For months the Queen has faced a conflict between her loyalty towards her son Prince Andrew and her duty to protect the reputation of the monarchy in the face of allegations that he slept with a 17-year-old girl trafficked by his late friend, the convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
In November, after protecting Andrew for years over the Epstein scandal, the Queen ordered him to stand down from official duties “for the foreseeable future” amid a furious public backlash to a disastrous interview he gave to BBC Newsnight.
But the scandal refuses to go away as the FBI struggles to arrange an interview with Andrew, and victims of the US financier, who was found dead in a New York prison cell in August, seek to force him to give evidence about what he knows.
Andrew has always strenuously denied the claims.
The Queen has had to handle repeated controversies without her mainstay Prince Philip by her side for much of the time.
Philip, 98, spends most of his time in retirement at Wood Farm on the Sandringham Estate and they can go weeks without seeing each other.
Philip too has been a cause for concern for the monarch.
Last year he was involved in a serious accident and was forced to give up driving on public roads.
He has suffered bouts of ill health but is understood to be well at the moment after a spell in hospital just before Christmas.
Published at Tue, 18 Feb 2020 13:37:00 +0000