Prince Andrew Apparently Cried When Older Brother King Charles Told Him He’d Never Return to Life as a Working Royal

Somehow, Andrew was blindsided by this decision.

Prince Andrew
(Image credit: Getty)

It was a tense face-to-face meeting between brothers: the soon-to-be monarch, King Charles, and his younger brother, Prince Andrew, met at Charles’ Birkhall estate in Scotland days before Her late Majesty’s death in September, where the king officially delivered the news to Andrew that he will never return as a working royal. The conversation, multiple outlets report, prompted a “totally blindsided” Andrew to break down in tears.

Andrew—accused of sexual assault and marred by his association with Jeffrey Epstein—has been embattled in scandal since 2019. Earlier this year, he was stripped of all of his patronages and military titles, but still thought he could add value to the monarchy going forward, reports The Sun, and is struggling to accept that this really is the end of the road. He was, according to the outlet, reduced to tears a second time when he was told he was banned from wearing his military uniform to the funeral of his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth.

According to a source speaking to The Mail on Sunday, the discussions between the two brothers were “emotional and fraught” and apparently those surrounding Andrew are concerned for him, saying “he came out of the meeting shaken. He is still in shock. He is completely lost and very depressed.”

The source added Andrew “is utterly bereft. He always believed there was a way back. Andrew was extremely close to the Queen and tried to raise the issue of his return to public life many times with her. On some occasions she would say mildly conciliatory things, but most of the time she would change the subject immediately. Naïve as it may sound, he always had hopes of regaining his position as a senior royal.”

But his brother Charles left no doubt about Andrew’s future within the institution, apparently telling Andrew “that he can go off and have a good life, a nice life, but that his public life as a royal is at an end. He was told ‘You have to accept this.’”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.