Real-Life Amanda Thirsk In ‘Scoop’: Where Is Prince Andrew’s Private Secretary Now?


Directed by Philip Martin, Scoop is the story of that one BBC interview that shook the foundations of Buckingham Palace and caused outrage in society that was never seen before. There was one person amidst all the chaos who, till the very end, had faith in the monarchy, and she tried her level best to curtail the damage and save Prince Andrew from his own doom. Her name was Amanda Jane Thirsk, and she served as the private secretary to Prince Andrew and also spearheaded his Pitch@Palace initiative. 

The sentiments of the people were hurt after that interview, and the entire nation felt that they were betrayed. It is to be noted here that Prince Andrew, to date, hasn’t been convicted of any offense, as he has always found a way out, but that doesn’t mean that he wasn’t disgraced in the eyes of the people. He was stripped of all his titles by the Queen once his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein came to light. However, it is important to understand the role that Amanda played in the whole scheme of things. When I say that she tried her level best to curate a narrative and prove to the people that Prince Andrew was a good man, I do not mean that she was a co-conspirator who tried to hide the reality from the people.

After watching Scoop and the Channel 4 documentary The Problem Prince, we realized that Amanda was not only a loyal ally to have, but she was somebody who had a lot of faith in the monarchy. During her tenure working for Prince Andrew, she saw the royals up close, and she was proud of the fact that a person like Queen Elizabeth sat on the throne. She believed that the Queen looked out for the welfare of the people. More importantly, she considered herself to be a part of the royal family. In a scene in Scoop, we see that Sam McAlister comes to have a meeting with her, and she tells her about the story of missing teaspoons and how the royal house considers them to be an auspicious thing. The way she spoke made it very clear that not only did she feel that she had a prestigious job, but she also felt that any allegation made against the royal family was an accusation against herself. Amanda was not happy with the state of things, and because she had so much faith in the idea of the man Prince Andrew was, she wasted masses of time hearing him out. She was not of the opinion that influencing the journalist to print good things would do anything to bring back the lost reputation. People were pointing fingers at Prince Andrew after Epstein was arrested in 2019, and Amanda knew that she would have to do something in order to restore balance and clear her employer’s name. 

Sam McAlister had sent a letter to Amanda, and that’s when she got the idea that maybe a Newsnight interview could make things right. That was probably the biggest mistake that Amanda could make, and from there on, things kept getting worse. Amanda stalled Sam for weeks, as they were not able to come to a consensus about the topics that the interview was going to touch up on. Amanda made it very clear that Epstein’s name wouldn’t be taken in the interview, but Sam knew that if they didn’t do that, then there was no point in conducting the interview in the first place. Days passed, and something very unusual happened. Sam got a call back from Amanda, and she was ready to negotiate terms with her. At first Amanda didn’t want the interviewer to ask any questions related to Epstein and she was quite rigid about her decision. But later she agreed to do the full interview about the Prince’s relationship with Epstein, which in itself was a victory for the BBC team.

Amanda believed that through his charm and humor, Prince Andrew would be able to tackle every question with ease, and the entire Newsnight interview would greatly help his cause. We saw in Scoop how, even during the interview, Amanda stopped Emily Maitlis, as she wanted Prince Andrew to specify the exact date to make sure that people believed his alibi to be true. I didn’t know how such a big lapse of judgment could happen, and even after the interview was over, Amanda and even the Prince were very sure that they had done a fabulous job. In real life, too, Emily, Sam, and others couldn’t realize why they thought so when they had actually dug their own grave. The very next day, when Amanda saw the reactions of her people, she realized that she had lost the battle. She tried her level best to bring Prince Andrew out of the mess he was in, but his misdeeds were way too horrendous to be hidden even by a thoughtfully curated narrative. 

Soon after that, Amanda resigned from her post and went on to work for various companies. According to her LinkedIn account, as of now she works for one of the biggest Chinese e-commerce groups, Amanda worked as a private secretary from 2004 to 2020, and she proved beyond doubt the kind of potential she had and how dedicated she was to her professional life.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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