The Queen and Prince Andrew, who recently settled a civil sex claim, have been seen making their way to the memorial service for Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey, which they will attend with other Royal Family members
Image: JIM BENNETT)
The Queen has been spotted leaving Windsor alongside Prince Andrew as they make their way to Prince Philip’s memorial service.
The pair were pictured sitting side by side in a car – less than an hour after it was revealed Her Majesty would be attending the event for her late husband.
The event will also be Andrew’s first public appearance since establishing a civil sex claim against him.
Andrew will arrive at the Abbey later this morning alongside his daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. They will be accompanied by their husbands Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi and Jack Brooksbank.
His attendance at the royal event will be his first public appearance since the out-of-court agreement – revealed in court documents in mid-February – was made with his accuser Virginia Giuffre.
Andrew will join his mother the Queen alongside other royals including Prince Charles, Camilla, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George at the event.
Andrew stepped down from royal duties in November 2019. He attended Philip’s funeral in April 2021.
In January, the Queen stripped her second son of his prestigious honorary military titles and royal patronages, and he stopped using his HRH style, in a move that effectively cast him adrift from the institution.
But it had been thought that any decision around Andrew’s attendance was dependent on whether the Queen considered the thanksgiving church service a family event or an official engagement, and how much she and royal aides would be concerned that Andrew’s presence could detract from the proceedings.
Last month, a letter submitted to the United States District Court said Andrew “regrets his association” with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, and had agreed to make a “substantial donation” to Ms Giuffre’s charity, after the pair agreed an undisclosed out-of- court settlement in her civil sex claim against him.
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Andrew’s attendance will come after Buckingham Palace confirmed the Queen would be attending the memorial service this morning.
In recent weeks the Queen has been forced to pull out of several high profile events, including Commonwealth Day, amid reports that the “frail” Queen has been using a wheelchair.
Pictures released last week show her standing with a walking stick as she viewed a display of hand-decorated teapots and antique enamelled trinket boxes brought to her Windsor Castle home for her to see.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said this morning: “The Queen is currently intending to attend the service this morning.”
Special arrangements have been put in place for the Queen’s comfort, with the service limited to 40 minutes and the monarch sitting in one of the Canada chairs but with an additional cushion.
The difficulty for the Queen was understood to be whether the monarch would be able to walk to her seat.
BBC cameras are likely to avoid filming the Queen as she makes her way through the back of the Abbey via Poets’ Corner – a shorter route to place in the Lantern.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.