Prince Andrew hugs emotional Princess Eugenie
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This came after his teary appearance at Balmoral, where he broke his silence to speak to well-wishers following the Queen’s death. Joined by his daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, the Duke of York spoke to mourners following a short prayer service held in Her Majesty’s honour at Crathie Kirk on Saturday. Asked by one onlooker how things were, Andrew said: “We’ve been allowed one day, now we start the process of handing her on.”
He added: “It’s nice to see you, thank you for coming.”
This was his first public appearance since paying an undisclosed sum to settle a civil sex abuse case.
Prince Andrew has repeatedly and vehemently denied allegations brought against him by Virginia Giuffre in the US.
Despite his most recent appearance, royal commentator Camilla Tominey claimed “there is little hope of a comeback”.
She added: “When his mother was alive there was more tolerance for the royal described by some as her ‘favourite’ son.”
Ms Tominey claimed that Andrew is unlikely to have a “future” in “King Charles III’s slimmed-down monarchy”.
She explained: “It is no secret that Andrew is not particularly close to his brother – and having helped to orchestrate his permanent exit from royal life along with the Prince of Wales, it’s always been thought that the Duke has no future in King Charles III’s slimmed-down monarchy.
“Yes, he may have conducted himself with decorum as he joined fellow members of the Royal family to inspect the floral tributes at Balmoral on Saturday.
“In a show of family unity, he was photographed tenderly hugging his daughter Princess Eugenie when she was moved to tears by the messages – and was later seen arm in arm with his sister-in-law, the Countess of Wessex.
“And he may have inherited his late mother’s beloved dogs, which are to be rehoused at Royal Lodge, the Windsor home he shares with his ex-wife, the Duchess of York.
“But while he will join his siblings in playing a prominent role in the coming days, walking behind Queen Elizabeth’s coffin and taking part in the official vigil as she lays in state – once it is all over, he will be expected to retreat back to a life lived well under the royal radar.”
A spokesperson for Prince Andrew said he and his ex-wife Sarah, the Duchess of York will take on corgis Muick and Sandy.
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The two dogs were given to the Queen as gifts from her son during lockdown.
Royal expert Harry Mount told i that the “door has closed” for Prince Andrew to return to public life.
He said: “In her last years, it’s said that the Queen was often leant on by Prince Andrew for some form of comeback – not least in his surprise appearance at Prince Philip’s memorial service.
“With her sad death, that door has closed.
“King Charles III and the Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge are said to be dead set against any comeback for Andrew.
“He will be allowed, of course, to go to the funeral and all state occasions, but any public role is very unlikely”.
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