Everything you need to know about Prince Andrew

Katherine Chatfield
·Columnist
·12-min read

Who is Prince Andrew?

Born Prince Andrew Albert Christian Edward, he is the Queen and Prince Philip’s third child. He was born on 19 February 1960 and is eighth in line to the throne. When he married Sarah Ferguson in 1986, he was given the title The Duke Of York.

Where did Prince Andrew go to school?

Andrew spent his early education being taught by a governess at Buckingham Palace. He later went to boarding school Gordonstoun in Scotland, like his brother Prince Charles, where he studied English, History, Economics and Political Science. After leaving school he entered the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.

The Duke of York (left), in his role as colonel of the Grenadier Guards, before laying a wreath at the Charles II memorial in Bruges to mark the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of the Belgian town.
The Duke of York (pictured in September 2019) has had his reputation left in tatters due to his links to sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Photo: Getty Images.

Was Prince Andrew in the navy?

Yes, although he specialised as a pilot and flew naval helicopters for 12 years. He also completed the Royal Marines Commando Course and did basic flight training with the Royal Air Force. He served aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible during the Falklands War.

He was promoted to commander in 1999, and today he holds the rank of Honorary Vice Admiral.

Who was Prince Andrew married to?

Andrew married Sarah “Fergie” Ferguson in 1986. They knew each other as children, as Sarah’s father, Major Ronald Ferguson, was Prince Philip’s polo manager.

The couple married at Westminster Abbey, and have two daughters, Princess Beatrice, born in 1988, and Princess Eugenie, born in 1990. The pair separated in 1992, with speculation that Andrew’s military career and the travel associated with it had caused friction between the pair, with him reportedly at home just 42 days a year. Later that year, Fergie was pictured on the front page of British tabloids, having her toes sucked by her accountant while they were on holiday together. Sarah and Andrew officially divorced in May 1996.

Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York on day four of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 21, 2019 in Ascot, England.
Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson (pictured at Royal Ascot in June 2019) have remained close friends. Photo: Getty Images.

Where does Prince Andrew’s nickname ‘Randy Andy’ come from?

He was dubbed Randy Andy by the UK tabloids before he married Sarah Ferguson, after his various dalliances with women. He spent several years dating US actress Koo Stark, who had starred in an R-rated film in 1976, and who Andrew took home to meet the Queen. When the pictures were printed in papers, Andrew was reportedly encouraged to break off the relationship.

He was also known as Air Miles Andy after he once spent £32,000 (AUD$58,500) in one year flying himself to his favourite golf club in Scotland.

Are Prince Andrew and Fergie still friends?

Yes, the couple is known for their friendship, despite divorcing nearly 20 years ago. They shared custody of their daughters until the girls were old enough to leave home, and for years lived next door to each other, with Andrew in the Royal Lodge and Sarah in the neighbouring Dolphin House. When where was a fire at Dolphin House, Sarah moved into Andrew’s house in 2008, and the pair have lived together ever since.

There has been much speculation they are a couple again, which is something they have always denied. “Although we are not a couple, we really believe in each other,” she said in 2018. “We enjoy each other’s company; we allow each other to blossom. I know it sounds like a fairy tale but that’s the way we are.”

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew, Duke of York attend church at St Mary the Virgin church, Hillington in Sandringham on January 19, 2020 in King's Lynn, England.
The Queen made a public appearance with her son, Prince Andrew, to attend church on January 19, 2020. Photo: Getty Images.

How did Prince Andrew know Jeffrey Epstein?

When Prince Andrew did an interview with BBC Newsnight about his involvement with convicted sex offender and paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, he said they met in 1999, through Epstein’s former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, who has been accused of working with Epstein to facilitate his sex trafficking and abuse. However, it’s been suggested that Andrew had known Epstein, who committed suicide in prison in 2019, for several years before that, after a letter from his former private secretary was released, saying the men had met in the “early nineties.”

Were Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein friends?

Although Prince Andrew says he and Epstein were “not that close” it’s believed they saw each other at least 10 times between 1999 and 2011. Those meetings included Andrew staying at Epstein’s houses in New York, Palm Beach and the Virgin Islands for several days at a time. Epstein also attended Princess Beatrice’s 18th birthday, and a party Andrew threw at Sandringham House for Maxwell in 2000.

They were also seen on holiday together on a yacht in Thailand surrounded by topless women in 2001. When photos of them together in New York in 2010, Epstein was already a registered sex offender, but Prince Andrew was pictured spending a weekend with him at his New York mansion, and video footage emerged of him peeping through the front door of Epstein’s residence and waving off a young woman.

Melania Trump, Prince Andrew, Gwendolyn Beck and Jeffrey Epstein at a party at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida, February 12, 2000.
Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein (far right) with Melania Trump and Gwendolyn Beck at a party at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida, February 12, 2000. Photo: Getty Images.

What has Prince Andrew been accused of?

The Prince has been accused by Virginia Giuffre (formerly Virginia Roberts) of forcing her to have sex with him when she was 17 after she was trafficked to have sex with Epstein and his friends.

Giuffre has alleged in court papers that she and Andrew had sex three times “including one orgy” at Epstein’s house, and also on his private island in the Caribbean. Andrew was first named in US court documents in 2015.

Another woman, Johanna Sjoberg, claimed that Andrew touched her breast while she was sitting on a couch at Epstein’s home in 2001.

What does Virginia Giuffre say about her encounter with Prince Andrew?

In an interview with BBC’s Panorama, Giuffre told how Epstein and his girlfriend Maxwell, took her to Tramp nightclub in London in 2001, where she was introduced to Prince Andrew.

“We went into the VIP section. There was no waiting in the lines obviously — you were with a prince,” she said. “Andrew asked me what I wanted to drink, you know, and I said, ‘Oh, you know, something from the bar’. He had something clear. I know mine was vodka … and then he asked me to dance. He is the most hideous dancer I’ve ever seen in my life. I mean it was horrible and this guy was sweating all over me, like his sweat was like it was raining basically everywhere. I was just like ‘ugh’ — grossed out from it, but I knew I had to keep him happy because that’s what Jeffrey and Ghislaine would have expected from me.”

When they left the club, she says she given instructions about what to do next. “In the car Ghislaine tells me that I have to do for Andrew what I do for Jeffrey, and that just made me sick.” She said that later that evening, she had sex with the duke upstairs at Ms Maxwell’s house in Belgravia.”

She ended the interview saying: “This is not some sordid sex story. This is a story of being trafficked, this is a story of abuse.”

A general view of Jeffrey Epstein Associate Ghislaine Maxwell's Belgravia property on November 18, 2019 in London, England. The property is linked to a photograph of Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts, and shows Ghislaine Maxwell standing beside them.
Ghislaine Maxwell's Belgravia, London property which is linked to a photograph of Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre. Photo: Getty Images.

Has Prince Andrew denied the accusations?

Yes. A Buckingham Palace statement said: “It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”

“No recollection”

Despite a photo of Prince Andrew with his arm around Giuffre’s waist at a party in 2001 at Maxwell’s London townhouse, he said during his Newsnight interview: “I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.” When asked about the photo he said: “Nobody can prove whether or not that photograph has been doctored but I don't recollect that photograph ever being taken.”

Pizza Express

Giuffre alleges one of the encounters happened in 2001. Prince Andrew said this couldn’t have taken place as he was at Pizza Express with his family. “I was with the children and I'd taken [my daughter] Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party at, I suppose, sort of 4 pm or 5 pm in the afternoon," he told the BBC.

Royal Ascot Race Meeting Thursday - Ladies Day. Prince Andrew, The Duke Of York and Jeffrey Epstein (far right) At Ascot. With them are Edward (far left) and Caroline Stanley (in pink), the Earl and Countess of Derby on June 22, 2000
Prince Andrew attended Royal Ascot with Jeffrey Epstein (far right) in 2000. Photo: Getty Images.

No Sweat

Giuffre also claims that when they danced together at a London nightclub, Andrew was so sweaty that “it was raining basically everywhere.” Prince Andrew countered this in his interview, saying: “There’s a slight problem with the sweating, because I have a peculiar medical condition, which is that I don’t sweat, or I didn’t sweat at the time, and that was…. because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenalin in the Falklands War when I was shot at and I simply… it was almost impossible for me to sweat.”

Has Prince Andrew been arrested?

No. Initially he’d just been asked to cooperate with the US investigation into Epstein, but he declined to be interviewed by them. In early June the US Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a “mutual legal assistance” (MLA) to the British Home Office, which means he could be forced to appear in a UK court as a witness, and also address the accusations by Giuffre under oath.

Geoffrey Berman, who is leading the Epstein inquiry, told reporters in March: “Contrary to Prince Andrew’s very public offer to co-operate with our investigation into Epstein’s co-conspirators, an offer that was conveyed via a press release, Prince Andrew has now completely shut the door on voluntary co-operation and our office is considering its options.”

Prince Andrew, Duke of York points his finger as he speaks to business leaders during a reception at the sideline of the World Economic Forum on January 22, 2015 in Davos Switzerland.  Prince Andrew has publicly denied allegations he had sex with an underage teenager. He made the denial during a visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday. It was his first public appearance since the charges.
The Duke made his first public appearance since the allegations at the World Economic Forum on January 22, 2015 in Switzerland. Photo: Getty Images.

Prince Andrew’s lawyers said the Department of Justice was “seeking publicity.” “The Duke of York has on at least three occasions this year offered his assistance as a witness to the DOJ,” said a statement from his legal team.

Can Prince Andrew be convicted?

Technically, yes, although he would have to be charged first. He doesn’t have diplomatic immunity from prosecution like the Queen. However, if he provides evidence in court, press and public would be banned from attending, and the session would be private.

What has the fallout been after the allegations?

After Prince Andrew’s disastrous Newsnight interview, he announced he would be stepping back from his royal duties. “It has become clear to me over the past few days that my association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organizations and charities that I am proud to support,” he said in a statement issued by Buckingham Palace. “Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I can step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission,” he said.

The front pages of national newspapers the day after the Duke of York suspended his work with his charities, organisations and military units because of the fallout from his friendship with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. (Photo by Zoe Linkson/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Duke of York was front-page news the day after he formally stepped back from public duties in November 2019. Photo: Getty Images.

In May 2020, it was reported that Andrew will never return to public life. When he turned 60 in February, he would have traditionally been given a military promotion, however, this has been deferred. “Following the decision by His Royal Highness to step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, the Duke of York has asked the Ministry of Defence if this promotion might be deferred until such time that His Royal Highness returns to public duty,” said a statement from Buckingham Palace.

However, he will keep his $547,000 a year tax-payer funded security detail. They were due to be cut in May by the Home Office as he’s no longer performing public duties, but Prince Andrew reportedly complained to the Queen and they have been reinstated.

How much is Prince Andrew worth?

It’s estimated Prince Andrew is worth around $58million, although he only earns around $497,000 a year from his naval pension and allowance from the Queen. Nobody really knows how he has amassed his wealth — or how he manages to afford such a lavish lifestyle, although there have been rumblings for years about his financial dealings.

Princess Eugenie, Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Princess Beatrice arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle before the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England.
The Prince accompanied his daughters Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding in 2018. Photo: Getty Images.

What is Prince Andrew’s financial situation?

In 2007, Andrew sold his Sunninghill Park home for $27million — nearly $6million more than the $21.7 million asking price. He sold it to the president of Kazakhstan’s son-in-law, Timur Kulibayev.

When Sarah Ferguson was caught offering access to Prince Andrew to an undercover reporter for $905,000 in 2010, he denied any knowledge of the situation. However, it’s been suggested that his ex-wife’s debts have linked him to Epstein even more inexorably. Andrew had arranged for Epstein to pay off $27,000 of family debt, largely racked up by Ferguson — something she has publicly apologised for. The former couple recently put their luxury ski chalet in Switzerland on the market for $33 million, after it was seized by debt collectors when they failed to pay the final instalment of what they owed on the property.

Who else is Prince Andrew friends with?

For many years Andrew has raised suspicions about his friendships and links. He has had meetings with Saif Gaddafi, the son of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, and invited the son-in-law of Tunisia’s ousted president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali to a party at Buckingham Palace.

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