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Queen gives ‘favourite’ Prince Andrew ‘maternal support’ amid ‘enormous pressures’

Vanessa Feltz believes Queen loves Prince Andrew unconditionally

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Prince Andrew, 61, is at the centre of fresh controversy after Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre filed a lawsuit in the USA on Monday claiming the Duke of York, sexually abused her when she was 17. While Andrew has not responded to the latest twist in the Epstein scandal, he has previously categorically denied all allegations of sexual misconduct made against him.

The Duke of York withdrew from public life in 2019 after a TV interview about his longstanding friendship with deceased billionaire paedophile Epstein was widely criticised.

Despite no longer being a working royal, Andrew is still thought to be Queen Elizabeth II’s favourite son and she will seek to comfort him during this difficult time, one royal commentator has claimed.

Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, 61, were spotted arriving at Balmoral on Monday and are expected to remain in the Scottish Highlands for several days.

The York family is a tight-knit unit and Andrew and Fergie’s daughters Princess Beatrice, 33, and Princess Eugenie, 31, are also thought to be there.

Touching on the Queen’s fondness for Andrew and his family, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told Express.co.uk: “The Queen is now enjoying her annual break at Balmoral as restrictions have been lifted and as life in parts of the nation very gradually begins to return to something resembling normality.

“She will doubtless reflect on her very substantial contribution as a symbol of national unity in her broadcasts last year.

“She has always championed the family unit and is extremely fond of her granddaughters Beatrice and Eugenie.”

He added:  “She will have derived much pleasure from their marriages and the birth of Eugenie’s son August earlier in the year.”

“Andrew and Sarah, though divorced, remain very close, living together at Royal Lodge in Windsor and have been good parents.”

The Queen and Andrew are “particularly close”, Mr Fitzwilliams claimed.

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He added: “When he was born she could spend more time with him and when he is again facing enormous pressures, she is able to offer maternal support.”

Fergie is thought to have had a tense relationship with the Queen’s late husband Prince Philip, who reportedly banned her from Balmoral.

However, following the Duke of Edinburgh’s death in April it seems an invite was extended to the Duchess of York this year.

Mr Fitzwilliams added: “After the notorious incident with John Bryan in 1992, Prince Philip was famously averse to Sarah Ferguson, which reportedly ensured their periods at Balmoral did not overlap.”

The commentator added: “On this occasion, the Yorks will doubtless find their visit is an opportunity to relax during a very difficult period for them, which is also problematic for the monarchy.”

The Queen marked the start of her official holiday on Monday and is expected to remain in Scotland until autumn.

During her stay in the Highlands, she will host a number of Royal Family members.

She will then return to Windsor Castle where she will resume royal duties.

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