The Queen is thought to favour her third child Andrew because his birth signified her marriage with Prince Philip was back on track. He was also the first child born to a reigning monarch in more than a century, making his arrival into the world even more special for the sovereign. Yet, the Duke of York has become the centre of a media storm over the last year due to his relationship with the deceased, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
After a “car-crash” interview with BBC Newsnight where he attempted to explain his friendship with the disgraced financier, the Palace decided Andrew should step down from his role as a working royal.
The Queen is also said not to have approved of Andrew’s Newsnight interview, according to the Telegraph back in November.
Despite this controversy, the monarch surprised royal fans by going horse riding with him just days after his resignation.
The following month, she went to a church service in Norfolk with him, too.
However, ITV revealed the Queen is not blind to Andrew’s faults last year.
An article published on the ITV website in November claimed: “Even his mother is said to have once observed that her middle son is ‘not always a ray of sunshine’.”
Andrew’s wild antics as a child started a lifelong fondness for practical jokes.
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He once placed a whoopee cushion on the Queen Mother’s chair and on another occasion interfered with Buckingham Palace’s aerials so the Queen could not watch the races.
According to ITV, Prince Charles once described his brother as a “fizzy drink that has been shaken up and the top taken off”.
However, royal historian Robert Lacy told Town & Country last year that the Queen was “warmer and flexible” when raising Andrew and his younger brother Prince Edward.
Still, the Duke of York soon developed a reputation as a ladies’ man throughout his twenties and had a string of glamorous girlfriends before settling down with Sarah Ferguson in 1986.
Some believe that his popularity rivalled Charles, until the Prince of Wales wed the beloved Princess Diana.
Once Charles had established his own family, royal fans no longer saw Andrew as the second-in-line to the throne, and his popularity began to diminish over time.