It was a royal rideshare! On August 27, Prince William, Princess Kate and his uncle Prince Andrew all carpooled via Land Rover to Crathie Kirk — the royal family’s church of choice while holidaying in Balmoral, Scotland — with the future king in the driver’s seat.
As it turns out, William, 41, was taking the wheel of more than the SUV that day. Life & Style has learned that, 20 months after Andrew was stripped of his military titles and regal patronages, the Prince of Wales is leading the charge in forgiving the scandal-plagued 63-year-old.
“William will be the head of the monarchy one day, and he’s sending a clear message that he believes in forgiveness. He wants to stop showing the world a fractured family,” an insider exclusively tells Life & Style, noting the clan’s ongoing rift with Prince Harry, 39, and wife Meghan Markle, 42, has also garnered heaps of negative press. “It’s what his late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, would’ve wanted.”
Even so, the matter is delicate. Andrew stepped back from his official duties in 2019 after his unseemly friendship with deceased felon financier Jeffrey Epstein became, as he called it, a “major disruption.” Three years later, the Duke of York settled a sexual abuse lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre — who alleges she was sex-trafficked by Andrew’s buddy Epstein as a teen — for an undisclosed sum.
“While William, as well as his wife, Kate, 41, is giving Andrew grace, not everyone is as eager to welcome him back into the royal fold,” says the insider, pointing to the disgraced prince’s own brother: King Charles III, 74. “Charles is playing it safe. He won’t be associating publicly with Andrew, and he’s not ready to forgive him fully.”
According to the insider, it was the queen’s dying wish for her boys to make peace. A year after her death, at age 96 on September 8, 2022, “the distaste and anger everyone felt for Andrew has thawed a bit,” shares the insider. “And that’s largely thanks to Fergie.”
In June, Andrew’s ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, 63, announced that she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Though the duo, who split in 1992, have remained close over the years — even continuing to live together — Andrew has been there for the duchess more than ever following her single mastectomy surgery. “It’s helped opinions of him,” the insider confirms to Life & Style, “but his relationships with some relatives are still works in progress. The shame Andrew has brought upon the family won’t ever go away. He has apologized, though, and promised never to embarrass the family ever again.”