Prince Andrew’s mental health has spiralled in the four years since his disastrous BBC Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis, which led him to step down from royal life.
The King’s brother, 63, has been largely frozen out of the Royal Family ever since, being banned from prominent events such as the Garter Day and blocked from joining the Firm at photocall moments on the Buckingham Palace balcony.
But he has been able to join private family events such as the Christmas and Easter church services.
Losing his job, and later his military titles and HRH status, has taken a huge toll on Andrew but he’s finally starting to come out the other side.
A source close to Andrew told the Daily Express that he’s moved “from damaged goods to a better place” and added that the “emotional turmoil” that he has gone through has helped make him stronger.
They said: “He has a number of trusted confidants who provided Andrew with emotional support. His family have also helped him.”
Andrew understands his role now and knows that he can never become a full-time working royal again, the insider said, but he still wants to be involved.
This is a stance King Charles is said to have approved, though his son and heir Prince William is still unconvinced.
Earlier this year, a royal expert said Andrew was struggling to come to terms with the fact he was no longer allowed to have a public facing role at annual events such as the Order of the Garter Day procession and Trooping the Colour.
Speaking earlier this year, Ingrid Seward, Editor-in-Chief of Majesty Magazine, said: “Remember, he’s never known anything else except military and royal, and he’s not adaptable, he’s not popular, and therefore he has not been able to find anything else in his life so far as we know.
“I think he’s completely lost and I’m sure he’s probably very, very depressed, especially seeing all his family riding at the Trooping when only a few years before he was doing the same thing.”
But the support by close friends and family over the past few months has put him in a better place.
Andrew was forced to step down as a working member of the Royal Family in 2019 due to his association with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and allegations that he had sex with Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
The claims – which he has vehemently and repeatedly denied – came to light in Florida court documents in April 2015. They stated Ms Giuffre was forced to have sex with the royal when she was 17 – which is under the age of consent under Florida law – and a guest of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.
The decision to remove himself from public duties came just after his infamous BBC Newsnight interview, where he said he could not have had sex with Ms Giuffre because he was at home after a visit to Pizza Express in Woking with his family, that her description of his dancing with her beforehand could not be true because he was unable to sweat, and that he had “no recollection of ever meeting” her.
In January 2022, Andrew’s military titles and royal patronages were returned to the Queen and he was stripped of his HRH status.
The decision was made because he faced a US civil action over sexual assault allegations. Ms Giuffre alleged the duke abused her on three occasions – both in the UK and the US – when she was a minor under US law.
Andrew reached an out-of-court settlement with Ms Giuffre a month later, and made no admission of guilt.