During the Queen’s farewell’s funereal pomp, her four bereaved children will be the sole focus of the five ceremonial events. However, one will awkwardly stand out.
While his siblings, the King, Princess Anne, and the Earl of Wessex, will be dressed in military uniform, the Duke of York will be dressed casually.
Only during the final vigil at the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Hall will Prince Andrew, 62, be allowed to wear uniform, a special dispensation granted as a mark of respect for Her Majesty the Queen.
It’s proof, if any were needed, that nothing will change for Andrew now that his brother Charles is King. He retains his military patronage and the use of the HRH title. He has taken on a visible role as the Queen’s son, thanking well-wishers at Balmoral Castle. He will be in attendance, along with the rest of the family, during the period leading up to and including her state funeral. It would be unthinkable for him not to be involved, especially given the royal family’s desire to present a united front at this time. However, he appears unlikely to be considered for any future public roles.
“I believe he will remain largely in the background.” He has no intention of returning to royal duties. As a result, you could say his retirement is still ongoing,” said Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine. “There is no hope, I would suggest, of him returning to the working royal-fold anytime soon.”
Andrew has vanished from public view since his fall from grace over his friendship with deceased financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, as well as his out-of-court settlement in a civil case brought by Virginia Giuffre.
Even before the Epstein scandal, Charles had expressed a desire for a much smaller monarchy during his reign. Andrew and his daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, were not thought to be a part of it.
However, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departure as working royals, “the slimming down has gone a lot further than anticipated,” according to Little. “That was not part of the plan.”
Despite this, the public mood appears to be so hostile toward Andrew that even if King Charles wanted to, he would be foolish to attempt any rehabilitation of his brother.
Throughout her second son’s trials, the Queen expressed her support for him. Notably, she rested her head on his shoulder during the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service. But she is no longer with us.
Andrew, on the other hand, has taken on a new, familial role. On Sunday, his spokesperson announced that he and his former wife, Sarah, Duchess of York, would take care of the Queen’s corgis and dorgi. They will face Muick and Sandy, two young corgis given to the Queen by Andrew and his daughters in 2021, as well as Candy, her dachshund-corgi cross.
There has been speculation that Andrew may be asked to vacate Royal Lodge, the former home of the Queen Mother on the Windsor estate that he and the Duchess of York still share.
“He has a lease from the crown estate on Royal Lodge, so I think he’s secure unless he wants to relinquish the lease,” Little said. “If the worst happened, I suppose Charles could [ask him to leave].” But I believe he is relatively safe.”