LONDON, Sept 18 — Prince Andrew, who has effectively been banished from royal life amid ongoing fallout from sex assault accusations, today paid tribute to the “compassion” of his “mummy”, Queen Elizabeth II.
“Mummy, your love for a son, your compassion, your care, your confidence, I will treasure forever,” he said in a statement.
The 62-year-old Duke of York reappeared in public last weekend having been largely hidden since allegations, which he denies, that he had sex with a victim of US child trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
He has attended events to honour the queen alongside other grieving senior royals, and stood vigil by her coffin on Friday.
He was allowed to wear military colours for the vigil but has not been permitted to do so for other commemorative events, including tomorrow’s state funeral.
During a silent procession through Edinburgh tomorrow, he was heckled by one man in the crowd.
Andrew, who flew Royal Navy helicopters in the 1982 Falklands War with Argentina, was honorary colonel of the Grenadier Guards. Its soldiers are part of the Household Division that guard Buckingham Palace in their distinctive bearskin hats and red tunics.
Often referred to as the queen’s “favourite son”, he was accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl in 2001 who claimed she was delivered to him by Epstein.
Andrew, who denied the allegations, settled a US civil lawsuit over the allegations in February for an undisclosed sum.
King Charles III is expected at some point to make his younger brother’s royal exile permanent, experts say.
For now, Andrew still officially retains his titles of Earl of Inverness and Counsellor of State, meaning he could theoretically join other senior royals in stepping in for Charles if the latter were incapacitated. — AFP