There’s little hope of a comeback for Prince Andrew once Queen Elizabeth is laid to rest
The Duke of York may have been granted a temporary reprieve to mourn his beloved mother - but he remains persona non grata as far as “The Firm” is concerned.
While Buckingham Palace is willing to accommodate his presence at both the state funeral on Monday, Sept 19, and the poignant events leading up to it, once Queen Elizabeth II has been finally laid to rest there is little hope of a comeback.
When his mother was alive there was more tolerance for the royal described by some as her “favourite” son.
Despite stepping down from public life in disgrace in November 2019 over his relationship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the Duke, 62, played a prominent role in accompanying the former monarch to the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service in March.
It was his first public appearance since he paid an undisclosed sum to settle a civil sex abuse case in the US brought by Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s victims. He has denied the allegations.
The move was taken as a sign that the Duke still had maternal support - although his absence from her subsequent Platinum Jubilee celebrations due to Covid three months later solved a conundrum for the palace, who were fearful he would prove an unwelcome distraction.
It is no secret that Andrew is not particularly close to his brother - and having helped to orchestrate his permanent exit from royal life along with the Prince of Wales, it’s always been thought that the Duke has no future in King Charles III’s slimmed-down monarchy.
Yes, he may have conducted himself with decorum as he joined fellow members of the Royal family to inspect the floral tributes at Balmoral on Saturday.
In a show of family unity, he was photographed tenderly hugging his daughter Princess Eugenie when she was moved to tears by the messages - and was later seen arm in arm with his sister-in-law, the Countess of Wessex.
And he may have inherited his late mother’s beloved dogs, which are to be rehoused at Royal Lodge, the Windsor home he shares with his ex-wife, the Duchess of York.
But while he will join his siblings in playing a prominent role in the coming days, walking behind Queen Elizabeth’s coffin and taking part in the official vigil as she lays in state - once it is all over, he will be expected to retreat back to a life lived well under the royal radar.