Inside Queen’s relationship with ‘favourite son’ Andrew amid legal battle

Though they may be one of the most famous families on the planet, it turns out that the royals have their fair share of family drama just like us.

While the Queen is adored by her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, it’s widely regarded that she isn’t immune to having favourites.

According to reports, Her Majesty has a soft spot for her second son, Prince Andrew, and that the favouritism hasn’t gone unnoticed among The Firm.

Appearing on the Channel 5 documentary, The Royal Family At War, Katie Nicholl explained: “There is real tension between Charles and Andrew. Andrew has a very different relationship with his mother and the Queen was much more hands on.”

But as Andrew faces a civil sex case trial, his relationship with his mother has come under the spotlight.

Quitting public life

Following the infamous interview on Newsnight in 2019, Prince Andrew stepped down from public duties “for the foreseeable future”.

In a statement, which was approved by the Queen, Andrew said that it had “become clear” that his “former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family’s work.”

Explaining his decision, he said: “It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support.

“Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission."

Absence from the Sandringham Christmas service

Attending a Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church is a central part of the festivities for the Royal Family.

But after stepping down from public duties, in 2019, the Duke of York skipped the tradition of greeting well-wishers at Sandringham by avoiding the family’s 11am service.

Instead, Andrew was spotted alongside Prince Charles attending a 9am ceremony.

Queen’s Christmas speech snub

In previous years, the Queen hasn’t been afraid of airing her troubles publicly.

In fact, in 1992, Her Majesty gave a speech at Guildhall, referencing recent events including the Duke and Duchess of York’s separation, as being part of an 'annus horribilis'.

But in 2021, amidst Andrew’s ongoing legal battle, the Queen opted to not make any reference to the growing tensions surrounding the family.

Platinum Jubilee celebrations under threat

According to reports from The Sun, Prince Andrew will be pulled from all Platinum Jubilee events.

As the Queen begins to celebrate her 70 year celebrations next month, a source told the publication that: “The plan is for him to be invisible during celebrations.”

Regarding what Prince Andrew’s lawsuit would mean for the Queen’s milestone occasion, Nigel Cawthorne, author of Prince Andrew: Epstein, Maxwell and the Palace, said: “There can be little doubt that the Giuffre-Andrew trial will cast a horrid shadow over his mother's 70th jubilee celebrations this year.

“'It is bound to come as a major disappointment to the Queen and bring back memories of the annus horribilis, her 40th anniversary.”

Frosty birthday wishes

With the Royal Family having huge followings on social media, it’s become tradition for different members to wish one another happy birthday on their separate accounts.

But for Andrew’s 60th birthday last year, the Queen bucked the trend by failing to publicly shower her son with good wishes.

Instead, the monarch used her official Twitter account to publish a more formal On This Day post.

“#OnThisDay in 1960 The Queen was safely delivered of a son, the first child born to a reigning Monarch since 1857,” it read.

“Her Majesty is pictured holding Prince Andrew in 1961 on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, alongside The Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Anne and The Queen Mother.”

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