Thatcher files: Prince Andrew Falklands involvement

Prince Andrew: Personal request to fight in Falklands. Picture: PA
Prince Andrew: Personal request to fight in Falklands. Picture: PA
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A HAND written note by Lady Thatcher appears to show how she grappled with her response to the Duke of York’s deployment as part of the Falklands’ task force.

The note, prepared after 2 April 1982, possibly in preparation for a speech or press conference, shows that she settled on a brief but broadly supportive position.

“If asked about Prince Andrew it is the express wish of the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, and of Prince Andrew himself, that if the Invincible sails, he sails with her,” she wrote. However, this is followed by several sentences which are barely legible after being thoroughly crossed out in felt tip. The deleted passage begins “I should not withhold consent”.This itself has been amended to “I cannot withhold consent” before again being crossed out.

The next words are difficult to decipher but end: “Our courage are priceless assets which our Royal Family has (sic) themselves in abundance.”

Lady Thatcher had no reason to believe the note would ever be made public.

It is not therefore thought the crossing out represented any significant change of heart, rather that it indicates her desire simply to ensure that she delivered the correct message.