Sunday, June 26, 2022

Prince Andrew will attend the Garter Day ceremony on Monday after missing the anniversary with Covid

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The royal will make his first appearance in months after agreeing a multimillion-pound settlement with Virginia Giuffre, who accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was 17

The monarch’s second son has kept a low profile since his disastrous 2019 news night Interview with Emily Maitlis about his friendship with pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.

Prince Andrew will make his first public appearance in months on Monday after missing the platinum anniversary celebrations with coronavirus.

Earlier this year he avoided a damaging lawsuit by agreeing to a multi-million dollar settlement with Virginia Giuffre, who accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was 17.

The Queen stripped him of his royal titles and honorary military posts and confirmed that he would no longer serve in public office. But in what some interpreted as a public show of support, Andrew played a central role by accompanying his mother to Prince Philip’s memorial service in March, his last major public outing.

The Duke will appear alongside other royals at Windsor Castle’s Garter Day service on Monday, a procession celebrating the Order of the Garter, Britain’s oldest chivalric order.

A senior palace source told The times: “At some point, of course, you have to think about how you can support the duke when he is trying to slowly rebuild his life in a different direction away from the public eye.

“There is, of course, a real awareness and sensitivity to public sentiment.”

“It is also recognized that the task of supporting him as he begins to rebuild his life will be the first step on a long journey and should not be played in the public spotlight every day.”

The Duke of York was due to attend a Jubilee service at St Paul’s Cathedral last week pending testing positive for Covid.

Prince Philip’s memorial service in March was his first public appearance since he paid Virginia Giuffre an undisclosed sum, ending her civil lawsuit against him in the United States.

Ms Guiffre claimed the Duke had sex with her three times when she was a teenager kept as a “sex slave” by Epstein.

Under the terms of the settlement, the Duke did not admit any wrongdoing, but agreed to make a “significant donation to Ms. Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights” to help “fight the ills of the sex trade.”

Royal experts suggested that while his recent presence alongside the Queen was evidence that she was still supportive of her son, it did not represent his reintroduction to royal life.

Dickie Arbiter, who acted as the Queen’s press secretary after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, said I: “Andrew’s presence was a given – Prince Philip was his father and it would have been strange if he hadn’t turned up.

“The Queen needed someone by her side who could help her when needed. There is no way back into public life. He attended his father’s Thanksgiving service and accompanied his mother there.”

Ahead of the anniversary celebrations, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev Justin Welby, suggested Andrew wanted to “make amends” for his harmful behavior, adding: “I think that’s a very good thing.”

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