The Meeting With King Charles That Allegedly Left Prince Andrew In Tears

The relationship between King Charles III and his brother Prince Andrew has had its ups and downs over the years. Charles was 11 years old when Andrew was born on February 19, 1960 (via Express), and he enjoyed spending time with his little brother. According to a Vanity Fair excerpt of Christopher Andersen's "The King," during school breaks, Charles spent time in the nursery reading bedtime stories to Andrew.

The brothers were close into adulthood, and enjoyed taking trips together with their wives, Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson. "When they were young handsome princes enjoying their early years of marriage, they were the 'Fab Four," royal author Katie Nicholl told 9Honey.

In recent years, however, their relationship has been one of conflict. A recent book by Angela Levin details Andrew's alleged attempt to stop Charles from taking the throne. The biggest source of recent royal conflict involved the Duke of York being accused of sexual abuse by Virginia Giuffre. Andrew paid Giuffre an out-of-court settlement, and the prince was stripped of his military titles and royal patronages and no longer considered a working royal, per the BBC.

Even so, the duke held onto the hope of regaining his royal status. Over the summer, Andrew held intense talks with Queen Elizabeth II. However, while Andrew and the queen had a special mother-son bond, the relationship between the brothers is different, as reports of a recent meeting demonstrate.

Prince Andrew's career as a working royal is over

According to the Daily Mail, shortly before the heartbreaking death of Queen Elizabeth II, then-Prince Charles held a private, one-on-one meeting with Prince Andrew, Duke of York. During their discussion, Charles made it clear Andrew would never resume royal duties. "Andrew was totally blindsided," a source told the outlet. "He is utterly bereft. He always believed there was a way back."

Sam McAlister, BBC producer of Andrew's ill-fated "Newsnight" interview, attributes the prince's thinking to "the royal delusion. He told Fox News, "the lifestyle had put him in a position where he believed that he was capable of giving good answers. He believed that he would be able to vindicate himself and return to the life that he led."

Those beliefs may have caused Andrew to envision a more positive outcome when he met with Charles. Instead, the duke was reportedly in tears after the king's definitive decision. "He came out of the meeting shaken. He is still in shock. He is completely lost and very depressed," a source told the Daily Mail. "He cannot comprehend there is no place for him in public life."

While Andrew may be shocked at his brother's position, royal author Valentine Low is not at all surprised. "Charles, whichever love or feelings he has for his brother, thinks he is too damaging for the Royal Family and there is no reason to think that that would change," Low told Express.

Prince Andrew is having a hard time adjusting to non-royal life

Now that he's out of the spotlight, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, is reportedly having a hard time figuring out his next step. Since he's not a working royal, Andrew won't be participating with his other family members at the upcoming Remembrance Day service, although he has adorned his horse with poppy pins. "He has no idea what the future holds and has no real plans," a source told the Daily Mail. "He has a support system but he is in bad shape. He is finding it hard to process the reality of how life will be from now on."

Andrew's days have been relatively quiet, consisting of horseback riding and walks with the late Queen Elizabeth's corgis. While he's relatively reclusive, some sources have reported on a positive change in the prince in the time since his disastrous "Newsnight" interview. 

"He has a much better understanding of the challenges he faces than at any other point in his life," an insider told The Telegraph. "He has a better sense of perspective – partly because he's had these three years to reflect – to do the work, and to focus on his immediate family. The Duke of York of today is much more thoughtful and more mindful than he has ever been."

Royal experts agree Andrew needs some job opportunities

Even though he's no longer a working royal, royal experts agree that Prince Andrew needs something to do beyond horseback riding and dog walks. "He is still only in his sixties and it would be unfair to say he couldn't make any contribution for the rest of his life," royal author Phil Dampier told the Daily Mail. "His best bet is probably to find a charity or cause he has not been involved with before, that has no royal connections and work behind the scenes."

Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams agrees. "It's time that a job is found for him out of the public eye as much as possible. You can't expect him to do absolutely nothing," Fitzwilliams told Newsweek.

However, finding charity work may not be so easy for the duke. According to The Sun, Andrew needs Buckingham Palace's approval before he works with any charitable organizations, and the palace has already denied several requests. Even so, one of the prince's friends told the outlet, "There are a number of charitable proposals under active consideration."

If Andrew can't find a role with a charity, Fitzwilliams has some alternative ideas: "A job with the royal estates, something reasonably quiet and that didn't involve public appearances. The Duke of Edinburgh used to do that as Ranger of the Great Park in Windsor," the commentator told Newsweek.