Prince Charles and William planned axing of disgraced Andrew at Christmas – before telling Queen 'favourite son' must go

PRINCE Charles planned Andrew’s axing before getting son William’s full backing, The Sun can reveal.

The two heirs then told the Queen her “favourite son” must go because of the damage caused by sex abuse claims.

The Prince of Wales sharpened the knife over Christmas, deciding his brother had “run out of road” and should be stripped of all military titles, patronages and his HRH status to protect the Royal Family.

He sought counsel from William, who was spending the holiday season with his wife and children at their Anmer Hall home in Norfolk.

Charles, 73, and Wills, 39, told the Queen they had agreed Andrew must go after his New York sex abuse hearing earlier this month, sources told The Sun. The 95-year-old Queen replied that she was “of the same opinion”, although sources say it was with a “heavy heart”.

Royal experts say Charles’ powerplay shows how he needs to “flex his muscles” to help the Queen now she no longer has husband Philip by her side.

Once Andrew’s fate was decided, his siblings Princess Anne and Prince Edward visited him at his 30-room mansion Royal Lodge last weekend where it is believed they warned of what was to come. 

Armed with support from her successors, the Queen reluctantly severed Andrew’s royal privileges on Thursday lunchtime just 24 hours after Judge Lewis Kaplan ordered him to face a civil trial in New York.

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A source told The Sun: “The collective view was that Andrew was damaging the entire family.”

 Andrew, 61, was left without any family support, it is understood. 

Another source revealed: “Charles first decided that Andrew must go. 

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“He felt he’s just run out of road. So he discussed it with William in the days between Christmas and New Year and his son fully agreed with him. William and Charles then informed the Queen that they were of the same opinion. Ultimately, it was the Queen’s final decision but she told them she shared their view. The Queen and Andrew had the final conversations on the matter on Thursday.”

A third source said: “William thought it needed to be resolved. His views were similar to Charles’s in that it needed to be sorted out.

“He didn’t think the Duke of York was handling it well at all.”

Charles spent Christmas Day and Boxing Day at Windsor Castle with the Queen and up to 20 family members including Andrew where his case was “widely discussed”.

Days later he spoke to William who was spending the break 150 miles away in Norfolk.

 Andrew was locked down in Royal Lodge between Christmas and New Year preparing for a hearing in which he was trying to throw out the case on a technicality.

He was left alone as ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, and their two daughters Beatrice and Eugenie and their husbands Edo and Jack, flew to Switzerland for a skiing break.

They stayed in Andy and Fergie’s Verbier chalet which they are selling to recoup at least £10million to fund a potential settlement with accuser Virginia Giuffre.

Timeline of shame

AUGUST 9, 2021: Virginia Giuffre launches sex abuse claim against Andrew.

SEPTEMBER 18: Prince Andrew misses birth of granddaughter while hiding at Balmoral from US lawyers trying to serve writ.

OCTOBER 30: Duke’s legal team calls his accuser a “money-hungry sex kitten”.

NOVEMBER 30: Her lawyers accuse Andrew of trying to “victim shame” her.

DECEMBER: Prince Charles decides Prince Andrew must be stripped of titles.

CHRISTMAS DAY: Royals, including Andrew, spend the day with the Queen at Windsor Castle.

BOXING DAY: Andrew left alone in Royal Lodge as Fergie and his daughters go on Swiss ski trip.

BOXING DAY TO JANUARY 1: Charles seeks counsel with son William at Sandringham who gives his backing to strip Andrew of titles.

DECEMBER 29: Ghislaine Maxwell found guilty.

JANUARY 4: Andrew’s application to dismiss case heard in New York.

JANUARY 12: Judge throws out the motion and orders a full sex abuse trial.

JANUARY 13: By now, Charles and William have told the Queen Andrew must go. He is summoned to see her at Windsor and, as we reported above, is stripped of most titles

Judge Kaplan gave Andy’s lawyer short shrift in the one-hour case hearing on January 4 and the decision, announced this Wednesday, to press ahead with a sex abuse trial was inevitable.

Last weekend, Anne and Edward visited Andrew at Windsor’s Royal Lodge. It is believed they were with the disgraced duke to tell him of the family plans. A royal insider told The Sun: “Edward and Anne made the trip to Royal Lodge and told Andrew it was over.

“Somewhere along it has to stop because it was using so much money from the Royal Family. It was then inevitable when the judge ordered a trial on Wednesday.”

It meant Andrew, who looked ashen-faced as he was driven to Windsor Castle with his lawyer Gary Bloxsome at 11.30am on Wednesday, had learned his fate before the Queen told him face to face that he was out.

Another source told The Sun: “It was a PR decision and a financial decision. Ultimately, everything comes down to money.

“He is a private citizen now. They can say, ‘We have nothing to do with him. We fired him’.

“They are trying to limit those zeros on the settlement. 

“He has gone in saying he will fight it all the way and been told, ‘Yes, but not as one of us’. The only way is to settle.”

Andrew could lose his taxpayer-funded security. Questions are also being asked over how he can continue to afford paying security for his daughters Beatrice and Eugenie.

There are questions over his right to live at Royal Lodge on which he secured a 75-year lease for a one-off £1million payment. Buckingham Palace did not want to comment.

York calls to cut Duke link

CALLS are growing for Andrew to be stripped of his Duke of York title.

It is one of a few he was allowed to keep after the Queen took away most.

But politicians in the city say that should go, too.

Rachael Maskell, Labour MP for York Central, said: “This association with York must end. I’m working with agencies to tackle sexual violence and misogyny.”

Darryl Smalley, a Lib Dem councillor, said: “York is fantastic. We have got a lot to be proud of and one thing we don’t want is to be so burdened with this link to Prince Andrew.”

Labour councillor Pete Kilbane said: “Decent people want to put as much distance between the city and the duke as possible.”

The dukedom, created in the 14th century, will revert to the sovereign when Andrew dies.

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