Prince Andrew's Tense Bond with King Charles: 'Dagger to Heart' and 'Cutting Ties'

Tensions rise as King Charles pressures Prince Andrew.

by Nouman Rasool
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Prince Andrew's Tense Bond with King Charles: 'Dagger to Heart' and 'Cutting Ties'
© Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

King Charles and Prince Andrew are at loggerheads again, with the sovereign reportedly putting pressure on his junior brother to request his exit from the Royal Lodge in Windsor. Sources told The Standard that King Charles had warned Prince Andrew of dire consequences should he not vacate the 30-room mansion.

With a 75-year lease on the property, Andrew is reportedly digging in and refusing to leave, sparking off a deadlock rarely witnessed with respect of long-standing sibling tensions. This recent dispute is a part of a series of lengthy disputes between King Charles and his brother, Prince Andrew, often steered by Charles' vision for an anorexic monarchy.

Those long-simmering tensions have produced a strained relationship that seems no closer to buoyancy than in years past.

Divergent Childhoods and Family Dynamics

They were, after all, brothers, born 12 years apart and with different upbringings.

Charles, born in 1948, had been brought up under the expectation that he would one day become king, whereas Andrew, born in 1960, had enjoyed a closer, hands-on relationship with their mother, Queen Elizabeth II. Royal author Katie Nicholl points out how different their relationships with the Queen seem to be: "The Queen was much more hands-on with Andrew." Paul Burrell, the former butler of Princess Diana, added his thoughts about the situation, saying, "Andrew has always been the Queen's favorite son." The two brothers' lives intersected more closely in the 1980s through their marriages.

Charles married Princess Diana, and Andrew married Sarah Ferguson, who became known as Fergie. The two women became good friends, often appearing together at functions and taking their children off together on joint holidays.

It was during this time that Charles and Andrew began to spend more time together, cultivating a friendship that was to be short-lived. Both the marriages Charles and Andrew had entered into during that time ended in divorce in 1996, and the brothers' relationship started to become strained again.

As King, Charles has pursued a vision of a leaner royal family, shorn of Andrew's daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, who have never been allowed to take on a working royal role. The downsizing effort first became evident in 2011 when Beatrice and Eugenie had their taxpayer-funded security pulled, reportedly at Charles' behest because it was costing millions of pounds per year, and they were doing very little.

This caused significant friction, particularly with Andrew, who was angered by the perceived slight. Another vivid case of such an exclusion was in 2012 during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. On this occasion, Charles ensured that only the senior royals would appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace—and, of course, that meant excluding Andrew.

One close figure described the exclusion as a 'dagger to his heart' indicating Charles's determination to slim down the monarchy. The latest conflict is over Andrew's living at the Royal Lodge. King Charles is said to be planning to force Andrew to move to the more petite Frogmore Cottage, also in Windsor, that previously belonged to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Andrew, however, seems set to stay. The King, the keeper of the purse strings for the royal household, just might withhold funds to try to force Andrew out, stretching Andrew's ability to keep the property correctly. Despite the ultimatum from the King, Andrew remains very much his own man.

A source connected with the Duke said he was likely to "dig in" if the stand-off continued - and he had already secured a "stay of execution" because of the recent illness in the family. The struggle between King Charles and Prince Andrew epitomizes the contending visions of the future of the British monarchy that have led, for years, to tension in the royal family.

As the two leading royals continue to fight these words, the royal family is supposed to walk a challenging path to balance tradition and modernity.

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