Prince Andrew is not easy to work for, Charlotte Briggs, who was a royal maid for several years, revealed. So much so, his requests were outrageous, and he even made her cry.
“This man fought for his country in the Falklands but couldn’t stand up to close his own curtains," she stated. "It was utterly ridiculous but spoke volumes about him. Andrew definitely put a downer on things. He thinks he’s above everyone.”
Fortunately, Prince Charles and Prince Edward were "wonderful," she said.
Briggs started working at Buckingham Palace in 1996, and soon enough, she was answering to Prince Andrew, who had just split from Sarah Ferguson.
“I’d been there six months when the job to become Andrew’s maid came up," she said. "He’d moved back to the Palace after his divorce from Fergie. Nobody wanted the job because of his reputation for tantrums and sweary outbursts. It didn’t put me off. I thought, ‘Sod it, I’m going to go for it.' I’d moved down from Yorkshire to Buckingham Palace and wanted to take on the challenge, to look after the royals."
She continued, “The first few months I hadn’t seen many royals. Most of my time was spent focusing on offices. I’d seen Edward on my first day. He opened the door for me to empty some bins and was lovely. But this was my opportunity to do what I’d come to London to do. I’d not been there long — not long enough to look after a royal — but I thought I’m going to do it, and I got the job.”
Part of Briggs' duties included turning down Andrew's bed, moving around his teddy bears, straightening the curtains and laying out his pajamas.
"But he was a bad apple and behaved like a spoiled brat," she confessed. “Really you weren’t actually meant to be seen, you’d just sneak in and do stuff. But he was a bit lazy and he would call down from his office and say, ‘Can you send the maid to shut the curtains.' They were literally behind him and massive — from floor to ceiling and as high as a house. But he refused to get up and close them himself. I’d have to get on my evening dress, run up four flights of stairs and he’d be sitting there at his desk right next to them. One night I’d done it all, I walked back into the corridor and he came out screaming, ‘Can’t you f***ing do anything right?’ I’d left a little gap where they met but they were extremely heavy."
“I was thinking, ‘You want to shut your own curtains,’ but you can’t say anything. You have to absorb it," she added. “It was awful and he brought me to tears. I was only 21 and had little life experience. In Yorkshire if a lad were to come home and insist on someone else drawing blinds he’d get a clip round the ear. He wouldn’t get away with that up here. That’s what folks do. They stand on their own two feet and get on with it. I was a young woman, much smaller than him, and I hadn’t served in the Navy. Yet, he sat at his desk and insisted on someone else pulling his curtains. I’d be embarrassed. I’d looked after ladies-in-waiting and they’d just do things by themselves. They were lovely. But Andrew was extremely demanding. Everything had to be immaculate and he threw his weight around. I often tried to hide."
These days, Virginia Roberts sued Prince Andrew for allegedly raping her when she was 17 years old. Now, it's unclear what will happen next, but Briggs said: "It's the Queen I feel sorry for."