It will probably come as no surprise to anyone that the British Royal family’s most controversial member is also allegedly very difficult to work for. Prince Andrew, who stepped back from his Royal duties amid ties to accused child sex trafficker Jeffery Epstein, allegedly had strict demands for his maids about how to display his collection of cuddly toys in his bedroom.
Charlotte Briggs, who claims she worked at Buckingham Palace in the 90s, told The Sun in 2022 that arranging Andrew’s toys was part of her job. “As soon as I got the job, I was told about the teddies and it was drilled into me how he wanted them,” she said. “I even had a day’s training. Everything had to be just right. It was so peculiar.” She claims the bears were collected from all over the world and many were dressed up like sailors.
Of the hyper-specific layout, Briggs explained that the smaller of the bears were typically stacked up in an unused fireplace. Andrew, 63, allegedly had some more beloved ones among the many toys — two hippos and a black panther named “Daddy,” “Ducks,” and “Prince” which were placed on his bed or around the room. But his two top favorite teddy bears were given a prime spot in mahogany thrones by his bedside. “It was so odd,” Briggs said. “After all, he was a grown man who had served in the Falklands. But he absolutely loved the teddies and was very clear about how he wanted them arranged.”
Briggs is not the first to make this claim about the prince who is a father of two adult children, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, who he shares with ex-wife Sarah Ferguson. In 2019, reporter Elizabeth Day claimed that she had seen part of the collection in a media visit to Andrew’s apartment in Buckingham Palace. While waiting in a hallway outside Andrew’s office, she noticed an “oversized teddy bear.”
“When I was ushered in to meet Prince Andrew, I asked him about it. He sniggered and told me it had been a wedding gift from his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson. Apparently, he had found the bear waiting for him when he got into the horse-drawn carriage that was to take them from Westminster Abbey to their reception. I remember that he found this extremely funny, even several years after the event.” She added, “It seemed rather strange to me that a grown man should be so amused by the presence of a stuffed toy.”
A former royal protection officer, Paul Page, also spoke about the Duke of York’s toy collection as part of Ghislaine, Prince Andrew and the Paedophile, a 2022 documentary that aired on British network ITV. The Sun reported that Page claimed he had access to the private apartment where Queen Elizabeth II’s third-born child had living quarters and saw the collection. He also alleged house staff were supplied with a specific diagram that explain which of the toys should be placed where.
“[The bed] had about 50 or 60 stuffed toys positioned on the bed and basically there was a card the inspector showed us in a drawer and it was a picture of these bears all in situ,” Page alleged. “The reason for the laminated picture was if those bears weren’t put back in the right order by the maids, he would shout and scream.” Since making the claim, Page has been found guilty of fraud in a property scam unrelated to his role at the Palace.
Andrew now lives his life largely out of the public eye since facing sexual abuse allegations from one of Epstein’s most vocal accusers. In February 2022, he settled a sexual assault case filed against him by Virginia Giuffre for an undisclosed sum which meant he avoided having to go to trial. The settlement also ensured Andrew made no official admission of guilt over Giuffre’s claims that he sexually assaulted her on three occasions when she was 17 year old. The prince has repeatedly denied her allegations.
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