The Queen's response to Prince Andrew after the Jeffrey Epstein saga

The Queen's response to Prince Andrew after the Jeffrey Epstein saga

‘Intriguing’: The Queen’s response to Prince Andrew after he gave his first full account of the Jeffrey Epstein saga

  • Gyles Brandreth reveals the Queen’s conversation with Prince Andrew
  • The Prince gave his full account to the Queen following the accusations 
  • Her Majesty is said to have replied just a one word response ‘intriguing’  
  • Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait by Gyles Brandreth to be published in December 

In royal circles the Duke of York is now someone — like Harry and Meghan —whom it’s better not to talk about.

There is no doubt, however, that the Queen loved her second son to the last. When she died, each of her children published a personal statement about her. Part of Prince Andrew’s read: ‘Mummy, your love for a son, your compassion, your care, your confidence I will treasure for ever. I have found your knowledge and wisdom infinite, with no boundary or containment.

‘I will miss your insights, advice and humour. As our book of experiences closes, another opens, and I will forever hold you close to my heart with my deepest love and gratitude, and I will tread gladly into the next with you as my guide.’

Gyles Brandreth: The Duke of York, of course, told his mother the whole story of his long relationship with Epstein, all the ins and outs of it, and the details of the accusations made against him. Pictured: The Queen and Prince Andrew at The Investec Derby Festival in 2013

Some of the turns of phrase could have been written by his former wife, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, who still shares a home with the Prince, but the part of the message he very much wanted the rest of us to take note of was where he spoke of the ‘confidence’ the Queen had shown in him.

Prince Andrew stepped down from public life in 2019 over his friendship with the billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

He was stripped of his honorary military roles, including Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, and obliged to give up his HRH style in public.

But his mother stood by him. She loved her boy. She retained her ‘confidence’ in him.

That said, there had been a cloud hanging over his reputation, and the Queen was a realist. She essentially fired her own son.

A senior courtier said to me: ‘There was a lot of nonsense talked about no one being at the helm, but the Queen took a firm grip of things. To use the military jargon, there was only a few days between flash and bang. Action was called for and the Queen took it.’

Prince Andrew stepped down from public life in 2019 over his friendship with the billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Pictured: The Queen and Prince Andrew during Trooping The Colour, The Queen’s annual birthday parade, in 2019

The day after firing Andrew, however, she showed us how much she loved him by taking him riding with her through Windsor Great Park in the rain and ensuring that there were photographers on hand to capture the shot.

She was also glad to have him at her side as she travelled to her husband’s memorial service.

The rest of the Royal Family was less happy to see Prince Andrew taking centre stage — not because of any personal hostility, but because they feared the pictures of him side by side with Her Majesty would dominate press coverage of the memorial service. And so it proved.

The first time he gave her the full account of the whole sorry saga, she listened carefully.

Then the Queen, who never said more than was necessary, responded with just one word: ‘Intriguing.’

  • Extracted from Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait by Gyles Brandreth, to be published by Michael Joseph on December 8 at £25. © Gyles Brandreth 2022.
  • To order a copy for £20 (offer valid to 10/12/22; UK P&P free on orders over £20), visit www.mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937.

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