No London journalist keeps a keener watch on royalty than Nigel Dempster, man-about-town, London Daily Mail columnist and author of the 1982 biography H.R.H. Princess Margaret: A Life Unfulfilled. He lives in Chelsea with his second wife, Camilla, who is the daughter of the 11th Duke of Leeds, and their 3-year-old daughter, Louisa. Here is his view of the private Andrew.
It really isn’t fair to call him ‘Randy Andy,’ ” says a close friend of Prince Andrew. “He doesn’t deserve that. But he is interested in women—very much so. And they are bowled over by him.” The six-foot Prince acquired his nickname—which he detests—during six months’ study in 1977 at Lakefield College School in Lakefield, Ontario. Unlike his cautious brother, Charles, who was constantly scrutinized by the press as the world’s most eligible bachelor, Andrew has been able to conduct his affairs more out of the public view. This has allowed him to develop his own open, devil-may-care style. “Because I haven’t been the center of attention,” he has told friends, “I’ve been able to lead my own life.”
Andrew has squired an impressive list of beautiful women, most of them models and beauty queens. At the top of the list until recently was Carolyn Seaward, 21, the 1980 Miss United Kingdom, who reportedly received a letter from him posted in the Falklands. They met three years ago when Carolyn paid an official visit to the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, where Andrew had just been inducted as a first-rank midshipman. Andrew wined and dined her at his three-room Buckingham Palace apartment, and they were an item for several months until Carolyn made the mistake of talking to reporters about the relationship.
Other dates have included model Gemma Curry, 22, who is now working in New York; Kirsty Richmond-January and Clio Nathaniels, both 22, who are alumnae of his Scottish boarding school, Gordonstoun; Royal Ballet dancer Karen Paisey, 21; and literary agency assistant Julia Fox, 20, who accompanied him last January to the musical Cats. Andrew had a brief fling with Michael Caine’s horsewoman daughter Nikki, 25, whom he met at a party at Langan’s, the Piccadilly restaurant co-owned by the actor. Nikki subsequently married a show rider. At his belated 21st-birthday party held in June 1981 at Windsor Castle, he dined with model Trisha Money, 23, and Lady Teresa Manners, 19, the daughter of the Duke of Rutland.
As his crowded dance card suggests, Andrew probably will not marry soon. “He went straight from Gordonstoun to Dartmouth and really hasn’t had the time to form a lasting relationship,” says one of his friends. Adds another: “You couldn’t call Andrew academically bright, but he has the gift of being able to talk to people, unlike Charles, who has always had to co-quer his shyness. Andrew’s really one of the boys. He likes parties, the occasional drink, and dancing the night away with women.”
While Charles has always preferred the insulation of Annabel’s, a members-only club in Berkeley Square that bars journalists from passing through its basement portals, Andrew has frequented such brasher boîtes as Tramp in Jermyn Street and Tokyo Joe’s in Piccadilly. Often unrecognized, he usually arrives in a party of four or six—never alone—and he rarely has a “shadow” (a Scotland Yard detective). He drinks wine or champagne, never hard liquor, and never to excess. As a dancer, one girlfriend rates him as “so-so,” observing, “He has little experience of disco music, which is not surprising, as he says he was brought up to do Highland reels and the waltz.”
Favoring a more middle-class accent than his father and elder brother (“house” and “grouse” come out “hice” and “grice” when they talk), Andrew is in general less aristocratic in his tastes. He hasn’t inherited the family’s passion for horses, although he is a fair table tennis and billiards player. His close male friends include Robin Coghlan, 28, a real estate agent in Surrey who was the “sea dad” (senior cadet) who originally supervised him at Dartmouth. He is also close to Charles Young, 22, a fellow Gordonstoun alum, and London commodity broker Justin Frewen, an old Etonian who is totally bald at 23. Andrew is said to admire the beauty of his sister-in-law, Diana, Princess of Wales, but she is not his type. He prefers women who are rather more earthy. “No one would be surprised if he chose a barmaid for his wife,” jokes a friend. “But she would have to be pretty!”