Princess Anne and Edward ‘called up from reserves’ says Whitfeld
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Missing out on visiting Falklands-related events will “really rile” Prince Andrew, according to a royal commentator. Author Phil Dampier believes the Duke of York “wanted” to take part in engagements marking the 40th anniversary of the 10-week-long war between the UK and Argentina in which he also took part as a helicopter pilot and will be “very upset” he can’t attend them.
However, the fact he stepped back from public duties, a move prompted in mid-November 2019 by his now-notorious interview with Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis entirely focused on his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, makes it impossible for Andrew to be involved in any way with these commemorations, Mr Dampier said.
He told the MailOnline: “I believe that he wanted to but it was made clear to him that there was no way he could be involved as he is no longer a working royal in public life.”
Following the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, Mr Dampier continued, “people forget that Andrew returned from the South Atlantic a hero”.
Virginia Giuffre, who says to have been one of Epstein’s victims, launched a civil lawsuit against Prince Andrew in the summer of 2021.
The Duke has firmly and repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. The case was settled out of court in February, a move which did not represent an admission of liability by Andrew.
Mr Dampier added: “He put his life on the line flying helicopters as a decoy for Exocet missiles which were causing immense damage to the British fleet.
“The Queen was worried sick about him and was so relieved when he returned home safely.
“In fact when he came back to Portsmouth with, famously, a rose between his teeth, his parents were there to greet him but also his sister Princess Anne. So it’s even more poignant that she is going down there.”
Princess Anne and her husband Sir Timothy Laurence, a retired Navy officer, will pay an official visit to the Falkland Islands between November 17 and 22.
This trip, which an expert has described strictly as a royal visit rather than a charm offensive move in the long-standing dispute over the sovereignty of the archipelago between Britain and Argentina, comes a few months after the Falklands’ capital – Stanley – was granted city status.
Anne, who has already travelled to the Falklands over the past few decades, will likely “feel sorry” for his brother, Mr Dampier added.
However, he believes “the King and the Prince of Wales have made it clear that there is no way back for him, at least in the near future”.
The author continued: “Whether some sort of role with a charity or cause can be found at a later date only time will tell. But missing out on Falklands events will really rile him.”
Prince Andrew shared in April on his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson’s Instagram account his reflections on the 40th anniversary of his departure from Portsmouth to the Falklands to take part in the war.
The Duke said he “returned a changed man” and recalled being shot at during his service, an experience which, he said, “had a lasting and permanent effect on me”.
This post was deleted just a couple of hours after being shared by the Duchess.
Princess Anne’s trip to the Falklands is part of a series of events marking the war anniversary.
In June, the Princess Royal attended an event where she met veterans and paid tribute to the fallen.
In July, King Charles and Queen Camilla attended a reception on board the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in Portsmouth, where they met veterans and serving sailors.
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