King Charles is claimed to have had a tense meeting with Prince Andrew after hearing he was “persistently lobbying” the Queen for a return to royal life, a source says. The disgraced Duke of York is claimed to have “always believed there was a way back” to royal duties and thought he could “still be of value” to the Royal Family despite his association with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Charles and Andrew are said to have held an early-morning meeting at the King’s Birkhall estate in Scotland just days before the Queen’s death.
During this meeting the now King is said to have confirmed the Duke of York’s absence from future royal service.
According to the Daily Mail’s Ephraim Hardcastle column, the meeting was called by Charles after he heard of his brother’s pleas to the Queen.
It says: “A source whispers that Charles had been tipped off by the Queen’s senior staff that Andrew’s persistent lobbying of the ailing monarch to restore him as a ‘working royal’ was taking its toll.
“Andrew knew that if his mother didn’t rehabilitate him then all hope was gone.”
Speaking about what happened at the meeting, a source previously told the Mail on Sunday: “Andrew was totally blindsided. He is utterly bereft. He always believed there was a way back.”
The late Queen was one of Andrew’s key supporters within the family.
She allowed him to make a rare public appearance when he escorted her down the aisle at Prince Phillip’s memorial service.
The decision is said to have made senior royals feel uneasy.
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He said: “This is a very good example of King Charles making an extremely sensible necessary decision, very early in his reign and the fact it’s announced on his birthday is no accident.
“The news breaking on his birthday says it all.”
Mr Fitzwilliams pointed to the Duke of York’s poor approval ratings among the public, which he said had left the monarchy in a precarious position.
He added: “Since Andrew is in disgrace and that is most unlikely to change, the situation had been perilous.”
He continued: “Public opinion is solidly against Andrew and there is absolutely no chance according to all reports.
“The King is absolute on the issue and so is Prince William. That is that.”