Queen Elizabeth Just Proved Her Loyalty to Prince Andrew In the Most Public Way

While attending the memorial service for the Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth II was escorted into Westminster Abbey by her son Prince Andrew, the Duke of York. While this may not seem out of the ordinary for the British royal family, the seemingly innocent assistance means far more. 

Prince Andrew has long been considered the queen’s favorite

Prince Andrew photographed on ski holiday in Switzerland
Prince Andrew photographed on ski holiday in Switzerland | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

The queen and Prince Andrew have always had a very close relationship, and, though never confirmed by the queen, he has always been reported to be her favorite child

Elizabeth took the throne when Prince Charles and Princess Anne were still young children and the young royals reportedly saw little of their mother as she became enveloped by her duties. Andrew, on the other hand, was born after Elizabeth had established herself in her role as queen and was confident enough to step away from her duties to take an 18-month maternity leave after he was born. 

Inside the Prince Andrew scandal with Jeffrey Epstein

Queen Elizabeth II wears green and black at Prince Philip's memorial service and looks on
Queen Elizabeth II | Richard Pohle – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Favored as he may be, however, Andrew has brought the queen and the royal family to scandal recently after his association with pedophile and sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. Additionally, Andrew was accused of child sex abuse with one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Giuffre, who claims the Duke of York sexually abused her when she was under 18 at Epstein’s behest.

Andrew followed up the allegations with an interview in which he sought to validate his relationship with Epstein and denied having ever met Giuffre despite photographic evidence to the contrary. Following the interview, Prince Andrew was stripped of his military honors and forced into public exile, reportedly only visiting his mother, the queen, under cover of darkness.

Why the events at Westminster Abbey are such a big deal 

The press has now been sent into a frenzy once again following the memorial service for the Duke of Edinburgh, during which the queen was escorted to her seat by Prince Andrew. The event marks the Duke of York’s first public appearance since his $16 million settlement to Giuffre, paid on March 8th

The highly-publicized escort was reportedly contested by both Charles and Prince William, as reported by The Daily Mail: “Princes Charles and William raised concerns ‘on more than one occasion’ about the optics of allowing the duke to escort the 95-year-old monarch down to her seat at such a well-publicised event.”

However, it appears the queen’s favor for Andrew prevailed once again as she overruled the protests and “made it her ‘wish and final decision’ in choosing for Andrew to have a special role on the occasion.” 

The act has caused much talk about the future of Andrew’s public profile, with some suggesting the queen’s choice at Westminster may be evidence that Andrew’s exile is only temporary. Furthermore, there seems to be growing concern regarding the queen’s Platinum Jubilee (a celebration of her 70 years on the throne), with many suggesting that a public appearance by Prince Andrew would taint the royal celebration.

Whatever favor Andrew has been shown by his mother, it seems unlikely that his brother, Charles, will continue it following his ascension to the throne as noted by The Daily Beast when they ask the poignant question: “Once Charles is crowned, the problem becomes more urgent and personal to him—and to William. Should Andrew then be finally cast out as the Duke of Windsor was, following his abdication, and sent to a life of embittered exile?”