of her position as head of state of Australia.
“The Queen knows it is a risky plan and, to quote Her Majesty herself: “If Australians vote to become a republic we’re fucked.’
“So you can expect to see a lot more royal visits Down Under if her plan is implemented, possibly one every six months to head off any republican sentiment,” my source said.