Coronation: Prince Harry, Andrew, and York Princesses arrive
Russell Myers, royal editor at Lorraine, discussed Prince Andrew’s potential comeback on a recent episode of the Pod Save The King podcast.
“He [Andrew] does see himself as a young man who has a lot of life to live,” the commentator said. “He’s only 63. And certainly, he doesn’t want to retire and even if he does retire, what’s he going to do?”
He told host Ann Gripper that Andrew’s recent appearances, alongside his ex-wife’s “big PR round,” may be a sign of the disgraced Duke of York wanting to return to the royal fold.
In recent months, Sarah Ferguson has taken part in a series of events to promote her latest romance novel. And in several interviews, she has spoken about her ex-husband, with whom she still resides at Royal Lodge in Windsor, describing him as a “good man”, “an honest person” who “needs to be taken out of the spotlight so he can get on with his life”.
As Mr Myers noted, she has been “mentioning Prince Andrew a lot,” suggesting her comments may be an attempt to introduce him “back into the fold”.
Noting Andrew’s attendance of the Easter Sunday service in Windsor last month and the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla on Saturday, the commentator said Andrew would take the opportunity “to rehabilitate his image”.
Andrew arrived at Westminster Abbey for his older brother’s Coronation alongside his daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, sister Princess Anne and nephew Prince Harry.
The Duke was wearing a ceremonial robe, going against previous reports suggesting the royal may have been banned from wearing the attire.
Andrew was banned by the late Queen Elizabeth II from wearing the same robes in public for her last Garter Day at Windsor Castle.
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After arriving at Westminster Abbey, the Duke took his seat in the Lantern area in the third row.
Given the Duke’s disgraced status, whether or not he would be allowed to don the ceremonial robes was widely debated.
The lavish robes signify his position as a Knight of the Garter; their vestments and accoutrements include a blue velvet mantle with white taffeta lining, a dark red velvet hood and surcoat, a Tudor bonnet with a plume of white and black feathers, a pure gold collar composed of 13 heraldic knots alternating with 13 enamelled medallions, and, of course, a garter.
Russell Myers tweeted at the time: “Interesting to see Prince Andrew in his Garter robes, two weeks after Buckingham Palace told Daily Mirror that he would not. Big decision from the King considering the Duke of York was banned by the late Queen from wearing them in public for her last Garter Day at Windsor Castle.”
Andrew was reportedly “left in the dark” until the 11th hour about whether he would be allowed to wear his ceremonial robes — and was “furious” about the prospect of being banned.
While he may have got his way with his attire, his role — or lack thereof — in the Firm was made clear by his position in the Abbey.
Three rows back and sitting against a pillar, the Duke was notably absent from the remainder of the day.
He was not involved in the procession back to Buckingham Palace and did not appear on the balcony for the RAF flypast.
Andrew stepped back from royal duties in November 2019 after what was widely deemed a disastrous BBC Newsnight interview.
In 2015, Virginia Roberts Giuffre claimed she was forced to have sex with the Prince when she was 17 when he was a guest of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.
Andrew has vehemently denied the allegations and an out-of-court settlement, which was reached with Ms Giuffre in February last year, made no admission of guilt.
He was accused of trying to “worm his way back into public life” after attending the Royal Victorian Order service in March, where he also wore his Garter robes, and the Easter church service, where he manoeuvred himself immediately behind the King and Queen Consort.
Royal commentator Gertrude Daly told Express.co.uk: “I think Prince Andrew wants to make a comeback…he is trying to find a way to come back but in a less visible way, with less media attention. I think Andrew thinks he can still provide value to the monarchy, if only he were put into rooms stacked with supporters.”
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