Prince Charles and Prince Andrew’s relationship has been under scrutiny in recent days after the Duke of York resigned from royal duties last week. Although the command for Andrew to step down came from the Queen, many believe Charles was key in the decision making process, with reports today suggesting Prince William was also on board. Prince Andrew’s ill-advised sit-down with Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis earlier this month was widely criticised, with royal experts indicating the Duke of York ignored Palace advice in pressing ahead with the TV interview.
Many royal experts also drew a parallel with Prince Charles’ own “disastrous” BBC interview in 1994, which went ahead despite Palace misgivings.
Royal biographer Penny Junor in her 2005 book “The Firm” describes how both the royal brothers are difficult to manage, with Palace aides speaking of Charles’ “fearsome temper” and Andrew’s “childish and stupid” attitude.
Ms Junor writes: “The Prince of Wales is a difficult man to advise.”
Ms Junor spoke with one of the Queen’s former press secretaries, who said: “The trouble with the Palace is always there are advisers and courtiers.
“Advisers are the professional civil service type, they will give impartial advice.
“The courtiers will blow with every wind that’s blowing and their main objective is to keep their job and to tell their principal person what they want to hear.
“That’s what I saw in my time, and why you have a whole lot of private secretaries to the Prince of Wales walking.
“The Prince of Wales didn’t want to hear impartial advice; he wanted to hear people agreeing and he’s always been a bit like that.
“The Prince of Wales has a fearsome temper.
“It’s never been directed at me, but I’ve seen several members of the Royal Family break down and cry in my presence over the years.
“They are human beings like everyone else, with tempers; fury in inbuilt in several of them.”
Although the source said, “I’ve never seen Prince Andrew furious”, Ms Junor adds: “He might very well say that, but the Press Secretary has never woken him up for breakfast in the morning.
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She adds that, as per Ryan Parry, the “undercover butler” in Buckingham Palace: “The Duke of York, depending on his mood, would either say ‘Good morning’, or tell the footman to ’F**k off’.”
Ms Junor continues: “I would like to believe Parry was making it up, but I suspect he’s not.”
The royal author also describes an incident when Prince Andrew caused offence to his brother’s aides, after a concert Charles had given.
She writes: “After the concert, Prince Andrew, who was the only one not dressed in a dinner jacket, walked up to three of the Prince Of Wales’ staff who were standing at the side of the room.
“‘Who are you three?’ he said in a particularly graceless manner,
“‘We work for the Prince of Wales,” they said.
“‘Oh. Well, you three are in big trouble for not telling me it was black tie,’ and without waiting for a reply stalked off.”
One of the three aides who was there told Ms Junor: “It was childish and stupid and his office had been told.”
Of the three, he continued: “Robert Fraser had been chief barrister in the Navy, Stephen Lamppost had been diplomat at major embassies in the world, he’d been Private Secretary to Douglas Hurd, and compared to them I thought, what has this chap ever done in his life apart from fly a helicopter?
“How dare he speak to us like that?”
“Loyalty has to be earned and I’m not sure how good some of the family are at doing that.”
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