Associated with the height of pomp and circumstance, members of the royal family have to follow strict rules and regulations to keep themselves in check. From the outside, they have to be prim, proper, and totally perfect. But in recent years, it seems as though more and more skeletons have come out of the royal closet, and Prince Andrew has been at the center of this controversy. What many people don't realize, though, is that this isn't the first time the Queen's second son has brought beady eyes to the royal family. In fact, many believe that his troubled path paved the way for his controversial adult decisions. Read on to find out exactly what happened in the most contentious royal's life.
He Was Always the Favorite
Over the course of their marriage, Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip welcomed four children into the world. First came Prince Charles, followed by Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and then Prince Edward. While she loved all of her children, it's long been thought that the late Queen loved one more than the other. And while most would assume that would have been Charles as the heir to the throne, it seems as though that wasn't the case.
Apparently, the late monarch had a particular soft spot for Prince Andrew. It's claimed that when she welcomed Andrew into the world, she opted to spend more time with him than her other children, instead of relying on nannies to raise him.
Royal Staff Said Andrew Was 'indulged' as a Child
Of course, anyone who has been the favorite child will know that this allows you a certain amount of freedom. Nigel Cawthorne, the author of Prince Andrew's biography, suggested that Andrew took this freedom a little too far - becoming extremely spoiled and 'indulged at every turn.' Apparently, his behavior troubled the royal household staff, with many of them claiming him to be a 'handful' due to his stubborn and spoiled nature.
It's even been claimed that his former nanny referred to him as 'Baby Grumpling' because of the many temper tantrums he would throw if he didn't get his way. Unfortunately, things were only going to get worse as he got older.
He Became the School Bully
Like many other royal children, there came a time when Prince Andrew was shipped off to boarding school. At first, he was sent to Heatherdown School - but at just eight years old he failed to integrate himself as a happy and friendly student. Instead, it's claimed that he became the school bully. This continued when he followed in the footsteps of his older brother and attended the prestigious Gordonstoun School in Scotland.
Although Andrew reportedly made more friends there, these weren't the nicest friends. He was even called 'the Sniggerer' by his classmates, due to his love of rude and uncomfortable jokes.
From a Young Age, He Loved Women
While we're sure his parents hoped he would grow out of this stubborn and bullish stage, it's alleged that Andrew just got worse as the years went by. As he got older and grew into a teenager, he became even more troublesome - and treated royal staff less and less like people. In fact, former royal bodyguard Ken Wharfe described the young prince as being 'just awful' due to the way he treated people.
However, he wasn't rude to everyone. During this time, he grew to love women - particularly those who were blonde and busty. And when he came across those women, he would supposedly make rude remarks that made them uncomfortable.
His First Public Relationship Was Put Under Fire
It's been suggested that those in the royal family hoped that a good woman would calm him down, which is why they were over the moon to learn about his first public relationship with actress Koo Stark. The two lovebirds met when they were set up on a blind date in 1981, and before too long they made their debut to the world as an official couple. However, a year later, things went awry.
The next year, one of Stark's acting credits got the whole world talking. That's because she had starred in the historical drama Emily in 1976, and part of this role required her to take off her clothes and kiss a woman.
He Fought Back Against the Media
As you can imagine, the royal family and its loyal subjects didn't take too kindly to Koo's acting skills, and she and Prince Andrew were hounded on all sides. In the end, the pressure from the paparazzi and the royals led to their breakup. But that wasn't the end of Andrew's controversial life. In 1984, Andrew decided to pay a prank on the reporters covering his trip to Southern California.
To do this, Andrew grabbed a nearby paint sprayer and covered reporters with layers upon layers of paint. The prince had to pay $1,200 in compensation, but it wasn't about the money for those reporters. They were allegedly more concerned about the glee on Andrew's face as he sprayed them.
Andrew Rarely Spent Time With His Wife
A few years later, Prince Andrew found someone to marry that the royal family approved of. Her name was Sarah Ferguson, a wealthy young 'country girl' who was a direct descendant of King Charles II of England. The couple married in front of 500 million people in a televised ceremony in 1986, and it seemed as though the general public had high hopes for Sarah, Prince Andrew, and their marriage.
Unfortunately, the newlyweds didn't get off to a good start. Two weeks after the wedding, Andrew had to go back to his job within the Royal Navy - and the couple rarely saw each other. In fact, in their first year of marriage, they reportedly spent only 40 days together.
He Was Absent During Sarah's First Pregnancy
Sarah had married a man in the royal family, so she understood that her husband would be busy. However, it's been noted that she didn't realize the extent of his schedule when they got married, and his absence upset her. Things got even worse when Sarah became pregnant with their first child, as Sarah had hoped her husband would be by her side. Instead, he allegedly only turned up just days before she gave birth.
Ten days after giving birth to Princess Beatrice, Andrew left his wife once again. It's believed that Sarah asked Buckingham Palace whether her husband could return home, but was instead told to 'grow up and get a grip.'
Despite His Absence, Andrew Was Jealous of Competition
With her husband away and the stress of a newborn, it's been suggested that Sarah struggled. She was reportedly lonely and feeling extremely unloved, which is when she reportedly turned to her friend Meat Loaf for attention. Both Sarah and the singer have confirmed that there was never anything romantic between them, but rather they just enjoyed spending time together. However, it seems as though Andrew didn't like Sarah getting this attention.
Meat Loaf has claimed that Prince Andrew became so jealous of their friendship that Andrew once made his way over to him and pushed him to the ground. When Meat Loaf tried to retaliate, Andrew apparently replied with, 'You can't touch me. I'm royal.'
They Eventually Called It Quits
According to Sarah's memoir, she decided that enough was enough in 1992 and decided to separate from her royal husband. However, she had never wanted to divorce him. She simply wanted her own space for a while, and see whether that brought them back together. That plan came crashing down when pictures of Sarah in a compromising position with billionaire John Bryan were published in both national and international newspapers.
The pictures embarrassed Andrew and the royal family, and it's believed that Andrew didn't need too much convincing to file for divorce from his wife. Unfortunately, his negative experiences with women didn't end there.
Sarah Started Afresh, but Andew Didn't
Although Sarah was devastated to hear that her husband wanted a divorce, she knew that it was for the best. After all, she had wanted more from her life. As a member of the royal family, she wasn't allowed to work or follow her own passions. By divorcing Prince Andrew, she allowed herself the chance to start afresh and live her own life. Many wondered whether it would also give Andrew the same push.
It's believed that the Queen wanted the divorce to catapult Andrew to become his best self. But, instead, it seems as though he simply entered into a dramatic downward spiral.
With Sarah Gone, Andrew Became Even Angrier
Without Sarah to take care of him, Andrew reportedly relied heavily on royal household staff to keep his life running in order. And while they had hoped that he had changed and softened after his divorce, it seemed to have the opposite effect. His former maid told the tabloids that he was always angry and aggressive, and that he once shouted at her over a pair of curtains that she didn't shut in the way that he wanted.
When Sarah accidentally left a gap in the curtains, letting in some light, Andrew reportedly went mad. In fact, he was apparently so angry and aggressive that it made her cry.
He's Also Very Particular About His Stuffed Toys
It seems as though curtains aren't the only things that Andrew needs to be just so. Apparently, Prince Andrew is very fond of his stuffed toy collection - and the New York Post claims that he has 72 plush teddy bears that have to be arranged in a certain order and in a specific way. It's thought that the biggest always have to be at the back, while the smallest can sit at the front.
According to former royal staff members, Andrew is so particular about his plush toys that he had a set of instructions printed off and laminated so his staff would never forget.
Andrew Is Also Very Competitive With His Brother
As well as having a very specific collection of plush toys, it's been suggested that Prince Andrew also has a vendetta against his older brother. According to Janette McGowan, who previously served as a maid for the royal family, Andrew was extremely stubborn and competitive when it came to Prince Charles - and this was shown on one occasion when Andrew put his toiletry bag in Prince Charles' bathroom without realizing it was his brother's.
Janette informed Andrew that he had put his bag in the wrong bathroom, but this didn't go down well with the Queen's second-oldest son. Apparently, Andrew refused to move his bag and entered into a 'bizarre stand-off' with his brother.
He Lets His Female Companions Sit on the Throne
It's been suggested that Prince Andrew doesn't like to lose - and it seems as though that's also the case when it comes to women. But while everyone has their own way of wooing their conquests, it's been alleged that Andrew's charm offensive is more unique than most. Apparently, he had 'a habit of seating his potential conquests' on the throne that then belonged to his mother. This was confirmed by supermodel Caprice Bourret.
Caprice revealed to the press that Prince Andrew let her sit on the throne on numerous occasions, but this wasn't the first or the last time that Andrew decided to defy the strict rules of the royal family.
Now, He's Being Called Out for His Frequent Flying
During his youth, it seemed as though many people were willing to look past Prince Andrew's bad behavior and put it down to age and inexperience. But when he got older, the patience of the public started to wear thin - especially after his divorce from Sarah Ferguson. In fact, his love of spending money has been called out in the past, most notably in regards to his frequent flying.
He's since been given the nickname of 'Air Miles Andy' and is apparently notorious for taking short flights when he could simply drive from one destination to the next. On one occasion, he even called an RAF jet to take him to Scotland to play golf.
He's Spent an Extortionate Amount on Flights
As well as being called out for the environmental impact of these unnecessary flights, Prince Andrew has also been called out for how much money they're costing. It's been reported that in 2003 alone, the Prince spent the equivalent of $435,000 on traveling by air. In 2008, he even spent $177,000 for a single private flight to the United States, and royal fans couldn't get on board with this frivolity.
You'd have thought the backlash from this kind of travel would urge him to change his ways, but that hasn't happened. Instead, Andrew has relied on these flights to take him to even more controversial destinations.
Sarah Caused a Scandal When She Used Andrew
But while there's no doubt about the fact that Prince Andrew has caused a stir over the years, it seems as though he's not the only one. In 2010, Sarah Ferguson was put under the microscope when it was revealed that she had allegedly used Andrew for financial gain. Apparently, she needed money, and so she promised someone she knew that they could get close to the Prince. Of course, it would cost them.
What Sarah didn't realize was that this person wasn't any average Joe. They were actually an undercover reporter, so it didn't take long for this story to reach the press.
Andrew Has Some Questionable Friends
Sarah isn't the only one with questionable contacts, though. Over the course of his lifetime, Prince Andrew has met thousands of people - but only a few of them have become his good friends. These are the people who were ultimately invited to attend family functions and his daughter's birthday parties. But now that scandals have come to light, his friendship circle has come under fire. In fact, both Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell were invited to Princess Beatrice's 18th birthday party.
As if that wasn't enough, Andrew invited Tarek Kaituni to a party a few years later. As this man is an alleged fraudster and gun smuggler, many wondered who Andrew was hanging out with.
His Choice of Words Has Also Been Criticized
As a member of the royal family, there's a lot of pressure on Prince Andrew to be on his best behavior at all times. And while we'd understand the odd hiccup, it seems as though Andrew has slipped up way too many times for many people's liking. In 2012, he came under fire when he was accused of using an offensive term while in conversation with a political aide. However, this story didn't come to light until 2019.
Although the aide publicly called the prince out for the alleged incident, Buckingham Palace denied any wrongdoing on Andrew's part and suggested that it hadn't happened at all. Buckingham Palace had to get involved in 2016, too.
He Even Destroyed the Gates of Windsor Great Park
Stories of Andrew's alleged rude and stubborn behavior have circulated since he was a young boy, and it seems as though he just couldn't control his emotions in 2016. As Andrew drove up to the gates of the popular Windsor Great Park, he waited for the gates to automatically open for him - as they always did. However, on that day, the gates malfunctioned and they just wouldn't open for him.
There was an alternative route, but this would have added another mile to his journey. So, Andrew decided to simply ram the gates open and go through them that way. Although pressure was put on Buckingham Palace to call him out, they refused to comment.
He Reportedly Made a Sly Dig at Meghan and Harry
Although Prince Andrew was reportedly the Queen's favorite child, it's been suggested that he struggles to get on with the rest of his family. In fact, it's also claimed that he feels that his family is always overlooked compared to his older brother's family - which doesn't sit well with him. His bitter feelings towards his brother may have resulted in him making sly comments about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding.
Just before his daughter, Princess Eugenie, got married, he told the press that they needed such a large church to get married in because they had so many friends. Many took this as a dig at Harry and Meghan, and that he was suggesting they weren't well-loved.
His Friendships With Criminals Has Raised Eyebrows
Members of the royal family should be careful in terms of who they associate with, but it's been suggested that Andrew hasn't worried too much about the rules over the course of his life. Not only has been been associated with questionable friends, but he's also been associated with those who have been accused of bending the law. In 2008, he even became friends with a Libyan dictator before he was assassinated.
Not only that, but Andrew has also been associated with David Rowland - a controversial businessman known for being a tax exile. Of course, we're sure you know what's coming next.
Andrew's Friendship With Epstein Didn't Go Down Well
Over the course of his lifetime, Andrew's many controversial friends have raised eyebrows. However, none have caused as much upset as his friendship with the infamous Jeffrey Epstein. Although Jeffrey had been a controversial figure since the early '00s, it was revelations of abuse and sex trafficking in 2019 that really brought him to the center of our attention. His friendship with Prince Andrew also had people talking - and not in a good way.
Andrew and Epstein had reportedly been friends for decades, which made many people question whether Andrew knew anything about Epstein's crimes. More than anything, though, they questioned whether he had been involved.
He Was Then Accused of Inappropriate Behavior
As news of Epstein's crimes came to light and as more and more victims came forward, Prince Andrew's name was brought even further into the equation when Virginia Giuffre directly accused the prince of inappropriate behavior. She claimed that she had been physically intimate with the prince three times previously, the first time in 2001 when she was just 17 years old. In fact, she also claimed that Ghislaine Maxwell had been the one to tell her to do it.
Virginia then claimed that the second and third occasions took place in New York and on Jeffrey Epstein's private island, but not because she wanted to. She claimed that she was too scared to turn him down.
Prince Andrew Denied Virginia's Claims
When Virginia's claims came to light, there was no doubt about the fact that the world was shocked. The royals had been involved in controversy over the years, but Virginia's claims were incredibly serious - and so they waited on tenterhooks to hear Andrew's response. Of course, Andrew and his team quickly denied the claims and hoped that his denial would be enough to make the story go away. However, that didn't happen.
To help his case, Andrew told the world that he had never met Virginia before. But it didn't take the press long to find photo evidence of the two embracing each other.
He Tried to Clear His Name
When the photo went viral, Andrew tried to claim that it had been photoshopped - but once again it didn't work. In one final attempt to clear his name, Andrew then did something that royal family members are taught not to do. He decided to set up an interview and address the scandal head-on, in the hopes that he would be able to turn the table and maintain his innocence.
The interview was not well-received, though, with members of the public calling it a 'car crash' after the prince tried to claim that he was at a pizza restaurant when he reportedly assaulted Virginia. He even claimed that he couldn't sweat.
He Ultimately Stepped Back From Royal Duties
Although Prince Andrew had hoped that the interview would smooth out his problems, it seemed to have the opposite effect. Public opinion of him went down exponentially, and more and more people began to think that he was guilty. However, they were still surprised when Andrew announced that he would be stepping back from royal duties just a couple of days after his interview. It was a bold move - and one that would either make or break him.
It's believed that Andrew wanted to wait until the whole thing blew over before returning to his duties, but unfortunately for him that didn't happen. Before too long, things got even worse.
The FBI Called Him Out
While many people stopped talking about Prince Andrew and Virginia's claims for a little while, they reared to a head once again in 2020 when the FBI got involved. They were investigating Jeffrey Epstein, and had wanted Prince Andrew to help them out with their investigations. However, the bureau ultimately called out the royal for being unwilling to speak to them about the man they had once called a friend.
They said that the prince had given them 'zero cooperation' - but once again his team denied these claims. They instead made their own claims that the FBI had failed to reach out to him.
At the Time, He Was Also Being Sued
2019 and 2020 were tough years for Prince Andrew, but things got progressively worse for him when he became embroiled in another legal drama. At that time, both Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson were sued by Isabelle de Rouvre as they apparently owed her around $8.96 million for a ski chalet in Switzerland that they bought from her. It's believed that neither Andrew or Sarah had the money do it, so they opted to enter into a 5-year payment plan with her.
However, when they still hadn't paid her any money down the line, Isabelle knew she had no choice but to take legal action against the former couple. It wasn't long before another lawsuit came Andrew's way, either.
Virginia Filed a Lawsuit Against Him, Too
In August 2021, while the lawsuit with Isabelle was still ongoing, Andrew was dealt another blow when Virginia decided to take her claims to court. She filed a case against Andrew, accusing him of battery and assault, having the Child Victims Act on her side as she was just 17 years old at the time. Of course, this raised eyebrows even more - with many wonder how the Queen's favorite child had changed so much.
Thankfully for Andrew, he didn't need to battle two lawsuits at once, as Isabelle later decided to withdraw her case against the prince. He still had the more serious case against him, though.
The MET Dropped Their Case Against Him
As Virginia filed a lawsuit against him in the United States, Andrew also had to deal with pressure from police in the UK. It was their job to investigate any claims that took place on English soil, and so that's exactly what they did. But in a win for the prince, the MET police eventually decided that they wouldn't be taking action against him and that they would be closing the case against him.
They stated that they had no reason to believe anything untoward had happened between Andrew and Virginia and that they felt they had no need to take these claims any further.
Nevertheless, He Lost His Royal Patronages
Although the UK police dropping the case against him was a major win, that didn't stop people talking about him. More than ever, Andrew was put under the microscope, with more and more people losing faith in the once-popular member of the royal family. And with a serious lawsuit against him in the United States, Buckingham Palace felt as though they had to finally take action. So, they took away his royal patronages and military affiliations.
This means that he can no longer be called His Royal Highness, and the palace even stated that they would be stepping back from the lawsuit and ensuring that Andrew fights his case 'as a private citizen.'
His Social Media Accounts Were Also Deleted
As well as losing his royal patronages and being forced to fight his legal battles without the help of his powerful family and their advisors, Andrew also had his social media accounts deleted a few days later. While many members of the royal family have public social media channels that allow them to connect with their fans and followers, it seems that it was decided that it would no longer serve Andrew to have something similar.
When the world saw this, they were torn. While some believed this to be somewhat of an admission of guilt, there were others who thought that he was simply protecting himself.
Andrew's Request to Throw Out the Case Was Denied
In a last-ditch effort to clear his name, Prince Andrew asked the judge to throw out the case against him. His legal team did this because Virginia had reportedly reached an agreement with Jeffrey Epstein and his lawyers back in 2009 that she wouldn't ever take her claims to the court. And while Andrew and his team hoped that this would work in his favor, it didn't as Andrew was never included in that original deal.
And while the world waited for the trial to start, it was announced in February 2022 that the case had ultimately been settled out of court and that the case would no longer be going to trial.