Angela Levin on Prince Andrew's involvement in Philip's memorial
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The disgraced Duke of York arrived at the memorial at Westminster Abbey holding the arm of his mother, the Queen, before taking a seat in the front row of the pew. This was Andrew’s first public event since the settlement of the civil sex-assault case brought against him in the US.
It was believed the Duke would walk down the aisle along with his daughters, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice.
However, the Princesses were seated in the second row of the church, behind the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and next to Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
The decision was reportedly made by the monarch herself.
However, other senior members of the Royal Family are understood to be less than enthusiastic about the idea of Andrew trying to make more public appearances, such as at this year’s Platinum Jubilee events.
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Sources have claimed that both Charles and William have protested against the Duke’s appearance.
One well placed insider told the Mirror: “Both the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge reluctantly accepted that he [Prince Andrew] would travel with the Queen to the Abbey as they both live in Windsor.
“It was arguably palatable if simply down to logistics, but it goes without saying that most of the family were absolutely dismayed to see him walking the Queen up the aisle in full view of the entire congregation and broadcast cameras.”
Reports claim both Charles and William have held private talks regarding Andrew, with the pair aware of the Duke’s wish not to retire.
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Sources close to Andrew have suggested the Duke “still believes he has much to offer the family and public service in general”, which has suggested he may hold a role during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations this summer.
While Charles and William have suggested they do not support Andrew attending royal engagements, royal sources have claimed, the Queen has the final say in such matters.
An insider told the Mirror: “Ultimately as this episode shows, it’s up to the Queen – and if she wants Andrew there he will be there.”
The Prince has had to step back from royal duties and lost his royal patronages and the use of the title His Royal Highness (HRH).
Last month he agreed to a settlement, thought to be well over $10m (£6.5m), with his accuser, Virginia Giuffre.
However, the settlement meant he ended the case without admitting any liability.
The royal has always vehemently denied any wrongdoing.
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