The Queen ‘overruled William and Charles’ for Andrew to walk her into Westminster Abbey
The Queen ‘overruled William and Charles’ by saying it was her ‘wish and final decision’ for Prince Andrew to walk her into Westminster Abbey – as concerns grow disgraced duke will make another appearance at Platinum Jubilee events
- Prince Andrew took centre stage escorting Queen to Philip’s memorial service
- It was the disgraced duke’s first public appearance since striking settlement with Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Mrs Giuffre
- His prominent role was said to have left Princes Charles and William ‘dismayed’
- But the heirs’ concerns were ‘overruled’ by Queen’s ‘wish and final decision’
- It is suggested Duke of York could be angling for appearance at Jubilee events
The Queen overruled Prince Charles and Prince William to allow disgraced son Andrew to escort her at Duke of Edinburgh‘s memorial service – amid concerns he is angling for a role at the Platinum Jubilee events this summer.
The Duke of York took centre stage on Tuesday when he walked his mother through Westminster Abbey to her seat in full view of the live broadcast cameras – to the shock of many in the congregation.
It was the shamed royal’s first public appearance since he paid a reported £12million settlement to Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre to end a highly-damaging civil sexual assault case in New York.
Andrew has been forced to step back from public life over his association with late paedophile Epstein.
It is reported that Princes Charles and William raised concerns ‘on more than one occasion’ about the optics of allowing the duke to escort the 95-year-old monarch down to her seat at such a well-publicised event.
The Queen overruled Prince Charles and Prince William to allow disgraced son Andrew to escort her at Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service – and has fuelled concerns he is angling for a role at the Platinum Jubilee events this summer
The future kings were ‘absolutely united’ that it was ‘unnecessary’ for him to have the high profile role, according to The Mirror.
But their protests were overruled by The Queen, who made it her ‘wish and final decision’ in choosing for Andrew to have a special role on the occasion.
Senior royals – including Charles and William – are said to have been left ‘shocked and dismayed’ by the decision.
The Duke of York is understood to have got his way after lobbying to take his 95-year-old mother to her seat because she ‘couldn’t say no to her favourite son’ despite objections from William and Charles, sources claimed.
The Dean of Westminster had been expected to take the Monarch to her seat while the Prince followed behind, according to the order of service, but footage captured shortly after they entered the Abbey shows Andrew clinging to his mother’s arm.
It is reported that Princes Charles and William raised concerns ‘on more than one occasion’ about the optics of allowing the duke to escort the 95-year-old monarch down to her seat at such a well-publicised event
The future kings were ‘absolutely united’ that it was ‘unnecessary’ for him to have the high profile role for the memorial service
Andrew then walked arm in arm with his mother before helping her to her seat. He also sat in the front row next to brother Prince Edward, rather than with his daughters as was expected.
‘The Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge reluctantly accepted that [Andrew] would travel with the Queen to the abbey as they both live in Windsor,’ a source told the paper.
‘It was arguably palatable if simply down to logistics, but it goes without saying that most of the family were dismayed to see him walking the Queen up the aisle.’
Critics are painting the move as a brazen attempt by the 62-year-old to slide back into the spotlight, hoping it might lead to a ‘mission creep‘ return to public life or a ‘springboard’ to appear at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
While the idea of an official role such as a riding in procession for Trooping the Colour is ruled out, there are other events such as a service celebrating the Queen’s reign at St Paul’s Cathedral on June 3 where he could make appearances.
A source close to the duke previously suggested the service would mark his final public appearance and that it was ‘highly unlikely’ he would appear at the flagship events to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne. On Wednesday the palace declined to comment.
Another source said the duke ‘still believes he has much to offer the family and public service in general’.
Andrew has also been accused of completely misreading the public mood by playing such a prominent role just weeks after agreeing a multi-million-pound settlement with his rape accuser Virginia Giuffre, whose claims he has always denied.
It was the shamed royal’s first public appearance since he paid a reported £12million settlement to Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre to end a highly-damaging civil sexual assault case in New York
Even his siblings were said to be ‘dismayed’ by the stunt, with them earlier hoping ‘common sense’ would prevail and he would accept playing a backroom role in the event.
Andrew has been forced to lurk in the shadows after details of his close friendship with the billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his madam Ghislaine Maxwell were exposed.
He was stripped of his military honours and royal patronages, and told by Charles he would be made to ‘disappear’ from public life following his final official outing for his father’s memorial.
Yet yesterday’s antics appear to show the Duke was unafraid to thrust himself centre stage once more, while the world watched.