Has Prince Andrew made his last appearance at Cenotaph? Duke of York will not be present at this year’s Remembrance Sunday service following Jeffrey Epstein scandal
- Prince Andrew will not be present at this year’s Remembrance Sunday service
- Sources say it is ‘unlikely’ Duke of York he will ever make an appearance again
- Royal aides said to have been ‘agonising’ over how to handle the predicament
The Duke of York will not be present at this year’s Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph and sources say it is ‘unlikely’ he will ever make an appearance again.
Royal aides are said to have been ‘agonising’ over how to handle the predicament.
Plans for a significantly pared-down service this year are said to have given them the perfect excuse not to include the beleaguered prince in the traditional royal line-up on November 8.
They say that unless matters regarding his ongoing battle with the US authorities over the Jeffrey Epstein scandal dramatically change, they do not believe the prince will be seen at the event in an official capacity again.
Prince Andrew (pictured at the annual Remembrance Sunday memorial at The Cenotaph in November 2019) will not be present at this year’s Remembrance Sunday service and sources say it is ‘unlikely’ he will ever make an appearance again
Buckingham Palace is in the process of finalising the event but, subject to receiving appropriate advice, the Queen will again oversee the commemorations from the balcony of the Foreign and Commonwealth building overlooking the Cenotaph in Whitehall.
The 94-year-old’s heir, the Prince of Wales, will lay a wreath on her behalf. She handed over this duty to him in 2017 due to her age.
Other members of the Royal Family who normally attend the event, organised by the Royal British Legion, are likely to lead commemorations elsewhere due to social distancing rules.
Buckingham Palace announced that Andrew, who served with distinction as a Royal Navy helicopter pilot, would be stepping back from royal duties for the ‘foreseeable future’ in November following his disastrous attempt to clear his name in a BBC interview.
The Duke of York (pictured with Jeffrey Epstein in New York’s Central Park) will not be included in the traditional royal line-up on November 8
But officials said the 60-year-old would still attend key events such as Trooping the Colour and Remembrance Day as a royal colonel and military veteran.
Andrew has continued to retain several honorary military titles such as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, despite calls for him to step down from those too.
Trooping the Colour was cancelled this year due to the pandemic, alleviating courtiers of a difficult decision, but Remembrance Sunday was always going to be a more thorny issue, as Andrew served his country with distinction during the Falklands War.
He piloted Sea King helicopters in the South Atlantic during the 1982 conflict, flying missions including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and casualty evacuation.
On his return to Portsmouth in September 1982, his ship, HMS Invincible, was met by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. The prince eventually retired from the Royal Navy after 22 years in 2001.
A source said: ‘There has been behind-the-scenes agonising over the Cenotaph issue because of the Duke’s history of service, but matters have now been taken out of everyone’s hands.
‘Her Majesty the Queen and the Prince of Wales will lead the nation’s tributes in a pared-down event.
‘However, unless matters change dramatically, no one believes we will ever see the Duke of York in the royal line-up on Remembrance Sunday again.’
This year’s commemorations will be particularly special as they will mark the 100th anniversary of the unveiling of the Cenotaph.
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