There was a mountain of gossip about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex this weekend, and initially I just chalked it up to Salt Island’s post-Jubbly blues. But now I see that there was method to the madness – once again, the tabloids made a concerted effort to focus on Harry and Meghan in an effort to distract from Prince Andrew. As we heard, Andrew was scheduled to appear at Garter Day, which is today at Windsor Castle. He’s a member of the Order of the Garter and since he didn’t get a chance to make a degenerate nuisance out of himself during the Jubbly, he was expected to make a big splashy entrance today. The Times’s sources said it was happening with the Queen’s approval, and Palace sources spoke about “how to support” Andrew going forward. Well, looks like that story was nothing more than a trial balloon. Andrew will likely attend some Garter Day stuff, but they’re squirreling him away from public view.
Prince Andrew has been banned from appearing in public at today’s Order of the Garter ceremony — after Charles and William lobbied the Queen. The disgraced Duke, 62, had hoped his appearance with the Royal Family would be a springboard back to public life. Andrew will only be allowed at private aspects of the Windsor ceremony.
The Queen ordered Andrew to stay out of sight “for his own good” following the tense family talks. It comes after Charles and William raised fears of a public “backlash” if he was seen in public at a royal engagement.
A source said: “[Andrew] was confident and bullish he can make a comeback.” But now, the Duke will not join family members in their velvet robes and walk to the ceremony at St George’s Chapel, or catch carriages back to Windsor Castle. A source said: “It was a decision taken by the household for the best interests of the family but also the best interests of the Duke of York.”
Members of the public will gather at the ceremony to see the Royal Family make the walk — including Camilla, who is being made a member of the chivalric order. Andrew has instead been told he can attend only the private aspects of the ceremony — which has not been held since 2019 due to Covid. Charles and William were understood to have agreed their approach yesterday before telling the Queen, who made the final decision.
Andrew was still expected at a private ceremony in the Garter Throne Room at Windsor Castle, where Camilla will be made a Royal Lady of the Garter and former PM Tony Blair will be made a Knight Companion. It was also thought that Andrew could attend the lunch with the rest of the Knights.
Yep, as I said, the Times story was a trial balloon. The family was checking the temperature of the public, and they were trying to see if people were still agitated enough about Harry and Meghan to somehow ignore the sweatless nonce in the
corner Garter parade. And for some reason, I’m actually more offended that Andrew wasn’t actually banned from the event. He’s still going, he’s still attending the Garter ceremony, he’s still going to the lunch. They just won’t allow him to be SEEN by the peasants. They’re totally fine with supporting him, just not being seen to support him.
The Sun’s sources also said that Andrew plans on attending Royal Ascot “at least twice” this week, which I don’t think Charles and William can block. It’s much easier to say that Andrew is attending Royal Ascot “privately,” especially if he’s not riding in a carriage with other royals.
That’s not all though – we are apparently at the start of Andrew’s Comeback Week, because the Telegraph had another mind-numbingly awful story about how Andrew is trying to persuade the Queen to “restore” his HRH status and allow him to return to official royal events. According to the Telegraph’s sources, he wants to come back to the Grenadier Guards, he wants his “Prince of the Blood” status restored and he wants his daughters to be made full-time working royals.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.