Prince Andrew’s plans to use Falklands War anniversary to stage royal return

Lorraine says Prince Andrew is 'guilty of being arrogant'

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The Falklands War was sparked by Argentina’s invasion of the British overseas territory in the South Atlantic, the Falkland Islands. After two months of fighting, the war came to a conclusion with Argentina’s surrender, on June 14, 1982 – 40 years ago today. A total of 255 British and 650 Argentine servicemen died during the conflict, and veterans of the war will attend a service marking the end of the conflict on Tuesday. 

Perhaps the most well-known veteran of the conflict is the Queen’s son, Prince Andrew, who served in the Royal Navy as a helicopter pilot. 

He was highly regarded for his bravery during the invasion and has retained links with the Royal Navy ever since, holding the rank of vice admiral.

However, now, the Duke of York has retreated significantly from public life after the sexual assault civil case brought against him by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a trafficking victim of Jeffrey Epstein. 

Andrew came to an out-of-court settlement with Ms Giuffre, but has consistently denied all allegations, claiming he has no recollection of ever meeting his accuser.

Since then, the disgraced duke has remained out of the public eye — only making one appearance at Prince Philip’s memorial service in March. 

In previous years, the Queen’s second son has joined other Falklands veterans at commemorative services. 

While his attendance this year has not been confirmed by Buckingham Palace, it has previously been said that the prince was “determined to take part” and saw it as a “return to public life.”

Writing for the Daily Mail in November, Richard Eden said Andrew “plans to use his military career as a way to return to public life.”

A source told the publication’s diary editor: “The Duke is determined to take part in the Falklands commemorations.

“The Falklands was a key moment in his life and he wants to honour his fallen comrades. 

“He hopes this could help pave the way for a return to public life.”

In April, to mark the 40th anniversary of the start of the Falklands War, Andrew recalled his time as a helicopter pilot during the conflict on social media.

The now-deleted post was uploaded on his ex-wife’s Instagram account. 

Andrew began: “As I sit here at my desk on this cold crisp spring morning thinking back to April 1982 I’ve tried to think what was going through my mind as we sailed out of Portsmouth lining the flight deck of HMS INVINCIBLE.” 

He concluded: “So whilst I think back to a day when a young man went to war, full of bravado, I returned a changed man.

“I put away childish things and false bravado and returned a man full in the knowledge of human frailty and suffering.”

It was initially signed off as HRH The Duke of York — a title he was forced to give up in January when the Queen stripped him of his honorary roles — before the reference to His Royal Highness was soon removed.

And only hours later all the posts were removed.

It came days after Andrew played a prominent role in the Service of Thanksgiving for his father. 

To the shock of many royal watchers, the duke escorted his mother all the way to her front-row position in Westminster Abbey — in full view of the live broadcast cameras. 

It had been expected that the Dean of Westminster would take the Queen to her seat, with Andrew trailing quietly behind.

Since his surprise involvement in the service, there had been speculation that Andrew would try to return to public life — particularly ahead of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

However, due to a bout of Covid, the duke did not attend any Jubilee events. 

Moreover, Andrew was excluded from the public parts of the traditional Garter Day service, despite originally being due to take part. 

The recent snub suggests that while Andrew is keen to make a royal return, the rest of the Royal Family are far more hesitant.

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