Andrew ‘manipulated’ Queen ‘for his own gain’ despite health scare with royals ‘dismayed’

Prince Andrew: Owen Jones says memorial appearance ‘wrong’

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The Duke of York, 62, accompanied Her Majesty, 95, as she made her way to her seat for the late Duke of Edinburgh’s Service of Thanksgiving on Tuesday. The Queen’s second-youngest child entered Westminster Abbey via a separate entrance from the rest of the congregation, to save Her Majesty from walking a greater distance.

But a source has claimed Prince Andrew’s motives were designed to propel him back into the royal limelight.

Last month, the Duke of York settled the legal case brought against him by Jeffrey Epstein accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, with a sum reported to be around £12 million.

But the controversy surrounding the case and the reputational damage it wrought on the Royal Family reportedly left Prince Charles and Prince William “dismayed” that the Duke would take on such a key role in the televised service.

Reports suggest the two heirs to the throne spoke with the Queen on several occasions, the father and son “absolutely united” that Andrew taking the position of the Queen’s escort was “simply unnecessary”.

But the Queen batted down these concerns, with sources claiming it was her “wish and final decision” to pick Andrew for the duty.

A Palace source told the Mirror: “[Prince Andrew] was straight out the blocks in front of the cameras when the Duke of Edinburgh died, which was seen within the family as being completely inappropriate.

“Now this situation has unfolded, a fair few hold the view that he is manipulating his position for his own gains.

“The Duke of York’s reputation precedes him and he’s made no secret that he’s not ready to fade away into the background, as much as everyone may want him to.”

An insider close to the scandal-hit prince said: “In his mind, the situation with the allegations and the court case is firmly closed.

“There is no case to answer, he settled for the good of the family and that’s that.

“He’s very much of the view that he is a young man and has plenty to offer.

“He’s not going to just sit at home and do nothing until the end of his days.”

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The Duke of York, who resides on the Queen’s estate at Windsor, has been a constant companion of the Queen’s as he withdrew from the public spotlight.

However, the monarch stripped her son of his HRH and military titles as the legal case against him rumbled on.

The Duke has always denied all allegations against him.

Buckingham Palace announced in January: “The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”

Amid the legal battle in New York, the Queen relocated to Windsor Castle as her permanent base, after battling months of health issues and a Covid diagnosis earlier this year.

She cancelled a series of royal engagements towards the end of 2021, advised by doctors to rest and only complete light duties.

During in-person appearances, Her Majesty increasingly began to use a walking aid, and commented during a Windsor Castle meeting: “Well, as you can see, I can’t move.”

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