Andrew is the Queen’s third child with Prince Philip, and his birth came as a surprise to the public. There is a 10-year age gap between Princess Anne and Andrew, but many saw his birth as a sign that the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh had managed to push past their previous marital problems. As a result he is widely seen as the couples’ favourite — and has even been accused of hiding behind his mother in the past to avoid criticism.
Last year after his car-crash interview with BBC Newsnight on his friendship with deceased, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, Andrew stepped back from his role on the royal frontline in his attempt to protect ‘the Firm’s’ image.
He faced a flurry of criticism from the public, yet the Queen showed her support for the Duke of York by choosing to step out with him in January for Sunday Mass in Norfolk.
Andrew, too, has shown his dedication to his mother in the past.
According to an interview with Tatler from 2000, “Andrew considers his own childhood perfect”.
He explained: “Particularly at Balmoral in the summer, when we were all there together.
“I remember so many little things, adventures, like riding my tricycle aged four or five at Windsor and turning it over and pulling a great hole in my knee.
“Or my first road-traffic accident in a go-kart when I was 12 — I found myself wedged between two trees.”
Tatler writer Geordie Greig pointed out: “He was certainly the most independent of his siblings at an early age.”
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“That meant a huge sacrifice for them.
“I remember my mother would look after Edward and me in the evenings in the palace, alone, quite happily.
“It was a proper family.”
However, he added that he is not into “PDA”, [public display of affection] with his family as when he was growing up it was “frowned upon”.
Andrew explained: “Remember, it is difficult if you are wearing an Ascot hat or uniform and are on parade.
“It is then that you whisper, ‘How, how about later?’
“And once you come off parade, you give them a jolly good hug.”
Charles, on the other hand, has been disparaging of his mother’s efforts to raise him in the past.
A source told The Sun last year: “The relationship between the Queen and Prince Charles has always been complicated, even as a bond between a mother and her eldest son, let alone as a complex entanglement of expectations and shared history between a monarch and her heir.
“In private, Charles has often accused his mother of being cold, distant or unavailable.”
Charles even confessed himself in a 1994 authorised biography written by Jonathan Dimbleby that he thought his parents were “emotionally reserved” during his childhood.