"Uneasy lies the head that wears the Crown."
That adage, ruminating on the burden of command, comes from Shakespeare's history play on King Henry IV, who deposed his nephew from the English throne at the end of the 14th century.
But it resounds equally true for the modern day monarchy - more so after Prince Andrew's train wreck interview about his friendship with the late billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The Queen, as head of the royal family, faced a conundrum on what to do about her second-eldest son.
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The British public was up in arms about the TV appearance, which Buckingham Palace didn't approve of in advance, and should have condemned once it aired.
In the often bizarre 49-minute BBC interview, the Duke strenuously denied recalling even meeting a woman named Virginia Roberts, who says she had sex with him when she was 17.
Andrew's explanations of why the claims couldn't possibly be true could pepper a modern take on Shakespearean comedy. At the time of one purported sexual encounter he said he was at a mid-market pizza restaurant in the English town of Woking.
In response to Roberts saying Andrew had been "profusely sweating", the Duke said he is medically unable to perspire. "I didn't sweat at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenaline in the Falklands War, when I was shot at … it was almost impossible for me to sweat," he told interviewer Emily Maitlis.
But it wasn't the astonishing rebuttals which caused such a public backlash. It was that Andrew neither voiced nor exhibited any remorse for his close association with a convicted sex offender who had abused many underage girls. He described Epstein's sickening and appalling crimes as "he quite obviously conducted himself in a manner unbecoming".
The Duke of York - if not understanding the outrage then at least hearing it - had a change of stance overnight Wednesday and stepped down from royal duties.
"I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure."
Andrew's capitulation was almost inevitable – the situation was so untenable that Prince Charles was facing calls to act, although Andrew's elder brother was likely counting his blessings that he was 18,000km away in New Zealand.
Contrast Andrew's awkwardness with the charm Charles has exhibited on his visit to our shores this week.
The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall have warmed Kiwi hearts on their tour, mixing with New Zealanders from all walks of life. Charles was solemn when remembering the war dead, stately when speaking at Waitangi, and personable when meeting people in the community.
He acted, in essence, exactly how you'd like a royal and a king-in-waiting to and the reception he received showed the enduring relevance of the monarchy in New Zealand.
Conversely, the unfolding fortunes for the Duke of York, which are far from resolved by his removal from view, will continue to cast a pall over the Queen's latest annus horribilis.
Sometimes, one must wonder whether one can win a trick - even with a royal flush.