The Queen had to step in to resolve a row after Prince Andrew took a bathroom that was reserved for Prince Charles, a former maid has claimed. Janette McGowan, a former Buckingham Palace maid, claimed the Duke of York refused to remove his toiletries from a bathroom at Sandringham intended for his older brother.
She said the row, which took place at Christmas in 1999, was only resolved when the Queen intervened and spoke to Andrew, who was 39 at the time. Ms McGowan, who was a housemaid from 1999 to 2000, claimed household staff were alerted to an ‘ongoing situation’ after the Queen’s second son took a bathroom reserved for Charles, then 51.
She told The Sun: ‘We were told not to move anything and not to touch anything in that bathroom because there was an ‘ongoing situation’.’ Ms McGowan, who had travelled to Sandringham with the family, said members of the Royal Family are allocated rooms and a bathroom at the Norfolk estate, but Andrew had taken a bathroom meant for Charles.
She said the ‘bizarre stand-off’ was only ‘defused’ when the Queen ‘had words’ with Andrew and tell him to use another bathroom. Ms McGowan insisted there was ‘nothing special’ about the bathroom, saying it was a ‘good old sibling row’.
She added: ‘Charles was very grown-up about it, which is more than you can say for Andrew.’ When Ms McGowan worked at Buckingham Palace, Andrew was living permanently at the London residence, with the former maid describing him as ‘spoilt’.
Ms McGowan, who went on to work for Princess Michael of Kent and the Earl and Countess of Wessex, said of the squabble: ‘I think it was very petulant. He’s [Andrew] very spoiled with regards to his own rights.’