The Truth About Queen Elizabeth's Relationship With Prince Andrew

If you're a fan of Netflix's "The Crown," you'll know that Prince Andrew is rumored to be Queen Elizabeth's favorite child. But to what degree is this true and what kind of relationship do they have? 

While we will never truly know whether or not the Duke of York is actually the Queen's favorite son, according to Vanity Fair, the two do share a very close bond. This is likely due to the fact that unlike when Prince Charles and Princess Anne were born, the Queen seemed to have a lot more spare time up her sleeve to dedicate to Andrew when he was born. 

And as he grew up, this didn't really change. As reported by Camilla Tominey, Associate Editor of The Daily Telegraph and Royal Expert, "The Queen made time for [Andrew and Edward]. She used to turn up at the school with one bodyguard and drive herself sometimes. She would attend sports days and various matches."

According to reports, in the Queen's eyes, Prince Andrew "can do no wrong"

Even today, "Whenever she hears that Andrew is in Buckingham Palace, she'll send him a handwritten note, and he always goes to see her," a former palace aide told The Daily Mail, referencing the queen. "If he's in jeans, he'll change into a suit. And he always greets 'Mummy' in the same way — bowing from the neck, kissing her hand, and then kissing her on both cheeks. It's a little ritual that she adores. Believe me, he can do no wrong." 

This is particularly telling when it comes to Andrew's involvement with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and the subsequent scandal over the past couple of years. While it has been largely dismissed by the queen and the royal family, Andrew has stepped back from his royal duties in light of the controversy despite Buckingham Palace denying all allegations against the prince (via BBC).

The Queen's schedule made it easier for her to dote on him

It's natural that a parent is going to have a slightly different relationship with each of their children. And although Queen Elizabeth is, well, the Queen of England, she is no exception in this realm.

Per The Daily Beast, when the Queen's first two children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne, were born, she was much younger and more preoccupied with her royal duties. However, there's a 10-year difference between Anne and Prince Andrew, and by the time Andrew was born, the Queen was older and more relaxed.

"...She was unbelievably busy, but also quite a nervous new mum, so she let the nanny deal with the children," royal biographer Penny Junor explained. "But when the second batch of children (Andrew and Edward) were born, she was relaxed and in her stride professionally and much more confident as a mother. That is where it all comes from. Even today the queen's relationship with Andrew is much more relaxed and easier than that with Charles. Charles puts her on a pedestal, Andrew has a more traditional filial relationship with her."

With Andrew, the Queen found herself a more devoted mother than ever before. "She sat on the nursery floor and played with Andrew," said author Christopher Andersen. "She went along when he was picked up at school and turned up for sports days and other school events — things she never did for Charles, or for Anne either."

Stripping Andrew of his titles

This affection for Prince Andrew is likely the reason why the Queen looked the other way at his troubling behavior — which, according to South China Morning Post, dates all the way back to his childhood. Royal biographer Ingrid Seward revealed in her book "My Husband and I: The Inside Story of 70 Years of the Royal Marriage" that Prince Andrew would "kick at the dogs" and "taunt guardsmen."

But the Queen could only turn a blind eye to her son's misdeeds for so long. Following a U.S. judge's decision to allow Virginia Giuffre's civil lawsuit against Prince Andrew to continue, the Queen had no choice but to strip Andrew of his royal and military titles (via BBC News).

"It's quite brutal in many ways — the Queen is really putting a foot down and saying this cannot continue," David McClure, a royal expert, explained. "It has become tremendously damaging in terms of the reputation of the whole monarchy, not just Andrew, so the Queen really did have to make a decision." Andrew will no longer be addressed as His Royal Highness, and what's more, is that he won't be present at any of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations this coming June (via Vanity Fair).

"The Queen has a great ability to compartmentalize and deal with problems in a considered and pragmatic way," an aide shared, "but this is her beloved son and the decision she has made will be a very sad one for her."