Why the Queen should have seen Andrew’s undoing coming
Exclusive: He's the Peter Pan prince who may have to finally grow up.
The Duke of York has disgraced the royal family with his friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, derailed his daughter's wedding, and is in a $A32 million battle over a ski chalet in Verbier, Switzerland.
A new book reveals that the Queen should have seen it coming.
From his gaffes with family members of Lockerbie bombing victims, his high-flying lifestyle with movie stars, and his conceited arrogance, the book says Prince Andrew was given too much rope.
Author Nigel Cawthorne also said the United States will doggedly pursue Prince Andrew over his links to Epstein, and claims from Australian-based woman Virginia Roberts-Giuffre that he had sex with her when she was underage.
"I don't think the FBI will give up," he said.
But Prince Andrew, 60, has always been protected by the Queen, who only forced him to quit royal duties last year at the insistence of a furious Prince Charles.
"He's the Queen's favourite son, there's no doubt about that," Cawthorne said.
His book, Prince Andrew, The End of the Monarchy and Epstein, came out in late May, just before a new fight erupted between Prince Andrew and the US Department of Justice.
Each of them accused the other of lying about whether Prince Andrew had offered to co-operate with an investigation into Epstein.
It came down to a question of what that co-operation would look like - the Duke insisted on answering in writing, possibly because his now infamous BBC interview last year cost him his job.
But the US wants him to go to Westminster Magistrates' Court to give evidence under oath.
Cawthorne's detailed book dives deep into the inner-workings of the royal family, and how his upbringing was so different to Prince Charles, who was 11 years his senior.
Prince Andrew's nanny was Mabel Anderson, who apparently was warmer and kinder than Prince Charles' nanny Helen Lightbody, who ruled with an iron fist.
But Prince Andrew took advantage of the extra rope he was given.
"It made Andrew very confident and extroverted in comparison to the self-conscious Charles," Cawthorne wrote.
The privileges continued throughout Prince Andrew's childhood and into adolescence.
He became the cool prince to his awkward older brother, who bore the weight of being the heir to the throne.
When Prince Andrew went to Canada for an exchange year in 1977 he was met by screaming girls at the airport, like a touring celebrity.
Years later it was as if the middle-aged man still expected women to treat him like the teenage royal rock star.
He joined the Royal navy after some mediocre performances at school, with some prestigious colleges rejecting efforts to parachute him into higher education.
But he went to the Falklands War in 1982, which Britain won after just 10 weeks when Argentina capitulated.
The playboy prince rode a wave of good publicity and was also linked to a string of beautiful women including American Koo Stark, a movie star who was at the height of her fame.
Prince Andrew also met Ghislaine Maxwell around the same time, who would later introduced him to Epstein - the billionaire banker who killed himself in August last year while awaiting child abuse charges.
The tin ear that Prince Andrew showed in his interview with the BBC last year, where he refused to apologise and show sympathy to Epstein's victims, was on show early on.
He told the family of British victims of the Lockerbie bombing - a jet that was shot out of the sky over Scotland in 1988 - that the impact on Americans had been "much worse" and that it was only a "matter of time" before a plane fell out of the sky.
The Queen, who would later go riding with Prince Andrew after the Epstein interview, said at the time of the Lockerbie gaffe that "I wish I had gone."
The wheels then fell off for Prince Andrew after his divorce from Sarah Ferguson in 1996.
He began behaving like a teenager during their first week of university, and it went on for years.
Royal watcher Margaret Holder said: "The playboy image is not one Prince Andrew discourages. He's been seen many times on these party yachts and he thinks it enhances his reputation. Attracting luscious young ladies makes him feel young."
There is debate about exactly when Prince Andrew met Epstein.
While he claimed last year they met in 1999 his spokesman had written to The Times newspaper in 2011 saying the pair first met in the early 1990s, but dismissed any wrongdoing.
Epstein was notorious for his parties, and was accused of introducing underage girls to his wealthy male friends which the young women claimed they were coerced to have sex with.
Prince Andrew has said he never saw any of the behaviour that led Epstein to be convicted of child abuse charges, or of the fresh charges he was facing when he killed himself in a Manhattan jail.
Prince Andrew was photographed in 2001 with Epstein on a luxury yacht off Phuket, Thailand, surrounded by a bevy of topless beauties but said he was oblivious to what was going on around him.
"I was just reading my book. I wasn't really aware of what everyone else was doing," Prince Andrew said after the photographs were published.
Prince Andrew was photographed with Roberts-Giuffre in 2001 and Maxwell in a London flat with his arm around the bare midriff of the then teenager who was so young she could have been his daughter.
She claims that she had sex with him under pressure from Maxwell and Epstein twice when she was underage and then on another occasion.
But Prince Andrew said he could not have been with Roberts-Giuffre on the night in question because he was at a Pizza Express in the commuter belt London suburb of Woking, although some point out it is possible to be at both places on the one night.
Roberts-Giuffre, now a 36-year-old mother of three living in Cairns, said this week that Andrew was a toad, not a prince.
"Oh the gull of this toad - he regrets the BBC interview but not his 'friendship' with Epstein because it gave him 'great contacts' and much more. This man is not a prince but a facet of insidiousness who has proven to get away with it all," she said.
Originally published as Why the Queen should have seen Andrew's undoing coming