The fall of Prince Andrew: How the Queen's favorite son went from war hero to Royal embarrassment
Prince Andrew traveled the world as UK's trade ambassador but was mostly seen in the wrong company - from Jeffrey Epstein to Gaddafi.
Prince Andrew may have been sacked from his royal duties just recently but his downhill spiral started even before that. Royal experts believe that if he had controlled his arrogance and sense of entitlement, his future may have been far from being a PR nightmare for the British royal family.
Prince Andrew became a national hero after he saved lives in the Falklands war, where he risked his life to keep the Argentine missiles away from the Royal Navy fleet. Aged 22 then, Andrew was next in line for the throne after Prince Charles. "It was something I shall never, ever forget. It was quite horrific", he had said in an archived interview from 1982. The stories he brought from the war made him the apple of everyone's eye.
It but went from bad to worse for him as he exited the Royal Navy in 2001, the same year the Queen's speculated favorite son replaced Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent, as the trade ambassador for Britain.
He had to step down just 10 years later after a string of controversies came along. Then too, it had a Jeffrey Epstein connection. At the time, in 2008, convicted pedophile Epstein had gotten away with a slap on the wrist, a sweetheart plea deal of 18 months prison on prostitution charges in Florida. Then, as the Guardian reported in 2011, Andrew was entertaining disgraced Tunisian president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali's son-in-law at the Buckingham Palace, just three months before his dictatorship collapsed.
He also met Libyan war criminal Colonel Gaddafi when he made a trip to Tunisia in 2008. He is also said to have been close to his son Saif. "He and Saif became incredibly close", a mutual friend said, according to Daily Mail, "Both enjoyed having a good time and they had fun together. Andrew could open doors with his royal status and Saif could open other doors with his family’s money."
He traveled the world as trade ambassador but people were getting weary of his lux foreign trips. He is said to have traveled with a six-member team and in 2008, his traveling ironing board made the news. The Telegraph reported a Heathrow source saying, "The baggage handlers could not believe their eyes. They see a few weird things in their work but the Duke of York taking an ironing board on a flight... Well, that was a first." The ironing board also got its own valet.
He was described as "verged on the rude" by a US ambassador and that he spoke "cockily."
He was pally with many influential men in the world and that included Epstein. They remained in contact even after Epstein became a registered sex offender and were photographed together in 2010 in New York - while Bill Clinton and Leslie Wexner backed off from Epstein.
But they should have seen it coming.
He spray-painted a photojournalist and his camera in a 1984 visit to the States and said later, "I enjoyed that." There was also the incident of the Pan Am Flight 103 crash a few years later where 11 people killed in Lockerbie. Andrew, who was sent instead of the Queen, upset the locals by saying that the Americans had it worse. Prince Charles went there five weeks later to make amends for his brother.
The latest interview with BBC just nailed the door shut.