12 Facts About Prince William's Relationship With His Uncle Prince Andrew

Every family seems to have its outcast  — for the royal family, one person fulfills the role to a tee: Prince Andrew. The late Queen Elizabeth II's second eldest son and arguably her favorite child, Andrew was always a bit of a rabble-rouser back in the day and got away with quite a lot more than his older brother, then-Prince Charles, who was gearing up to take the throne. Their sister, Princess Anne, has always been dedicated to the monarchy and its causes, and their youngest sibling Prince Edward is pretty drama-free by royal standards — but not Andrew. Not only did he get married and divorced — a big no-no for the family — but he partied hard and was known for his philandering ways. That, of course, was all before the scandal involving Jeffrey Epstein unfolded.


Though Prince Harry has taken a lot of the heat when it comes to recent royal drama, it would make much more sense if such criticism fell on Andrew in equal or more extreme measures. In 1999, Andrew and Epstein's paths crossed for the first time, and alongside Ghislaine Maxwell, the trio rubbed shoulders with Donald Trump, the world's billionaires, and more. By 2001, Andrew was introduced to then-minor Virginia Giuffre, who would later accuse the prince of sexual assault. By 2019, the allegations against Andrew made their way into the public eye, and everything unraveled for him, including his relationship with his nephew, Prince William.

1. William and Andrew were once close, and Andrew even tried to replace Charles

Though the royal family operates as both relatives and an institution with press offices, agendas, and so on, Prince Andrew and Prince William were said to be fairly close back in the day. After Princess Diana tragically passed away in 1997 when William was just 15 years old, Andrew reportedly took it upon himself to step into William's life in a more meaningful way — he even tried to become his nephew's regent.


As it turns out, Andrew took advantage of the horrific timing of Diana's death to step into both William's life and thwart his older brother in the process. Nigel Cawthorne, who worked as Andrew's biographer, told the Daily Beast that the second eldest prince tried to circumvent then-Prince Charles and William in the line of succession, using Diana's passing as reasoning to highlight Charles' instability. As such, if Queen Elizabeth II had died when William was still a teenager and Andrew's plan was successful, he'd step in as king until his nephew was ready to take the crown.

"Andrew tried to push Charles out of the way during the Diana scandal," Cawthorne explained. "As Charles' popularity plummeted, Andrew lobbied the palace to install him as a regent for William. That has created friction between them which persists to this day."


2. Andrew tried to save face in 2019 but was ousted from his royal titles thanks to William

Not a ton of information came out about Prince Andrew and Prince William's dynamic in the early to mid-2000s — everything was relatively calm by royal standards. That, of course, changed dramatically in 2019 when Andrew found himself finally facing allegations lodged by Virginia Giuffre and the truth of his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein becoming public. In an attempt to save face, Andrew sat down with the BBC for an interview and tried to explain away the sins that were so horrifying to the public — it wasn't successful, and in its aftermath, William was said to be operating within the institution's walls to start ousting his uncle once and for all.


A week after the interview aired, The Times asserted that William was "not a huge fan of his uncle Andrew," and saw the scandal and its fallout as an opportunity to amend Andrew's role within the family. The first example of William's efforts came amid Andrew's 60th birthday, an otherwise exciting celebration marking a milestone birthday. Instead of pulling out all the stops, Buckingham Palace removed Andrew's office from the landmark hub of the royal family and tossed out his birthday plans, opting for dinner amongst family instead of a lavish get-together. Through this simple act, it became clear that Andrew was on his way out.

3. Despite Queen Elizabeth's reservations, William and Charles continued to push Andrew to the side

Perhaps one of the biggest and most insurmountable hurdles standing in Prince William's plans to cast his uncle, Prince Andrew, to the side was the late Queen Elizabeth. Andrew had often been described as the queen's favorite child, and just their interactions alone proved that she had a soft spot for her thirdborn. In fact, when Virginia Giuffre sued Andrew and he finally settled, the queen unsurprisingly stepped in to help settle her son's debts, dishing out about $16 million. As such, William and then-Prince Charles' efforts to exclude Andrew from the royal family's public life were deterred, and the British public certainly had something to say about it.


"It's interesting because the queen seems to protect Andrew a lot," a royal source told the New York Post regarding the challenging dynamic that the queen presented to both William and Charles at the time. Yet another pointed out the rather developed relationship between William and Charles, highlighting that their willingness to trust one another and sink Andrew's ship forced them to work out their well-documented differences.

"Before, it was very much William and his brother, Prince Harry, as a team," a palace insider pointed out. "With Harry and William not in a great place, William and Charles seem to be the new team. They have to rely on each other."

4. William actively avoided questions about his uncle back in 2022

The royal family members may not be political, but they'd make great politicians. Prince Andrew was able to cover up his sins for years, and only recently faced the consequences of his actions alongside Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. Prince William, meanwhile, is excellent at deterring the advances of the press when he wants to, and he did just that in 2022 when reporters asked him about his uncle. William was at the Foundling Museum — Britain's very first children's charity — in the aftermath of Andrew being stripped of his military titles and royal patronages. As he was leaving the museum, William faced a question from Chris Ship of ITV. "Your Royal Highness, can I just ask, do you support Prince Andrew?" Ship can be heard asking in the video (via Twitter). In a rather politician-esque capacity, William responded, "Sorry, I can't hear you." Ship reiterated his question, and instead of acknowledging the line of inquiry, William simply walked away.


It turns out that William may have taken a cue from his father, then-Prince Charles, who responded to a line of questioning about his brother in a rather similar way. When asked — again by Ship — "Can I ask your view on your brother's position, Prince Andrew? How do you view it?" Charles turned in the other direction, shook hands with someone else beside him, and carried on with his day (via Twitter).

5. William was said to be lobbying from the inside against his uncle

As it became clear that Queen Elizabeth's health was declining and then-Prince Charles would finally be taking the throne, reports about his approach to the monarchy hit the headlines. Charles — who has always been in favor of modernizing the institution — was reportedly ready to slim down the firm as much as possible, and his plan included exiling his brother, Prince Andrew, once and for all. United in the said plan was Prince William, and ahead of the prince's 40th birthday, the Daily Mail published an extensive piece by royal reporter Rebecca English who quoted sources as saying that William was "on the same page" as Charles when it came to addressing the Andrew-sized elephant in the room.


"He feels very strongly about this and if it had been up to him he would have pushed for things to have happened a lot faster than they did," a source told English about William's perspective on Andrew at the time. "He has strong views on the Duke of York and believes his insistence in trying to cling on to a public role is highly dangerous for the institution. He would have cut him loose a long time ago if it had been up to him. He understands that when it comes to mother and son the situation is complicated, but honestly I think he just wishes he would vanish from public view."

6. Andrew's potential presence at this event resulted in an ultimatum from William

An important aspect of the monarchy is tradition, and Prince William has certainly embraced the firm and all its pomp and circumstance. Despite this, however, he has remained adamant that Prince Andrew keep his distance, and such a perspective resulted in an ultimatum from William in 2022. In a surprising move, Andrew attended the Service of Thanksgiving in honor of the late Prince Philip in March 2022 — though it was an event memorializing his father, the public was surprised to see Andrew alongside the rest of the royal family. Just months later came the Order of the Garter ceremony, one of the oldest and noblest traditions — but for such an occasion rooted in historical importance, William put his foot down.


At the time, an insider told the Evening Standard that William simply would not budge from his position on Andrew's attendance. "The Duke of Cambridge was adamant," the source expressed. "If [the Duke of] York insisted on taking part publicly, he would withdraw." As it happened, Andrew was included in the ceremony's initial program, indicating that he would be in attendance. Given William's ultimatum and his heightened importance within the royal family and position in the line of succession, his wishes were ultimately met. Andrew was promptly uninvited from the day's celebrations and did not appear publicly, though a source close to Andrew maintained that it was his decision to step aside.

7. William's relationship with Andrew and his two daughters has suffered over time

Given his place in the line of succession and the inevitability that he will one day be king, Prince William's importance within the royal family has always trumped that of others. Notably, of course, is Prince Harry and the ways in which being the "spare" has impacted his life — an entirely different article would be needed to break down such a dynamic — but Prince Andrew's daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, have reportedly felt such inequalities too. 


As the campaign against Andrew began to formulate between William and then-Prince Charles, Beatrice and Eugenie were said to be growing increasingly frustrated with their cousin and uncle for excluding their father from royal events, creating newfound friction between them all. Royal commentator Neil Sean further revealed that the shared relationships between the family members were disintegrating in real time, with Andrew at the very center of the dissolution.

"There is a big story breaking in the Royal Family that has remained under the radar largely, and it's to do with Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge, and William's father Prince Charles," Sean told Express. "According to very good sources, Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice are seemingly struggling to remain cordial with Prince William, Catherine, and Charles. It stems from the deal organised by William, the Queen, and Prince Charles to remove their father Prince Andrew from royal duties following his disgrace in recent years."


8. William and Andrew reunited during this tragic loss

Though they were once said to be fairly close, Prince William and Prince Andrew's relationship took a huge tumble starting in 2019 — their dynamic has only dissolved with time, but it was a tragedy that finally brought the two of them back together (whether they liked it or not). On the morning of September 8, 2022, Buckingham Palace released the following statement: "Following further evaluation this morning, the queen's doctors are concerned for Her Majesty's health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision. The queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral" (via People). Though the statement was rather diplomatic and lacked a certain amount of detail, it seemed as though the whole world knew that her life was coming to an end — this was only confirmed when her family members were seen traveling to Scotland to be by her side.


Then-Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, made it to Balmoral to be with the queen in her final hours, and William, Andrew, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, followed. They were spotted landing at Aberdeen's airport shortly after the statement was released, and William then drove his uncles and aunt to the castle to be with the ailing monarch. Photographed in the driver's seat, William looked visibly shaken, responsible for getting two of the queen's children to Balmoral in time. Queen Elizabeth II passed shortly thereafter at 96 years old.

9. William could potentially remove Andrew's royal titles and bestow them on his own son

In case you're new here, royal titles are a big deal. When bestowed, they designate importance, though there are quite a lot of politics concerning who gets what title. For instance, the Duke of Edinburgh title is currently being fought over, as it was supposed to be given to Prince Edward. King Charles III, meanwhile, has held onto the title and is said to be considering giving it to Princess Charlotte, Prince William's second child and only daughter, causing quite a lot of friction between the brothers. The Duke of York title — which currently belongs to Prince Andrew — is similarly being fought over, and it could be given to Prince Louis in time. Though he is still a little kid, he could be given the title in a relatively short period of time — it all has to do with the line of succession.


When Charles became king, he bestowed the Prince and Princess of Wales titles on William and Catherine. Charles is already in his 70s and the public could see William take the throne in just a few short years. As such, when he does take the crown, William will likely give Louis the Duke of York title as it has been given to the second oldest son of the monarch for years. If this happens, Andrew will cease to have any royal titles, military designations, or patronages.

10. Andrew oddly reunited with William during the Christmas 2022 season

The royal family is all about tradition, and they really go all out during the holiday season. Princess Catherine had a heightened public role during the 2022 festivities, and all the family members came out in support of her work. Soon after, all the extended family once again came together to embark on the famous Christmas walk — strolling from the Sandringham estate to the Church of St. Mary Magdalene for the holiday service. Pictures from years gone by will show just how storied of a tradition this is — the royals walk the picturesque path lined with well-wishers and attend service before heading back for some holiday cheer (and what we can only imagine are some impressive presents). In 2022 — the family's first Christmas season without Queen Elizabeth — Prince Andrew oddly joined them for the holiday walk to the church. It was just as awkward as you might think.


Pictures from the day in question show Andrew trailing behind Prince William, Princess Catherine, and their children at the back of the line. After briefly crossing paths with Catherine, Andrew kept his distance and instead walked with his younger brother, Prince Edward, and his two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Eugenie. Pictured talking with the reverend, Dr. Paul Williams, outside the church, Andrew and William certainly didn't appear to make eye contact throughout the entire holiday tradition.

11. William will replace any role Andrew may have played during Charles' coronation

Though he became king as soon as Queen Elizabeth passed, King Charles has yet to be crowned. His coronation is set to take place on May 6, 2023 — oddly enough, that day is Archie Mountbatten-Windsor's birthday — and though it's said to be scaled back when compared to coronations of the past, it'll still be a big deal. Charles' siblings and the prominent family members will play important roles on the day, but — as you may have guessed — it's been reported that Prince Andrew will not be extended an invitation. In fact, the role that he likely would've played on the day will be filled in by Prince William.


Though Andrew is still a Knight of the Garter — and such members are important during a coronation — Charles is reportedly considering William, Princess Anne, and Prince Edward to fill in the duties that Andrew would've fulfilled. In fact, to make matters even harsher for the banished prince, Andrew reportedly won't even be extended an invitation to join the royal family on the Buckingham Palace balcony after the coronation takes place. Any royal watcher will tell you the importance of the balcony appearance — whether it be after a wedding or during the Trooping the Colour. Such a display of exclusion on Charles and William's part goes to show just how adamant they are about keeping Andrew out of the spotlight.


12. William is dedicated to keeping his uncle out of the public eye moving forward

If one thing is clear, it's that Prince William is the future of the monarchy. As the direct heir to the throne and a young man in his 40s, it's likely that we will see William on the throne for a good chunk of time — followed by his son, Prince George. With such a newfound sense of modernity within the monarchy, it's no wonder that William is dead set on keeping Prince Andrew — who has brought a serious amount of shame to the firm — out of the public eye. In fact, royal expert Shannon Felton Spence explained to Fox News Digital (via Yahoo!) that despite Andrew's desire to rebuild his public image and return to his life pre-scandal, William simply won't allow it.


"The king and Prince of Wales know how damaging he is, and they made it known even before the queen's death that they would not tolerate him or entertain any path back to public life," Felton Spence explained of Andrew's future. "The king and Prince William are on a protect-at-all-cost mentality. ... All of this is about whether Andrew can regain his status. He cannot and will not, regardless of the coronation."