Although Queen Elizabeth delivered the news of Prince Andrew’s ousting, it was reportedly Prince Charles who encouraged the move.
The publicly derided interview was broadcast during Prince Charles’ recent tour of New Zealand – and the future king was reportedly furious that it overshadowed his visit.
Although Charles didn’t publicly comment on the interview during the tour, a senior palace source has revealed that upon returning to the UK, he summoned his brother for talks “at the earliest opportunity”.
“Andrew had no other option but to remove himself from public life, which he was told in no uncertain terms by the Prince of Wales,” the palace source said.
The showdown is another chapter in the ongoing tension between the siblings. It has previously been reported that Charles, who is 12 years Andrew’s senior, and the Duke of York haven’t seen eye-to-eye for quite some time and live largely independent lives.
Tension began to outwardly simmer on account of Prince Charles’ vision for the future of the royal family, which includes marginalising Prince Andrew and his family.
This was brought to the forefront in 2012 when Prince Charles opted to exclude his brother from the balcony appearance during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. This affront was reportedly not taken kindly by Prince Andrew, who has previously championed his place within the monarchy, as well as that of his daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
This bubbling unrest was once again visible earlier this year when the duke was a no-show at Prince Charles’ 50th anniversary investiture. An insider told online publication The Daily Beast that this was “a naked display of hostility” between the warring brothers.
This latest fiasco has put yet another nail in the relationship coffin – and they aren’t the only ones in the family who are currently sparring.
A royal source tells New Idea that battle lines have also been drawn between Prince Charles’ wife, Duchess Camilla, and Prince Andrew’s ex-wife, Sarah ‘Fergie’ Ferguson.
Despite divorcing in 1996, Fergie has remained incredibly close to Prince Andrew and she’s been one of his only supporters throughout the current PR nightmare.
In the days after his infamous interview, Fergie, 60, took to her social media account to endorse her disgraced ex.
“I am deeply supportive and proud of this giant of a principled man,” read part of Sarah’s extensive statement. “It is time for Andrew to stand firm now, and that he has, and I am with him every step of the way and that is my honour. We have always walked tall and strong, he for me and me for him.”
According to royal biographer Phil Dampier, the latest comments have reportedly riled Camilla, 72, who already has a fraught relationship with Prince Andrew’s ex.
“Camilla has never been a great fan of either Andrew or Fergie and that’s why she made an excuse not to go to Princess Eugenie’s wedding last year,” Phil explains. “She would never confront Fergie as that would give her more status, but she would make her feelings known through Charles.”
In fact, the latest incident has only created a further divide between Camilla and Fergie, whose lukewarm relationship has an extensive history.
“The Epstein scandal will have confirmed her worst fears about her brother-in-law and his behaviour,” Phil adds. Camilla and Fergie have seldom been pictured together and there is speculation that Fergie’s prior relationship with Princess Diana meant she was always wary of getting close to Camilla.
Meanwhile, Camilla is said to be heavily influenced by her husband’s opinion of both Prince Andrew and Fergie. A source reportedly told The Sun in 2018 that “Charles is not OK with Fergie. He can’t stand her in reality”.
The latest series of events has reportedly cemented the royal couple’s opinion that Prince Andrew and Fergie have no future amongst the royal family.
“For some time Charles has been worried about Andrew’s behaviour. They have never been close and I doubt we will see them together apart from Trooping the Colour, Remembrance Day and at Christmas,” Phil adds.
“This is without doubt the biggest crisis to hit the monarchy since Diana’s death in 1997 and it’s only going to get worse with new allegations from America.”
He continues: “It’s not fair on the Queen at 93 and Philip, who at 98 is retired, for the younger royals to let them down so badly.”
Interestingly, Prince Charles’ son Prince William is said to have had a hand in the decision to remove Andrew from public life.
According to the palace insider, Prince William, 37, is “not a huge fan” of his uncle
– and the second-in-line to the throne agreed that removing Prince Andrew from his duties was “the right thing to do”.
“The one bright spot is William and Kate, who have come through a sticky patch to emerge much stronger and they are now stepping up to the plate,” Phil says.
“Both have matured a lot and are now playing a full role as senior royals.”
Insiders say there’s no love lost between Charles and his younger brother Andrew.
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