There are some things that just go hand-in-hand on planet royal: Gin and Dubonnet, Princess Anne and industrial quantities of hairspray, and Prince Andrew whatever cockamamie scheme he has been cooking up to try and scrabble his way back into the limelight.
Sadly, on this front, no one's favourite member of the royal family has an accomplice permanently willing to aid and abet him – the Queen.
In a case of deeply dispiriting ducal deja vu, news broke over the weekend of not one but two extraordinary steps Her Majesty is taking to prop up the fragile ego and try and fix the tattered-beyond-repair reputation of the duke.
First, the Telegraph reported that the 62-year-old unemployed father-of-two will be joining his mother for the Garter Day ceremony next month, one of the most important events on the royal calendar. There is no higher honour for a person, HRH or not, than to be made a Knight of the Order of the Garter, a chivalric order that dates back to 1348 and of which only 24 current members.
The annual Garter Day ceremony sees the select two dozen Knights and Her Majesty make their way from Windsor Castle to St George's Chapel, all dressed in heavy blue velvet robes and ridiculous feathered caps, with Officers of the Order, in full ceremonial dress, and a marching band to boot.
I'll give you three guesses who is going to be there for this year's Garter Day.
In fact, not only will Andrew, who is a Garter Knight be front and centre, he will be listed the following day in the Court Circular using his styling as an HRH. You know, exactly the thing he agreed to forgo when he was basically sacked by the royal family back in January after a judge in New York gave the go-ahead for him to face a civil sex abuse trial over allegations he assaulted a teenager. (The royal has always denied the claims.)
While the line the Palace has been seemingly trying to spin is that Andrew will only be taking part in the Garter ceremony in "a private capacity as a Royal Knight" that is nothing short of risible. Garter Day is the epitome of monarchical splendour and pomp and trying to sell his inclusion as "private" would be like trying to argue that Buckingham Palace is little more than a fixer-upper.
This is such a "private" event in fact that hundreds of people will take their places along the Garter ceremony parade route to watch proceedings.
You hardly need the gift to predict that come Garter day in less than a month, there Andrew and his Cheshire cat grin will be, front and centre, all self-importance and large teeth, in close proximity to his Mumsy.
(I don't see Andrew, the man "too honourable" to end a friendship with a convicted sex offender, agreeing to sidle in via a back door and away from cameras.)
Then there's the second big revelation of the weekend, with The Times revealing that the Queen has no plans to appoint a new Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, after Andrew was forced to give up the plum position as part of his long overdue defrocking earlier this year.
The reason for Her Majesty's demurring? Her son's fragile ego.
While it had been rumoured that the sovereign would give the role to Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, now she is going to leave the position vacant "to spare the Duke of York's embarrassment".
"Military officials hoped a new royal colonel would be appointed before Trooping," the Times' royal editor Roya Nikkhah has reported, however, "the Queen is delaying the appointment to avoid 'a dagger to the heart' for her second son".
(This comes after The Mirror reported in March that Her Majesty has "allowed him to remain a Vice Admiral" because he "is said to be in such low spirits" and to "cheer him up".)
This is the point where I just want to yell obscenities at my computer screen such is my outrage, anger and frustration.
With all due respect: What. The. F**k. Maam?
For a woman who has survived a world war, 70 years in a demanding job and Sarah, Duchess of York and her toe-sucking tendencies, Her Majesty's steadfast refusal to learn from the events of the last two and a half years is positively mule-ish.
There is no single person who has done more to mortally wound the monarchy in the last century than Andrew.
While he has of course never been charged with a crime, nor has there ever been any suggestion he might be, it is indisputable that he still happily spent several nights under the same roof as a man who was by then on the sex offender's register.
Nothing can ever change the fact that the Duke of York recorded an hour-long interview about his ties to Jeffery Epstein and did not once utter a single word of support for the women abused by his good friend.
Thanks to Andrew, we are now at a point where there is a strong chance that Her Majesty had to dip into her considerable private wealth to fund the rumoured $24 million private settlement paid to Virginia Giuffre after she accused him of sexually assaulted her on three occasions when she was a teenager.
I've truly run out of adjectives to describe how mind-boggling it is that the Queen, in the twilight of her reign, is not using her precious time left to shore up support for the monarchy but to stage a spectacularly futile campaign to rehabilitate her son's image and stop his feelings being hurt.
In March, we saw how badly things go when the nonagenarian lets her Andrew blind spot trump her monarchical duty when she allowed her son to escort her to her seat during the memorial service for Prince Philip.
Photos and stories about the stunningly transparent – and hopeless – attempt to restore him to the royal limelight dominated the news with the actual purpose of the event, to remember the life and work of the indefatigable Philip, was lost in the appalled media wash.
While it is understandable that as a mother, Her Majesty wants to buoy her sad sack son, now forced to sit at home all day in his essentially free 31-room estate and to aimlessly practice his golf swing, as sovereign she is totally failing in her duty.
The monarchy is on the cusp of the rockiest and most precarious stretch since the abdication crisis in 1936, when she passes away and Prince Charles accedes. Currently, only 36 per cent of Brits think Charles will do a good job, and support for a republic is inching upwards.
All the warning lights should be flashing amber.
Right now, the house of Windsor and the Queen should be doing everything in their power to prepare the monarchy with the hope it can ride out the turbulent seas ahead.
Instead? A man accused of sexual assault is being allowed to have a jolly day out!
Is Her Majesty really this breathtakingly out-of-touch? Could she really be so indifferent to public feeling and the prevailing cultural winds?
How can she not see that every time she uses her influence and sway to vainly try to resuscitate Andrew's image, it only confirms the younger generation's view of the royal family as a pack of privileged, self-serving, overindulged users who have no place in 21st century society?
(As Johnny, 12, from Coventry recently told the Times, "All the royals do is get born. It's just not very fair.")
Selling Millennials on the deeply archaic idea of inherited power and privilege – of one family getting to live in palaces and enjoy millions in annual incomes through nothing but the luck of their birth – was always going to be a hard sell.
But swaying young 'uns to this cause when the Queen appears to be going out of her way to protect the feelings of a man who was friends with a convicted paedophile?
Ha! You'd be more likely to find the Buckingham Palace gift shop selling edible gummies.
I cannot get over the fact that the Queen seems to be using the twilight of her reign to foolishly try and resurrect some sort of public life for Andrew, rather than prioritising the future viability of the monarchy.
The only way that Andrew might ever make it back is if he cures all cancer, solves peace in the Middle East and comes up with the world's best new Paddle Pop flavour. And even then, it would be grudging.
Australia's new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese reportedly told a private gathering after Andrew's car crash Newsnight interview in 2019, "Congratulations, we'll become a republic next year."
Maybe not quite yet - but the way the Queen is going, Albanese could be on the money.
• Daniela Elser is a royal expert and a writer with more than 15 years experience working with a number of Australia's leading media titles.