Finally, there was some good news to come out of the palace. On September 25, Princess Eugenie revealed she and her husband of two years, Jack Brooksbank, are expecting their first child together. 

“Jack and I are so excited for early 2021,” she wrote alongside a sweet snap of baby slippers. Well wishes quickly poured in from family members, with Queen Elizabeth II releasing a statement saying she’s “delighted” for her granddaughter, while Eugenie’s mom, Sarah Ferguson, took to Twitter to express her elation. 

“Welcoming a new baby into the York family is going to be a moment of profound joy,” she said proudly. But there’s a dark cloud hanging over the big announcement. Eugenie’s father, Prince Andrew, remains immersed in the underage sex scandal that forced him to step back from royal duties late last year. 

“Eugenie’s thrilled about her pregnancy,” says an insider of the 30-year-old, “but her dad’s drama is overshadowing her joy.” The insider reveals that after weeks of agonizing, Eugenie has decided she doesn’t want Andrew, 60, present at the baby’s birth. 

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And her 94-year-old grandmother is backing her up. “Of course, she consulted the Queen before making her decision,” says the insider. “The truth is, having Andrew around would bring a lot of unnecessary tension.” 

Andrew’s fall from grace has been a dramatic one. In the summer of 2019, talk of his longtime association with known sex offender Jeffrey Epstein (whose death in a New York City prison last August was ruled a suicide) picked up steam. 

That November, the younger brother to heir apparent Prince Charles did a disastrous TV interview in which he appeared unsympathetic towards Epstein’s victims, including Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims she had sex with the Duke of York three times during the early 2000s when she was just 17. (Andrew has strenuously denied the accusations.) 

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And now, with a new book painting Andrew (who was married to Sarah from 1986–1996) as a sex addict who’s obsessed with redheads, the insider says a humiliated Eugenie feels tormented and betrayed. “Andrew’s selfish way of living and seedy past has caught up with him and thrown all of the family members into anguish,” explains the source.

A fed-up Queen Elizabeth was compelled to intervene on Eugenie’s behalf. “She felt it was her duty to ban Andrew from the delivery room officially,” says the insider, revealing that a palace aide dropped the bomb on the disgraced royal in an emotional meeting. A tearful Andrew was confronted by the aide and told, “You’ll never meet your grandchild,” continues the insider. 

“The feeling at the palace is he doesn’t deserve the love of his family after his behavior.” A devastated Andrew has tried to change his daughter’s mind, but she won’t budge. She feels “bolstered” by the Queen’s support, the insider says, and has her mother’s stubborn streak. 

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“Eugenie’s standing firm in her decision, and like the Duchess of York, she’s an indomitable spirit.” In the meantime, Eugenie — who has been living at Ivy Cottage at Kensington Palace since marrying Jack in October 2018 — is doing her best to enjoy her pregnancy despite the continuing tension with her father. 

“Worrying about everything going on with her dad is the last thing Eugenie needs,” says the insider. “She’s trying to remain calm and focus on the positive things. This really should be the happiest time in her life.”

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