There is an epic scene in the last season of the series The Crown in which the Margaret Thatcher Gillian Anderson breaks down before the Queen when she tells her that her favorite son disappeared in the desert during the Paris-Dakar rally. The wonderful Isabel II played by Olivia Colman is then perplexed and makes it known later to the convalescent today prince philip: Among her four children, she is not sure who her favorite is.
The monarch then entrusts her secretary with a series of private interviews with each of her offspring, until she reaches a conclusion: Carlos is too distant and selfish; Ana, very rigid and passionate; the youngest, Eduardo, too vindictive. But Andrés, who hijacks a Navy helicopter for their date, is funny and mischievous, he makes her laugh, he surprises her.
All of the above may be a license to the Peter Morgan script, but what is definitely true is that in her third child, born exactly 61 years ago, twelve and ten years after her older brothers, Carlos and Ana, Isabel found her favorite. What perhaps the Queen did not suspect was that that unprejudiced and cheerful character that he knew how to conquer her would end up turning him into the most repudiated character of royalty by the English people.
Strictly speaking, Isabel’s relationship with her second son was different since she arrived in the world, on February 19, 1960. Although then he was second in the line of succession – today he is eighth after Archie, the son of Harry y Meghan– received the treatment of His Royal Highness and a name and surname that were proof that the crisis between the Queen and her consort had been left behind: the name Andrés was a tribute to Felipe’s father, Prince Andrés of Greece and; unlike its brothers, it was called Mountbatten-Windsor. Carlos and Ana only carried the surname of the royal family, something that outraged the husband of the monarch, who assured that it was “The only man in the country who could not give his last name to his own children.”
Isabel enjoyed her motherhood with him for the first time: she was close to her husband, she had gained experience on the throne, and she had a time that she did not have with the arrival of the first-born, just after the Second World War and in the middle of the reconstruction of the country ; nor with his daughter’s, when he had to make long protocol tours of the Commonwealth countries. And although Eduardo arrived four years later, Andrés was always his mother’s pampered, the only one who allowed him to fully play the role and sometimes even do without babysitters. “He taught him the alphabet, the time, and read him bedtime stories”, “I used to go to see him at school with his bodyguards and attended his games and sports days”, account, for example, The Telegraph.
That closeness didn’t change over the years. “Every time he finds out that Andres is at Buckingham Palace, he sends him a handwritten note, and he always goes to see her,” a former palace aide leaked to the Daily Mail. The prince, in turn, responds to the ritual with devotion: “If he’s wearing jeans, he’ll put on a suit. And he always greets ‘mom’ in the same way: leaning from the neck, kissing her hand, and then kissing her on both cheeks. For her, he can do nothing wrong. “
Did being the darling of one of the most powerful women in the world end up ruining her character? “If he doesn’t change …”, says the Queen of Colman in The Crown in another obvious script license that anticipates, without saying so, the black future of that boy who mocks protocol sympathetically but ended up being forced to abandon his royal duties because of his scandalous association with financier Jeffrey Epstein.
The Queen may have noticed the problem at some point in her upbringing. Like when, according to royal writer Ingrid Seward, Andres mocked the guards in function, he kicked the dogs and struck the horses’ legs. According to Seward, on one occasion, a lackey was so enraged by Andrés’ mockery that “he gave him a blow that left him lying on the ground with a black eye.” The footman then offered to resign, but the Queen sided with him and refused to punish him.
There was a time, however, when Elizabeth II was really proud of her favorite. When, after joining the Royal Navy in 1978, he participated in the Falklands War As a helicopter pilot, he came back a hero to the people who turn their backs on him today. It was because of him that the Argentine general Mario Benjamin Menendez, then governor of the islands, coined the sadly remembered phrase: “Bring the little prince.” Biographer Andrew Morton assures that the Queen “still carries in her bag a photo of Prince Andrew from the day he returned from the war.”
Your marriage to Sarah Fergie Ferguson it was, from the start, as incendiary as the duchess’s hair color. Andrés was 22 years old and in addition to the fame of a hero, he had become a coveted bachelor. Fergie She came from an aristocratic family, but she was not exactly a traditional girl, although she had the same off-protocol sympathy as her future husband. They were married on July 23, 1986 at Westminster Abbey, and on that day the Queen awarded them the titles of Dukes of York, Earls of Inverness and Barons of Killyleagh. She automatically received the treatment of His Royal Highness. Two years later, on August 8, 1988, he was born Beatriz, and on March 23, 1990, came Eugenia (who just had her first child and made Andrés a grandfather for the first time).
As passionate as they are unfaithful, the love story of the Duke and Duchess of York came to an end – publicly at least – after they Fergie she was caught by the paparazzi in a very unprotocolary photoshoot with another man in Marrakech. It turned out that, although they had always been loving in public, between royal engagements and Navy missions, Andrés only spent 40 days a year with his wife. In March 1992 they announced their separation, although they always stayed close.
Bachelor again, the prince indulged in the relaxed – and prone to the unseemly – lifestyle of one who knows that he is under no obligation to heir. It became common for the press to portray him in nightclubs on the Côte d’Azur with different women and accumulated sneaky romances with the model Playboy Angie Heverhart, with Croatian Monica Jakisik (George Clooney’s ex), with stylist Caroline Stanbury and with singer Kylie Minogue. By then they started calling him “Andy the horny.”
Retired from the Navy, he didn’t seem to have more projects on the horizon than to dedicate himself to enjoy your fortune, your fame and your contacts to have a good time. And all, with the consent – or a blind eye – of his mother. In fact, he earned another nickname, “Andy Millas”, for his fondness for luxury means of transport. Like when Vanity Fair revealed that he had taken a helicopter for just 50 miles for a lunch with Arab dignitaries, at a cost of almost € 5,000. It is just a sample of the thousands of travel invoices that are difficult to justify – such as the € 500,000 he accumulated between 2011 and 2012 – despite the fact that he had already resigned from his position as a UK trade envoy. A disservice to a monarchy increasingly questioned by its spending.
Even so, until he was hit by The scandal of the abuse of his friend Epstein – who committed suicide in jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial for crimes of sex trafficking – always seemed to be protected and forgiven by the Queen. What the Royal House itself then considered as “A catastrophic disaster” was that the prince lied during an interview he gave to the BBC, in an attempt to clean up his image after the death of the financier. Elizabeth II’s favorite had been accused of sexual abuse by Virginia Giuffre (who was then 17 years old) and claimed to have met in March 2001 in the London apartment of Epstein’s then-girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, in New York and on the businessman’s private island in the Virgin Islands.
Andrés denied it: according to him, the day Giuffre claimed that she had been abused, he was with his daughter in a pizzeria of the British chain Pizza Express in the southeast of England. When asked why he remembered that specific piece of information, he replied that it was “unusual” for him to go to that pizzeria. However the Daily Mail did an investigation that showed that Andres had lied. For the middle, both the duke and a Scotland Yard bodyguard spent a night at Epstein’s house, and during that three-day trip to the United States, Andres would have abused Giuffre.
That disastrous interview and its consequences forced him to permanently withdraw from public life. Also to limit his travels, since specialists fear that he will “quickly become a defendant and be arrested in New York.” But even after that, Elizabeth found a way to show her support for the prince by being photographed riding with him at Windsor.
Today the Queen’s relationship with her supposed favorite son remains close and she would even have been her support and confidant during the separation of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from the monarchy. “You obviously have a lot of free time,” said a source to The Sun-. But he would have been there anyway lending his shoulder to his mother to cry. “