Hot topics close

Prince Andrew: Royal aides describe him as arrogant, selfish and unpleasant

Far from being Prince Charming, the Duke of York is renowned for being breathtakingly arrogant, self-serving and boorish.

Far from being Prince Charming, the Duke of York is renowned for being breathtakingly arrogant, self-serving and boorish.

It came as no surprise to royal watchers, then, that so few have leapt to Prince Andrew’s defence during the worst week of his royal life — and so many have seized the opportunity to stick the knife in.

Decades of unpleasantness have left the 59-year-old isolated, with only his perpetual ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, left to fight in his ­corner, reports The Sun.

A source told the publication on Thursday: “Prince Andrew has very few friends. And most of his older friends have dropped him as too pompous. His days are rather empty.”

It was his signature arrogance, baffled insiders say, that convinced Andrew – against advice – to go through with the BBC ­interview about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

He must have believed he would be charming enough to see off, once and for all, the allegations that he slept with teenager Virginia Roberts – something he strenuously denies.

In reality, that plan has spectacularly backfired. Charm has never been the Prince’s strong suit.

Today, Prince Andrew cuts a lonely figure, with sponsors and charities rushing to disassociate themselves from the increasingly toxic Prince’s projects and new allegations of racist remarks on top of everything else.

For a man who prides himself so much on his loyalty to his friends – telling the Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis in his interview his fatal flaw is that he is simply “too honourable” – Prince Andrew has found loyalty to himself in short ­supply.

Here we look at all the ways he’s driven people away.


Prince Andrew is notoriously rude to staff. One former royal aide confided: “I’ve seen him treat his staff in a shocking, appalling way.

“He’s been incredibly rude to his personal protection officers, literally throwing things on the ground and demanding that they ‘f***ing pick them up’. No social graces at all.”

Other flunkeys are apparently expected to tend to his ego.

Private Eye has reported that during his Dragons’ Den-style Pitch@Palace events, his staff know to make copious notes and hold up recording devices while he holds forth – so he knows they are giving him the adoration he is confident he deserves.


In September of this year it was reported that Andrew flew into such a rage at a top palace aide that Prince Charles had to step in to insist he apologise.

The fuming Duke of York got “very cross” in the heated exchange, said to be about a work-related issue.

It was reported that the row almost came to blows, with Andrew squaring up to the aide, although the palace refused to confirm this.

Mortified Charles demanded his brother apologise – something a royal insider said the Duke failed to do.


In 2010, Wikileaks revealed a secret cable from a US ambassador who described how Prince Andrew, then a UK special representative on trade, had spoken “cockily” during an official engagement, leading to a discussion that “verged on rude”.

In the cable, written in 2008, Tatianna Gfoeller, Washington’s ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, wrote of “rude language a la British” and described how Andrew had railed against the Senior Fraud Office and journalists who “poke their noses everywhere” and made disparaging comments about France.

It seems that Andrew had a peculiar knack of offending the very people it was his job to court on behalf of British business during his dubious tenure as a trade envoy.


Sir Ivor Roberts, an ambassador to Rome between 2003 and 2006, described how Andrew “rubbed people up the wrong way”.

When one head of a major fashion house introduced herself, he rudely responded: “Never heard of you.”

Sir Ivor said it was down to his team to clear up the mess Andrew had made.

Britain’s former deputy head of mission in Bahrain, Simon Wilson, has also described how officials gave Andrew the nickname “His Buffoon Highness” because of how he would childishly do the opposite of whatever had been agreed ahead of a visit with staff.

Mr Wilson added waspishly: “Colleagues put this behaviour down to an inferiority complex about being mentally challenged.”


This is a prince who likes to get his own way, even if it means abusing those meant to protect him and his gilt family.

Paul Page, a former royal protection officer, told how Andrew had screamed at security when they rushed to investigate an intruder lurking in the corridor near the Queen’s bedroom – only to find it was actually the Prince.

Faced with officers simply doing their job, Andrew yelled: “This is my f***ing home, I can go where I want, now f**k off.”


Famously dubbed “Air Miles Andy” for his incessant jetsetting, the Prince’s overseas visits not always ran smoothly.

He had a meltdown at Melbourne Airport in Australia, in 2005, refusing to go through the normal security procedures like the rest of the riff raff.

But indignant Australian officials refused to indulge him. One later told local Press: “Who does he think he is? What a pompous prat.

“Everyone has to go through security screening. He should be happy to do so and set an example.”


Many have given in to his outrageous demands over the years – including the Foreign Office.

During a trip to India in 2012, when Andrew refused to stay at the British High Commissioner’s luxury Delhi residence, as his brother and heir to the throne Charles had done on a previous visit, he instead stayed at the eye-wateringly expensive Maharajah Suite at the Leela Palace – at UK taxpayers’ expense.


Perhaps it is little wonder this petulant prince has few real friends.

A source who has known him for many years said Prince Andrew was “incompetent” when it came to his social life.

The source went on: “He surrounds himself with these incredibly dodgy people.

“He travels so much, when he comes back he is either playing golf, if he can find any friends to play with, or he is leading quite a lonely life. It’s not like he goes to parties all the time.

“He has got these so-called friends who drop by when he is in this country, and there is usually a stream of transient girls.”


Andrew’s biggest problem, many believe, is that he is a classic spoiled younger son.

For years the Queen – who is said to view him as her “favourite” – has ignored his foibles and indulged his every whim, breeding in a stubborn streak.

One former friend confided: “Andrew does stupid things out of hubris, to show that he can do them … He thinks he can power his way through everything.”


Andrew is reportedly prone to childish behaviour, such as when he rammed gates near his home with his Range Rover.

He was travelling to Royal Lodge in March 2016 when he arrived at Windsor Great Park to find the gates’ sensors broken.

He could have taken a 1.6 kilometre detour. But no.

Andrew reportedly threw a tantrum and tried to ram the gates open, causing thousands of dollars of damage to them – which the taxpayer ultimately paid for.


Guests who have been to parties with Andrew say he is only really comfortable if he has women fawning all over him.

He is said to struggle when the conversation is about anything other than himself.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

Similar shots
This week's most popular shots