Disgraced after accusations of sexual abuse, Prince Andrew returns to the spotlight following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, but once the mourning is over, experts expect him to return to the shadows under Charles III.
At 62, the late monarch’s third child walked with his siblings, the new King Charles III, Edward and Anne, behind the coffin taken to St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh on Monday. Unlike them, he was the only one dressed in civilian clothes, deprived of ceremonial military uniform.
The Duke of York, father of two daughters, was banned from official public appearances and stripped of his military titles earlier this year after he was at the heart of a scandal, accused of sexually abusing a young girl from 17 years. Threatened with a lawsuit in the United States, he put an end to the lawsuits by paying millions of dollars.
His role during the ongoing national mourning in the United Kingdom is one of the puzzles that the royal family must manage, with the estrangement between princes William and Harry. “Andrew, sick old man!” yelled a passerby as the former helicopter pilot walked silently behind the hearse carrying the Queen through central Edinburgh.
Over the weekend, Andrew, long popular for his involvement in the Falklands War against Argentina in 1982, also accompanied members of the Royal Family to greet the crowd outside Balmoral Castle, where the Queen stood. died at age 96.
Robert Hazell, a constitutional expert at University College London, believes that Charles should leave Andrew in the future in the future, in particular because the new king wants a more “smaller” active royal family. “As a member of the family, as the Queen’s son, he logically mourns his mother”, but “I would be very surprised if the Duke of York retained a role in the future”, he adds.
His presence at a service in honor of his father, Prince Philip, last March also drew criticism. He had entered into the arms of the Queen and had accompanied her to Westminster Abbey.
His dismissal reflects the serious damage he is accused of having caused to the royal family, because of his friendship with the late American financier Jeffrey Epstein, accused of trafficking in minors.
A young American, Virginia Giuffre, accused him of sexual assault when she was 17, saying she had met him through Epstein. To defend himself, he gave a disastrous interview to the BBC in 2019, in which he questioned the authenticity of the photos showing him with the young girl. The Queen, of whom Andrew was often referred to as her “favorite son”, then deprived him of his titles in early 2022, pushed, according to some, by her son Charles and her grandson William.
“Monarchies that have lost public support are gone,” Hazell recalls. “Any astute monarch is always attentive to public opinion and quick to react,” he adds, expecting Charles III “to be no different from his mother”.
Andrew made a financial deal to avoid a lawsuit. In June, her longtime friend Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison in New York for her complicity with Epstein in his trafficking of minors.
Royal biographer Robert Johnson has indicated that Prince William would be totally opposed to his uncle’s return to prominence.
Symbol of this place in the background, but always present within the family, Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, who continue to share a mansion near Windsor Castle, will adopt the two favorite dogs of the Queen. The two corgis had been offered by the couple to the queen in 2021.
Death of Elizabeth II: the royal procession in Edinburgh disrupted by a troublemaker
Elizabeth II’s children gather around her remains
Orphans, the famous corgis of Elizabeth II adopted by her son Andrew
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