Prince Andrew To Join Royals At Garter Day, 'Rebuild Life' With Palace Support: Report

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Prince Andrew has strenuously denied assault claims and remains stripped of his honorary military titles
Prince Andrew has strenuously denied assault claims and remains stripped of his honorary military titles

Prince Andrew is expected to join other members of the royal family at the Garter Day ceremony Monday, according to reports.

The Duke of York, 62, pulled out of attending Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee celebrations last week after testing positive for COVID-19. But unnamed sources close to the controversial royal told People that Prince Andrew is likely to attend the Order of the Garter procession and service in Windsor Castle Monday.

The event could see Prince Andrew walking with fellow knights — including his older brother Prince Charles and nephew Prince William — and former British prime ministers down the hill from Windsor Castle to the annual service at St. George's Chapel.

Roya Nikkhah, royal editor at The Sunday Times, also cited unnamed palace sources as saying that Prince Andrew will join the royals at the Garter Day ceremony, which is one of the key events in the annual royal calendar.

One senior palace source told the outlet that the royal family is aware of the public's feelings over the Duke of York returning to public duty.

"He seeks to slowly rebuild his life in a different direction," the source said. "There is of course a real awareness and sensitivity to public feelings. There is also recognition that the task of starting to support him as he begins to rebuild his life will be the first step on a long road and one that should not be played out every day in the glare of the public spotlight."

Palace insiders also told the outlet that Buckingham Palace will now "on occasion" speak for Prince Andrew, who was "very disappointed" after missing the Queen's Jubilee.

"There are discussions going on behind closed doors amongst the family about the future," Nikkhah wrote.

Prince Andrew was previously made a Knight of the Garter as a member of Queen Elizabeth's family. He kept the title despite being forced to surrender his military affiliations and use of "his royal highness" amid his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and after he reached an out-of-court settlement with Virginia Giuffre in her sexual assault lawsuit against him.

A number of Twitter users reacted to the news of his upcoming Garter Day appearance.

"I doubt the majority of public will welcome his appearance at this event, nor any other," one person commented.  

"They will push him in everyone's face and think we should all accept it," another wrote.  

In March, Queen Elizabeth chose Prince Andrew as her escort for a memorial service in honor of her late husband Prince Philip. The move caused widespread criticism, especially since it came just weeks after he settled the sexual assault lawsuit against him.

Royal commentator Robert Jobson told People at the time that there was uneasiness among senior members of the royal family about the Queen's decision to let Prince Andrew escort her, "but she insisted."

"It shows she wholeheartedly loves and believes her son," said Jobson, the author of "Prince Philip's Century." "As she did when she made a statement about Camilla being Queen's Consort, many people will now accept the Queen's word and judgment."




Photo: DPA via AFP / SWEN PFÖRTNER

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