Prince Andrew was banned from wearing his military outfit and saluting at last night’s vigil for his mother in Edinburgh.
The Duke of York turned up to yesterday’s ceremony in a suit, a sharp contrast to his siblings – Princess Anne and Prince Edward – who wore their military uniforms for the traditional Vigil of the Princes at St Giles Cathedral.
It was a public dressing down for the Queen’s third child, and a reminder of his lowered status after he was stripped of his military titles and booted from public life by the Firm for his links to notorious paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
In recent years he has been plagued with accusations made by one of Epstein’s ‘sex slaves’ alleging the royal had sexually abused her when she was a minor under American law.
This culminated in a bombshell US lawsuit and a multimillion-pound out of court settlement, although the Duke of York has consistently denied the allegations.
In the fallout Andrew gave up his HRH status and was stripped of all his honorary military titles, including Colonel of the Grenadier Guards.
And this became apparent yesterday as his siblings arrived to take a vigil over their mother’s coffin in their military uniforms, while Andrew was left wearing only a suit and his medals.
Members of the royal family stand at a Service of Prayer and Reflection for the life of Queen Elizabeth II at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh today
Prince Andrew was not permitted to wear his military uniform at the vigil for his mother today. Here he is pictured speaking to his elder brother, King Charles (right) outside St Giles Cathedral
Princess Anne (left) and Prince Edward (right) attended the vigil in full military uniform, while Andrew (centre back) was dressed in a suit
Prince Andrew returns to the fold – but not for long
For the last couple of years Prince Andrew has been keeping a relatively low profile after allegations about his links to notorious paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
He has been rarely seen in public and was only scheduled to appear at one event during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations – something he ended up missing due to getting Covid.
With his mother’s passing he has been allowed to return to the public eye to take part in the national mourning that will come over the next couple of weeks.
However, this is not expected to be a permanent return, with the Telegraph reporting the new king is not likely to allow him to restart formal functions.
King Charles, along with his son, Prince William, were two of the key driving forces behind Andrew’s banishment from public life as they fought to contain the fallout from his relationship with Epstein and subsequent civil sex abuse case with one of the paedophile’s victims.
It reports they are likely to force him back out of the public eye once the mourning for Her Majesty is over.
After a short procession, King Charles III, Anne, the Princess Royal, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward each stood on one of the four corners of the oak coffin with their heads bowed in a ceremony known as the Vigil of the Princes.
The Duke of York kept his eyes closed for a period of time during the 10-minute vigil, while the Princess Royal and Earl of Wessex had their eyes fixed towards the floor. The King – his eyes moistening – kept his hands joined and also looked towards the floor as members of the public filed past.
The King and his family stood alongside four suited members of the Royal Company of Archers, who were standing guard dressed in long-feathered hats and armed with arrows and quivers.
Members of the public – who have been filing past the coffin in their thousands throughout the afternoon – were briefly held back to allow the royals to take their place.
However, they continued to file past once the vigil began, offering them an extraordinary perspective on the historic moment.
A number of members of the public bowed as they passed the King, with others walking solemnly by with heads down.
Charles wore the Prince Charles Edward Stuart tartan and white heather in his lappelle from Balmoral, while Anne and Edward appeared in military uniform.
However, Andrew – despite having served in the Falklands War – wore only a morning suit, having been banned from wearing uniform on public occasions following his exile from public life amid the fallout from his role in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.
The Duke of York will only be permitted to appear in military dress during a second Vigil of the Princes in Westminster Hall later this week.
This is in contrast to Prince Harry who will not be allowed to wear his military uniform at the same event, it is being reported.
Meghan Markle’s friend and preferred journalist Omid Scobie claimed that the Duke of Sussex – who has also seen military action by serving two tours of Afghanistan – has been banned from wearing his uniform at all ceremonial events during mourning for Her Majesty.
‘I understand that, unlike Prince Andrew, Prince Harry will NOT be allowed to wear uniform at the final vigil in Westminster Hall. No doubt a huge blow for the Duke of Sussex, who served for 10 years and this morning spoke of the Queen being his ”commander-in-chief”’, he tweeted yesterday.
Harry and Meghan were also stripped of their titles after they quit royal duties and left the UK for California.
The ensuing Megxit saga, which has seen the Duke and Duchess of Sussex make a series of astonishing allegations against The Firm including claims of racism against Meghan and her unborn son Archie by an unnamed senior royal, has sparked a civil war in the House of Windsor and plunged the monarchy into one of its most severe crises.
King Charles III, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew, who was not in military uniform but whose medals were pinned to his morning suit, walk behind the hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II in Edinburgh
Royal sources have said the disgraced Duke of York – a Falklands War veteran who exiled from public life amid the fallout from his role in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal – will be entitled to wear military colours if he attends the ceremonial event on Wednesday. However, Meghan Markle’s friend and preferred journalist Omid Scobie claimed that the Duke of Sussex – who has also seen military action by serving two tours of Afghanistan – has been banned from wearing his uniform at all ceremonial events during mourning for Her Majesty
The temporary reprieve granted to the Duke of York this week is set to be short lived, with King Charles expected to resist any attempts by his brother to return to Royal duties.
His involvement in the national mourning following Her Majesty’s death at Balmoral Castle last Thursday is being done as the royal family attempts to put on a united front.
On Saturday, while Charles was sworn in as King, Anne, Andrew, Edward and their children thanked well-wishers who had gathered outside the gates of Balmoral.
He was seen reading tributes to his late mother and embracing his daughter Princess Eugenie.
And the 62-year-old’s joined other members of the family in Edinburgh yesterday for the arrival of the Queen’s coffin, with his apparent banishment from public life seemingly brought to a temporary halt.
The Duke of York was present at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in the Scottish capital with his sister Princess Anne, and brother Prince Edward, as the cortege arrived.
Andrew is thought to have been incredibly close to his late mother, and is believed to have spent large amounts of time in recent months.
He has often been described as the Queen’s ‘favourite son’, and was seen walking arm-in-arm with his mother for the funeral of his late father, Prince Phillip.
Princess Beatrice bends down with her father the Duke of York to look at tributes and flowers left outside Balmoral Castle in Ballater on September 10
Prince Andrew, Duke of York views the flowers left by mourners outside Balmoral Castle on September 10
He has rarely been seen in public since his association with notorious paedophile Jeffrey Epstein became public knowledge, with other members of the family railing against his involvement in royal functions.
His appearance at the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial was his first appearance after settling a civil sex abuse case with Virginia Giuffre, with no admission of liability.
He was not seen at the summer’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations due to Covid.
Over the weekend a palace source was quoted as saying it would be ‘out of the question’ for him not to be involved when the royal family is trying to present a united front.
But this temporary reprieve is not set to become permanent, with both King Charles and Prince William making it clear that Andrew will not play any formal role in their reigns.
‘Once it is all over, he will be expected to retreat back to a life lived well under the royal radar,’ the Telegraph reported.