Princess Beatrice gets emotional at Prince Philip's memorial
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In March, the Duke of York, 62, formally ended a civil case brought against him in the US by paying a financial settlement to his accuser Virginia Giuffre. Although the parties have settled the case, the agreement is not an admission of guilt from Andrew and he has always strongly rejected claims of wrongdoing.
The allegations against Andrew have seriously marred his reputation which was already under scrutiny due to his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.
As a result, the Prince has been facing mounting pressure to stop using his Duke of York title and step back from royal life completely, while his involvement with public royal events has been mired in controversy.
Cele Otnes, co-author of Royal Fever: The British Monarchy in Consumer Culture claims the controversy surrounding the Duke has had a knock-on effect on his two daughters – Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
Ms Otnes claims the sisters have become “collateral damage”, and notes that it’s noteworthy considering that Beatrice in particular contributed one of the “most poignant moments” for the Royal Family’s brand.
She nods to how the 33-year-old wore a vintage Norman Hartnell gown for her wedding during the pandemic, on loan from none other than Beatrice’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
However, she also points out that Andrew was not in any of the pictures that were released publicly to mark the occasion, in order to protect the royal brand’s image.
Ms Otnes, a professor of marketing specialising in how the Royal Family told Express.co.uk: “The thing that honestly makes me sad is the collateral damage that gets done so like Andrew, I don’t lose one wink of sleep feeling sad for Andrew, but I feel sad for his daughters.
“I think they, interestingly enough, even though Andrew and Fergie were quite the pair, and [Sarah] of course had her share of contributions to issues in the family.
“The young ladies, their daughters, have offered some of the most poignant moments of the royal family brand like the Beatrice wearing Queen Elizabeth II’s dress, I think was just like, a perfect COVID wedding moment.
“But interestingly, there’s a discussion about how Andrew wasn’t allowed in the pictures. So that’s sad for her.”
Ms Otnes goes on to point out that Beatrice was spotted bursting into tears at Prince Philip’s memorial service.
Beatrice began to cry as she looked at the Queen holding onto Prince Andrew’s arm.
The Duke of York accompanied the Queen through a side entrance at Westminster Abbey, and the monarch clutched onto his arm and held a walking stick while navigating towards her seat.
Referencing this moment, Ms Otnes said: “Beatrice seemed to be quite broken up at Prince Philip’s memorial service when Andrew was escorting the Queen down the nave of the church and so I think I feel I feel bad for [her and Eugenie] that they have to feel the brunt of his missteps.”
The event marked a rare public appearance for the Duke who was stripped of his military titles and royal patronages earlier this year.
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The Service of Thanksgiving also marked his first public appearance since settling his civil case.
After the Queen and Andrew arrived together, a heated debate was sparked among royal watchers and experts alike.
Some claimed that the mother and son’s appearance was controversial while others claimed Andrew has a right to be at an event that honours his late father.
Ms Otnes went on to explain how as the monarch’s health has become a topic of scrutiny owing to her “episodic mobility issues”, other members of the Royal Family have stepped up to support the Crown by performing duties.
She noted some specific members of the Firm including Princess Anne and Sophie, Countess of Wessex “supports the family brand” before adding: “I think Beatrice and Eugenie would like to but they’re kind of being shoved shunted off as a minor royal, and a lot of that is that collateral damage the tarnishment of their father.
“If you have them in the fold, that gives him the chance, you know, he gives him an opportunity to weasel his way back in so to speak.”
In 2019, the Duke noted he would be stepping back from royal life for the “foreseeable future”.
It came following his disastrous BBC Newsnight interview in 2019, where he spoke about his relationship with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
A number of charities had already cut ties with the prince but following this, he stepped back from most public duties.
In January, Andrew was stripped of his remaining military titles and patronages amid the civil case brought against him in the US, which has since been settled.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson also noted that the Duke would not be able to use his HRH title in any official capacity.
Since then Andrew has only appeared at a select few royal events.
He was among 30 mourners who gathered last April to attend Prince Philip’s funeral service and then attended the memorial service earlier this year.
He’s also been tipped to join the Queen for Garter Day, one of the most important ceremonies in the Royal calendar taking place at Windsor Castle on June 13.
Andrew is rumoured to attend the event in a private capacity as a Royal Knight.
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