PRINCE Andrew was given prime position today as he travelled with the Queen to Prince Philip’s memorial.
The Duke of York, often dubbed his mother’s “favourite son” made his way in the monarch’s car from Windsor to Westminster Abbey.Prince Andrew pictured leaving Windsor Castle in Berkshire ahead of a Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Prince Philip[/caption]
It also shows the Queen’s support for her disgraced son, who has hardly been seen in public since he stepped down from royal life following the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.
The Queen, 95, arranged for today’s service for her late husband to take place.
Its congregation will include family, friends, dignitaries and representatives of the many organisations with which the Duke of Edinburgh was associated.
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As well as Andrew, Her Majesty will be joined by senior royals including Prince Charles and Camilla, Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex.
The poignant service will also see royals from across Europe jetting in for the ceremony along with 500 guests from the Duke of Edinburgh’s charities and patronages.
It means Andrew, who was stripped of his military affiliations and royal patronages in January, is likely to bump into representatives from charities and organisations from which he has been forced to step down.
Andrew has always denied all allegations against him.
The duke, who will wear a lounge suit for the occasion rather than a military uniform, was not present at Westminster Abbey earlier this month for the Commonwealth Day Service attended by senior royals.
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He did, however, attend his father’s funeral last April, and it’s likely today’s final farewell will likely mark one of his last public appearances.
Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, will be by their father’s side for their grandfather’s memorial.
Boris and Carrie Johnson will also show their support after the PM was forced to apologise to the Queen over lockdown-busting parties at No10 on the eve of Philip’s scaled-back funeral.
Some of Philip’s great-grandchildren could also attend the service but it has not been confirmed which ones.
It is understood Prince Charles will sit beside his mother during the service after she was made to sit alone at Philip’s funeral in Windsor.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will not be flying in from the States to honour the Duke amid a row over their security.
As part of Philip’s wishes, Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award holders and members of the youth UK Cadet Force associations will line the steps as the 1,800-strong congregation arrives.
Hymn Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer will also be sung after Covid put an end to the royal’s funeral wishes.
The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth (Royal Band) will also provide rousing music before and after as part of his longstanding relationship with the Armed Forces.
The flowers also have a touching nod to Philip and the Queen’s 73-year marriage with orchids that appeared in her wedding bouquet to bloom in the church.
Prayers will be said for the duke’s “gifts of character; for his humour and resilience; his fortitude and devotion to duty”.
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Philip was associated with over 700 charities and organisations and undertook 22,200 solo engagements.
The royal – the longest-standest consort ever – also stood by the Queen’s side on countless tours and engagements.
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