Prince Andrew left senior royal ‘white with rage’ after being accused of reducing his family to ‘the ranks of second-rate comedians’

Prince Andrew’s behavior led to fears about him ‘destroying’ the monarchy’s reputation

Prince Andrew The Duke of York arrives at the Headquarters of CrossRail in Canary Wharf on March 7, 2011
(Image credit: Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Prince Andrew reportedly left a senior royal “white with rage” during a discussion that saw him accused of reducing his family to “the ranks of second-rate comedians”.  

Prince Andrew might have remained largely out of the spotlight since he stepped back from royal duties in 2019 for the foreseeable future, but his appearance on It’s A Royal Knockout back in 1987 was unforgettable for many reasons. This featured three of the Queen’s children: Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, and Sarah Ferguson. Each royal had their own team of celebrities who competed to raise money for charity. Challenges included everything from dressing up as vegetables to throwing fake hams and the Queen was supposedly reluctant for the special to go ahead. 

Prince Charles and Princess Diana also declined to take part and the reaction wasn’t nearly as positive as had been hoped, despite raising a substantial amount of money for charity. And it seems the Queen Mother was particularly infuriated by the humiliation It’s A Royal Knockout brought the Royal Family. 

Prince Andrew Duke of York, the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, Queen Elizabeth II, The Queen Mother, Prince Charles, Princess Margaret and Princess Diana

(Image credit: Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

According to, the late royal author Ross Benson suggested in his 1993 book, Charles: The Untold Story, that following this television appearance she summoned Prince Andrew to make her feelings known. 

He is said to have written that the Queen Mother made her grandson promise her that he wouldn’t participate in anything like that again. Ross claimed that she reportedly told Prince Andrew that the program “reduced the royals to the ranks of second-rate comedians”.

“The Queen Mother’s face was white with rage and she reminded her grandchild of the abdication and the danger that had posed to the monarchy,” he continued, referencing how the Queen Mother’s husband King George VI had become King after his brother abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson, shocking the world.

Duke and Duchess of Windsor after their marriage at the Chateau De Cande

(Image credit: Bettmann via Getty)

Ross also wrote that the Queen Mother accused the Duke of York of having “destroyed” the reputation she and her husband spent so long building since their ascension to the throne.

He alleged that she declared, “The King, George VI, and I spent years building up the reputation of the monarchy and you, in one evening, have destroyed the monarchy’s reputation.”

Throughout her daughter’s reign the Queen Mother remained a pivotal figure in the Royal Family and this year marks the 20th anniversary of her death at the Royal Lodge, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s current home. The Queen is said to have been touched by the “transfer of affection” to her following her mother’s death.  

Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, 1990

(Image credit: Photo by John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images)

Her Majesty is also a staunch defender of the monarchy’s reputation and has recently confirmed Prince Andrew has been stripped of military honors and his HRH title after his bid to have Virginia Giuffre’s civil case against him scrapped was denied. 

He has vehemently denied the allegations against him and will defend his case as a “private citizen”. The Queen is said to be “at a loss” as the controversy continues and this immensely difficult time comes in her momentous Platinum Jubilee year .

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!