Prince Andrew unlikely to resume royal duties under King Charles

Queen’s second son has adopted a more visible role in the past few days, but that will end with her state funeral

During the funereal pomp of the Queen’s farewell, her four grieving children will be a sombre cynosure at the five ceremonial events. But one will, rather awkwardly, stand out.

As his siblings the King, Princess Royal and Earl of Wessex wear military uniform, the Duke of York will be in civvies.

Only during the final vigil at Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin in Westminster Hall will Prince Andrew, 62, be permitted to wear uniform, a dispensation granted as a special mark of respect for Her Majesty the Queen.

It is proof, if it were needed, that nothing much will probably change for Andrew now his brother Charles is King. He remains stripped of his military patronages and use of the HRH title.

As the Queen’s son, he has adopted a visible role, thanking well-wishers at Balmoral Castle. He will be present, alongside the rest of the family, during the leadup to and including her state funeral. It would be out of the question for him not to be involved, especially as the royal family has been keen to present a united front at this time. But as for any public role thereafter, it seems likely he will remain excluded.

“I think that he will remain very much in the background. There is no way he is going to resume royal duties. So, you could say his retirement continues,” said Joe Little, the managing editor of Majesty magazine. “There is no hope, I would suggest, of him returning to the working royal-fold anytime soon.”

Since his fall from grace over his friendship with deceased financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, and his out of court settlement in a civil case brought by Virginia Giuffre, Andrew has disappeared from public life.

Even before the Epstein controversy, Charles had indicated he wished for a much slimmed down monarchy under his reign. Andrew was not believed to be part of that, nor his daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

But, with the departure of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as working royals, “the slimming down has gone a lot further than anticipated”, said Little. “That wasn’t part of the masterplan.”

Despite this, the public mood still seems so set against Andrew that King Charles, even if he wanted to, would be unwise to attempt any rehabilitation of his brother.

The Queen continued throughout her second son’s travails to indicate her support for him. Notably, she leaned on him during the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service. But, she has now gone.

Andrew has acquired one new, familial, role, however. His spokesperson announced on Sunday that he and his former wife, Sarah, Duchess of York, would become keepers of the Queen’s corgis and dorgi. They will take on Muick and Sandy, two young corgis that Andrew and his daughters gave to the Queen as a present in 2021, as well as her dorgi – dachshund-corgi cross – named Candy.

As for Royal Lodge, the former home of the Queen Mother on the Windsor estate that Andrew and the Duchess of York still share, there has been speculation he may be asked to vacate it.

“He has a lease on Royal Lodge from the crown estate, so I think he is secure unless he wishes to relinquish the lease,” said Little. “If the worst came to the worst, I suppose Charles could [ask him to leave]. But I think he is relatively secure.”


Caroline Davies

The GuardianTramp

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