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'Adored from day one and spoiled terribly' - Prince Andrew was always his mother's favourite child, but did that contribute to his downfall?

Mary Kenny



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Prince Andrew. Picture: Getty

Prince Andrew. Picture: Getty

Mary Kenny, writer and author. Photo: Tony Gavin

Mary Kenny, writer and author. Photo: Tony Gavin

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Prince Andrew. Picture: Getty

It is an accepted axiom that every child should be a wanted child (which can discomfort those of us who weren't in that category at the outset). But is it always an advantage to be an "over-wanted" child? Perhaps the now discredited Prince Andrew falls into that classification.

According to Sarah Bradford, Queen Elizabeth's most insightful biographer, Andrew was the child his mother was determined to have, even against her husband's wishes. Philip, a veteran environmentalist, always supported the family-planning motto advocated by population control: "stop at two".

Two children would have been quite sufficient for the Duke of Edinburgh but the queen wanted Andrew. Badly. In the end, she got her way, as any wife worth her salt should, and Andy was born in 1960, 10 years after his elder sibling, Anne. And he was utterly adored from day one. His mother confessed that he was going to be "spoiled terribly". According to his biographer Nigel Cawthorne, that is precisely the flaw in his character - he has always been spoiled.