What We Know About Prince Philip's Relationship With Prince Andrew

While all family dynamics can be complicated, relationships between fathers and sons tend to be particularly rife with complications and high expectations. Particularly when the father and son are part of a royal family. Lineage, societal pressures, and expectations of marriage and children can all muddy the waters, and fathers and sons of England's Windsor royal family are no exception. Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, and his son Prince Andrew have been long-rumored to have a tumultuous relationship.

Back in the 1990s, when the royal family was making tabloid headlines all over the world due to the dual controversies of Prince Charles' separation from Princess Diana and Prince Andrew's divorce from Sarah Ferguson, Prince Philip was asked privately how he felt about the dissolution of both of his sons' marriages. He replied, "Everything I have worked for 40 years has been in vain" (via Town and Country). Yikes.

Prince Philip was "annoyed" by Andrew's reputation

Even before the scandal that ensued when Prince Andrew divorced his wife, it was rumored that Prince Philip would often lose his patience and even his temper with Andrew, and that his wife Sarah, known as Fergie, would often defend him. Back in 1986, Vanity Fair said"Andrew's romantic escapades, together with some much-publicized midshipman japes (he has a penchant for practical jokes), earned him the reputation of Royal Lout-About-Town, a label that saddened his mother and annoyed his father" (via Express). At the time, it was believed that Prince Philip, while frustrated by some of his son's unseemly antics, actually admired Andrew's macho man attitude and preferred it to Charles' sensitive soul-searching.

More recently, Prince Philip found himself once again embarrassed and disturbed by his son's actions when Andrew's association with convicted sex offender Jeffery Epstein came to light. While the Queen reportedly encouraged her husband to remain uninvolved, the media circus that ensued made it difficult for Prince Philip to ignore (via Town and Country). In fact, according to The U.S. Sunthe royal family was planning a 100th birthday party for Prince Philip in 2020, and Andrew was to be involved as little as possible. An unnamed inside source told the publication, "There is a warning from up high to play down Andrew. He will be included as little as possible. ... This is obviously proving difficult because he is his son and it's playing down his role in the family." 

Their relationship was murky before Philip's death

The hits keep on coming for Prince Andrew. According to CNN, the monarch has been stripped of his military titles, meaning he will no longer be able to use the term "His Royal Highness." This comes after a judge allowed the sexual abuse case against Andrew to proceed. While the news is shocking to some, Andrew has not been fulfilling his royal duties since the scandal came to light in 2019. The decision for Andrew to step aside was made by the whole family and was an unfortunate moment leading up to Philip's death just two years later.

After Andrew stepped away from his royal duties, he was not seen by the public in any capacity until his father's funeral in 2021. Andrew, who reportedly was denied his request to wear an Admiral's uniform at the service by his mother, according to Daily Mail, still told reporters afterwards that the family was "rallying round" the Queen after their "terrible loss" (via Express).

Despite their recent relationship, Philip and Andrew were once very close

While news of Prince Philip's disdain for his son was often played out in the news, the pair were actually quite close when Andrew was young. According to Nigel Cawthorne, who wrote the book "Prince Andrew: Epstein and the Palace," Philip saw an instant "connection" with Andrew when he was born (via Express). In fact, Philip and the royal family thought of the pair as "identical," with similar mannerisms, something that delighted the Prince.

The book also reveals that Philip seemed more protective over Andrew, and in return, he "was not put out by his father's commands and bonded closely with him." Andrew even followed in his father's footsteps by going "straight to naval college" instead of a university, according to royal historian Piers Brendon, per Showbiz Cheat Sheet. Philip loved his time in the Royal Navy, and according to The Royal Family, he had a "deep passion for Naval history."

When he was born, Andrew was also the first child to be given the surname Mountbatten-Windsor, which is in honor of Philip's last name, Mountbatten. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry also gave this surname to their son, Archie, as a nod to the Queen and Prince Philip (via Harper's Bazaar).

While Philip is no longer with us, Andrew has a long road ahead of him when it comes to his legal woes.