QUEEN ELIZABETH II is “infinitely closer” to Prince Andrew and Princes Edward than Prince Charles and Princess Anne, according to a royal biographer – and for a surprising reason.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip have four children, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. Her Majesty had her first children, Charles and Anne, in 1947 and 1950 respectively, then waited another ten years before Andrew was born in 1960, after resolving a heartbreaking family row with the Duke of Edinburgh. Because of this, experts have often called Prince Andrew the Queen’s favourite, however royal biographer Penny Junor points to another reason why Her Majesty favours her second son.
Ms Junor, in her 2005 book “The Firm”, writes: “[Prince Charles’ nanny] Helen Lightbody was such a terrifying woman that the Queen kept out of the nursery while she was in charge.
“By the time the Queen had the two younger children Helen Lightbody had gone and Mabel Anderson, her deputy and a much easier character, was in charge.
“She and the Queen were good friends and brought the children up together.
“As a result the Queen had much more contact with Andrew and Edward than she ever had with Charles and Anne, and is still infinitely closer to them today.”
The Prince of Wales, the Queen and the Duke of York (Image: Getty)
The Queen and Helen Lightbody pictured with Prince Charles and Princess Anne (Image: Getty)
However Her Majesty’s children themselves do not share a particularly close sibling relationship.
Speaking on podcast “Royals”, royal commentator Angela Mollard said: “They’re very different, all four of them.
“They all get together and they’re all happy at family gatherings but there’s a lot of question marks over how much they see each other between times.
She went on to add: “Through the Andrew/Charles, Fergie/Diana years, that was very strange.
“The relationship with Diana and Fergie – initially close – became quite strained.
“They all of them had a lot going on, they had a lot of broken relationships.
“Three of them having broken marriages, you wonder to what extent they were supports for each other.
“I don’t think so.
Prince Charles and the Royal Family with newborn Prince Andrew in 1960 (Image: Getty)
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew at this year’s Trooping the Colour (Image: Getty)
“I think they’re all very well connected and they have their aristocratic friends who they lean on.
“I think they turn outside the family for support.”
“It’s not like you could say Andrew and Charles are best buddies, it’s not that kind of family.
Prince Charles and Prince Andrew in particular have been perceived to clash over the years, with a particular snub coming from Charles in 2012.
For the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, the Duke of York and his daughters Princess Beatriceand Princess Eugenie were not permitted to appear alongside a “slimmed down” version of the Royal Family for the famous Buckingham Palace balcony appearance.
Royal Family Tree (Image: Getty)
Katie Nicholl’s 2017 book “Harry: Life, Loss and Love”, explains how “history was made” when the Queen appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony during her Diamond Jubilee celebrations with only Charles, Camilla, William, Kate and Harry by her side.
She writes: “Many royal watchers interpreted it as what the House of Windsor will one day look like.
“It is no secret that Charles wants a more streamlined Royal Family when he comes to reign.”
She says: “One family member told me that such a thing would never have been allowed to happen had the Duke of Edinburgh been there.”
The “slimmed down” Royal Family appearance for the Queen’s 2012 jubilee (Image: Getty)
The Duke of Edinburgh had to sit out of many of the Diamond Jubilee and Olympic celebrations of 2012 as he was suffering from ill health.
Ms Nicholl continues: “It did cause some ill-feeling among some members of the extended family, including Prince Andrew, who was particularly upset not to have been included.”
It came in contrast to the Golden Jubilee celebrations of 2002, when Prince Andrew and his daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie were included on the Palace balcony for the traditional RAF fly-past, alongside many other members of the extended Royal Family.
She adds: “Princess Anne and Prince Edward were said to be more accepting.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK