Netflix’s ‘The Crown’ shines a light on the turbulent time that Prince William and Prince Harry went through after the tragic death of their mother. In the second half of the series, we see William go back to Eton while still grieving for his mother. This leads him to shut out from his family and friends, and he suppresses his feelings by doubling down on his studies and extracurriculars. While quite a few, including his father, try to reach out to him, it is the housemaster of Eton, Andrew Gailey, who breaks through his shell more easily. What became of Gailey after his time in Eton?
Andrew Gailey is Today a Celebrated Author
Described as “a man of utmost propriety and integrity,” Gailey is a graduate of St. Andrews and Cambridge and served as a housemaster in Eton from 1993 to 2006. Prior to this, he had also been teaching in the history department of the college since 1981. Following the end of his services as housemaster, he was elected Vice-Provost and a Fellow of the College. Dr. Gailey is married and has one daughter, but details about them are sparse because he likes to keep his private life away from media scrutiny.
Apart from his work in Eton, he has also authored numerous books, most of which are focused on “constructive unionism,” particularly in the context of Anglo-Irish relations in the 19th and 20th centuries. Some of the titles under his name are ‘Ireland and the Death of Kindness,’ and ‘Crying in the Wilderness.’ He won the 2016 Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography for his book ‘The Lost Imperialist: Lord Dufferin, Memory and Mythmaking in an Age of Celebrity.’ He has also produced a book titled ‘Portrait of a Muse,’ which focuses on the life of Frances Horner, who served as the muse of Edward Burne Jones.
Dr. Gailey is the receiver of the title of Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) and has been described as “an excellent housemaster and a wonderful man.” He was dedicated to his role in Eton and helped the students in every way possible. Much like we see in ‘The Crown,’ he also had an impact on young Prince William while he was going through a tough time. There are several anecdotes about him that show how much he tried to help the prince during his time in Eton.
Reportedly, when Princess Diana gave the controversial interview to Martin Bashir, Dr. Gailey advised her to talk about it with Prince William before the interview aired on Panorama. He believed that she and William should meet before that, where she should explain to her son what to expect from the interview. When the princess questioned whether it was really necessary, he called the act “imperative” and made sure that she talked to her son. When the interview eventually aired, Prince William watched it in Dr. Gailey’s office. The housemaster is later reported to have told Princess Diana about William’s emotional reaction after watching the interview.
Dr. Gailey is also said to have supported Prince William after his mother’s death and is believed to be the influence behind William’s decision to go to St. Andrews, where Gailey graduated from. In the same vein, when Prince Harry came to Eton, the housemaster looked out for him too. His influence on the lives of the prince has garnered him an important place in their lives. He was present at both royal weddings of Prince William and Kate Middleton and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Considering all this, it’s clear why ‘The Crown’ gave his character more space in the sixth season, around the time when William also receives a larger arc on the show.