Queen Elizabeth made her first public appearance in months after recovering from COVID-19, walking down the aisle at the late Prince Philip’s memorial service. She wasn’t the only one making their first appearance in a while; Prince Andrew was his mother’s escort, his first public outing since settling his sexual assault lawsuit.
Prince Andrew’s Significant Role At The Ceremony
Earlier this month, it was confirmed that the prince would be in attendance at the Service of Thanksgiving. It would be his first public appearance since settling the suit brought against him by Virginia Guiffre, one of Jeffrey Epstein’s trafficking victims.
Even though people were expecting Andrew, his appearance at the ceremony was still surprising. The prince didn’t just come to the service; he escorted the queen through the church and to her seat before the beginning of the ceremony.
Many are taking this to mean that the queen is showing support for her son, and possibly signaling to other members of the royal family that Andrew is not to be shut out. However, palace insiders say that there was still plenty of concern over Andrew’s high-profile role in Prince Philip’s service.
Senior Royals ‘Dismayed’ Over The Queen’s Decision
According to the Daily Mail, Prince Andrew insisted that he be the one to escort his mother through the church and sit beside her throughout the service. Other senior members of the royal family, like Prince Charles and Prince William, were allegedly “dismayed” by the decision, due to the scandal still surrounding Andrew.
“The issue of the duke’s role had been aired and batted around late last week. It was accepted, perhaps reluctantly, that he would be accompanying her to the abbey from Windsor by car,” the source said. “It is fair to say there have been raised eyebrows at him being so front and center.”
A different source close to the royal family told the outlet that the public response has made some of the royals regret the decision. “It would be a great shame if the service was overshadowed by all of this,” the source said. “There is a strong sense of regret that this has happened.”
Since Prince Andrew’s lawsuit settlement, it’s been largely assumed that he would step back from the public eye for a very long time. Whether it was a show of support from the queen, or an attempt by Prince Andrew to get back in the public’s good graces, it’s safe to assume the rest of the royals aren’t happy to see him back in the headlines.