royalist is The Daily Beast’s newsletter for all things royal and the royal family. Subscribe to Here to receive it in your inbox every Sunday.
54 weeks ago, Prince Andrew’s prospects looked bleak. He had already been excluded from the family, deprived of his office and his monthly allowances. Now he was devastated by the death of his mother, his last and greatest protector, the woman who had always indulged her favorite child and overlooked his mistakes.
It seemed unlikely that we would ever see much of Andrew on the public stage again, especially since it was his brother, King Charles, who was almost entirely behind the effort to oust Andrew over the past decade.
Given that he had been unhelpful at best, and actively fought against his younger brother when he was just Prince Charles, at worst, the era of King Charles III seemed to be over. probably not promising much favor for Andrew.
And yet there were signs from the start that Charles’s reign might not be as disastrous for Andrew as his long royal apprenticeship suggested.
Andrew has now come to terms with a strange, unique position – a royal with private roots in the family but no public role. When asked if there was any chance that Andrew would ever be allowed to represent the family again, a friend of King Charles told The Daily Beast: “No. “That’s settled.”
A friend of Andrew’s told The Daily Beast that they also believed Andrew had no dreams of returning to public life. “What’s done is done,” said the friend, “Andrew can’t turn back the clock.”
However, Charles has also made it clear that Andrew is still an integral part of the family. The first glimmer of hope for Andrew came in the run-up to the funeral: although Andrew had been told that he would not be allowed to wear his naval uniform to the funeral itself because he had been stripped of his military connections in January of that year, he was kicked out of the ranks of the working royals, as Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit against him continued. He was allowed to wear his uniform for a vigil at his mother’s coffin, alongside his siblings Charles, Prince Edward and Princess Anne.
The king’s public displays of magnanimity continued uninterrupted. Andrew sat in the front row at the funeral. He was allowed to adopt Queen Elizabeth’s corgi. He was invited to Sandringham for Christmas and was allowed to attend church and walk with the rest of the family. (In the final years of his mother’s life, many said, at Charles’s behest, he was ordered to attend an earlier 8 a.m. service alone or with an assigned sibling.)
Another major public symbol came when Andrew was allowed to wear an ornate outfit called “garter robes” to his brother’s coronation. Wearing this archaic costume is the exclusive right of members of the “Order of the Garter,” an ancient knightly club with only 14 members; the great and the good, as if hand-picked by the monarch. It is noteworthy that Harry was the only direct heir to the throne who did not wear a military or special uniform.
Then this summer a really big event: He was invited to Balmoral for a weekend and drove to the church in a car with William and Kate in front of the photographers. In the background, another important concession from the King to Andrew was that he was allowed to attend his filming weekend at Windsor Castle in November 2022 and is expected to retain this privilege this year.
This was not made public, but within the family and those around them it was seen as another clear show of support for Andrew. It’s considered a bit awkward to accept an invitation to a shoot if you can’t offer anything in return. So if he keeps his days in Windsor, Andrew is free to accept shoot invitations. So its usual busy winter season, centered around country shooting weekends, has remained unchanged.
An acquaintance from the shooting world told The Daily Beast: “The shoot in Windsor is of course a wonderful day and invitations are like gold dust. This isn’t a rule, but hosts generally expect their guests to reciprocate, although I can honestly say that Andrew’s friends are pretty loyal and most would have stood by him and continued to invite him even if he had could not reciprocate the hospitality. After all, he’s been filming with some of them literally his entire life. But he still spends his days at the royal estate, so nothing has changed. It would have been really mean to take it from him.”
There are also suggestions from some of Andrew’s friends that his financial situation is rosier than one might imagine and that he continues to receive support from his brother. There are even reports that he continues to receive meals from the Windsor Castle kitchen and that the palace’s grounds and gardens team pays visits to help look after the huge garden at his home, the Royal Lodge (from the reports attempts were made to drive him away). have been paused, more on this below).
The crucial question, however, is the financial compensation paid to Virginia Giuffre. Details were never revealed, but it is believed to have been around $14 million and is believed to have been largely paid for by the late monarch. There were reports that it was on loan, but these were never confirmed either.
Some sources now suspect that the debt was forgiven in his mother’s will and that the Proceeds from sales of Andrew and Sarah’s chalet in Verbier were actually used to purchase a townhouse in Mayfair in Sarah Ferguson’s name. The London property was on the market for 6.75 million pounds ($9 million). Public records show that Andrew sold the Swiss estate Chalet Helora for $22 million. However, the former owner was still owed $9 million, another creditor was owed $2 million, and a large mortgage would also have had to be paid off.
A family friend said: “It’s not unusual for one to be in debt to one’s parents and the late Queen certainly had a soft spot for him.” It’s not the sort of question you ask, but it was gossiped about. How else can you explain that they are financing the property in Mayfair?”
Spokespeople for Andrew and the King did not respond to requests for comment for this article.
A friend of the king said they did not know the details of any financial arrangements between Andrew and Charles, but said Charles had “made it very clear” that his brother would “not be abandoned” by the family. In an earlier iteration of this formula, Charles reportedly vowed not to leave his brother “homeless or destitute.”
However, the fact remains that it is Charles who is widely believed to be responsible for Andrew’s exclusion from the nuclear family, from his family being banned from balcony appearances to his complete exclusion from the working class family.
Asked why Charles now appeared to expend political capital on rehabilitating Andrew when in earlier years Charles appeared to be one of Andrew’s most implacable enemies, the friend said: “It has always been a great invention of the media that between them this undying enmity prevailed with them. That has never been the case. Andrew was unable to continue representing the family after the lawsuit, but was not found guilty of any crime and is still part of the family. He is part of the family, but not part of the institution. It really is that simple.”
The friend said Andrew had benefited from comparisons to Harry: “Unlike Harry, Andrew has done everything he has been asked to do and Charles is aware of that.” He hasn’t written a book, he hasn’t given any interviews. Be [Andrew’s] The main concern was the protection of the monarchy. He is extremely loyal to the monarchy.”
The friend said Andrew was living “a pretty quiet life” at the Royal Lodge, the palatial home given to him by his mother. Andrew should do it Watch lots of TV boxsets to pass the time.
Suggestions that Charles might try to evict Andrew from the house were quietly dropped after Andrew’s camp strongly opposed the move, pointing out that he had a signed lease on the property. Another black swan occurred when his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, who also lives at Royal Lodge, was diagnosed with breast cancer in June and was treated with a mastectomy, an ordeal she described with typical cheerfulness in her new podcast .
In a recent edition of her podcast, Fergie said Andrew is “a person like everyone else” and is “lonely” and “thinks about it a lot” without his mother.
And yet, just over a year after his mother’s death, Andrew could be forgiven for feeling some satisfaction at the outcome of things.
He might be loathed by the British public, a fact current surveys Confirm, but in many areas he retains the privileges of his royal position: a huge house with a couple of Range Rovers out front, a stable of horses he can ride whenever he wants, and a sparkling sports calendar – not to mention from a full freezer As the long winter evenings drag on, you can binge-watch Windsor Castle’s best fish pies before Netflix.