Prince Andrew should re-marry his ex-wife, Sarah, Duchess of York.  

It would be the most significant step towards restoring his reputation and finding a way back to public life, which he desperately wants. 

All but the most flint-hearted would applaud a formal renewal of a close relationship that didn’t end in 1996 when they divorced after 10 years.  

East Anglian Daily Times: The Duke and Duchess should remarry, says MichaelThe Duke and Duchess should remarry, says Michael

A proposal by the Prince, following the Duchess’s recent disclosure of breast cancer, would be seen as an act of love and devotion and warmly welcomed by their daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. 

It would not wash away the stain of his disastrous friendship with the late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein  --  brought back into lurid focus by the release this week of court papers in Manhattan  --  but it would strongly suggest that Prince Andrew desired a fresh start.  

The British people are very forgiving; a good thing, as both the Prince and his ex-wife have both been at the centre of scandals that rocked the royal family.   

Andrew has never been charged with any crime and continues to deny wrongdoing, even though he settled a civil case by paying millions of dollars to his accuser, Mrs. Virginia Giuffre. 

He has apologised for his relationship with Epstein but a further statement of concern for all the under-age girls  --  children as young as his own daughters at the time  --  procured and trafficked to Epstein by Andrew’s friend Ghislaine Maxwell, now serving 20 years in U.S. Federal Prison, would have a profound effect, making it clear that child abuse must be eradicated wherever it occurs.  

The Duchess’s love has never wavered. Re-marriage would acknowledge the reality of life at Royal Lodge, Windsor, where “Fergie” has lived for years. With its 11 bedrooms, the glorious white wedding cake of a building in the centre of Windsor Great Park has more than enough space for a couple with children off their hands.  

East Anglian Daily Times: Sarah is good to Andrew, says MichaelSarah is good to Andrew, says Michael (Image: RaworthsHLF)

Her late father, Major Ronald Ferguson, told me how angry he was that Palace pressure forced their divorce.  

The Duchess was always good for Andrew, making him less pompous. They were skiing in Switzerland when a fracas with cameramen occurred. 

On the lift, “Fergie” said to Andrew: “That was horrible, our bodyguards roughing up that Michael Cole of ITN”.  

“Oh Sarah”, said Andrew, “You are so stupid. He works for BBC”.   

“And you”, she replied, “are sometimes just like your father”. 

* This article first appeared in the Sunday Express