While there is talk behind the scenes of Andrew’s future, behind the palace walls there is no desire to return his military honors or patronages.
Though he has the ear of the Queen — visiting her at Windsor Castle several times a week — palace officials are under no illusions about the power of public feeling over his ties to Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender, and recent sexual abuse allegations.
In February, the Duke paid around £12 million to settle a civil case with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who accused him of sexual assault and assault. He has always denied all wrongdoing.
Despite being effectively dismissed as a working royal, he remains ninth in line to the throne and as such a councilor of state, a role filled by one of the monarch’s husbands and the next four adults in the line of succession – currently Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry and Prince Andrew.
While senior royals – including his three siblings and the Prince William – reportedly have little sympathy for Prince Andrew given his questionable behaviour, they recognize that a role must be found for him.
At 62, he has time to rebuild his life with a focus outside of the public eye. His relatives and courtiers appreciate that he needs palace support for this. A senior source at Buckingham Palace said: “Clearly there will soon be a need to think about how to support the Duke as, away from the public eye, he is slowly trying to rebuild his life in a different direction.”
However, while driving in Windsor, Andrew has continued to wear a waterproof jacket with the Grenadier Guards figure and his motto, Honi soit qui mal y pense (“Shame on him who thinks ill of it”).
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