Prince Andrew will be accompanying the head of the British monarchy, Queen Elizabeth to the Derby over the Platinum Jubilee weekend this year, despite public outcry.
The Duke is planning on escorting his mother to the Epsom race, despite a source saying that he was meant to ‘stay invisible’ during the weekend celebrations in June.
The 62-year-old, who settled a case of sexual misconduct with Virginia Giuffre in February this year, was Centre in the public eye last week at his father, Prince Phillip’s memorial service.
‘The Queen needs a chaperone on all occasions at the moment due to her mobility issues and Andrew has earmarked the Derby as the one he will accompany her at,’ the source said. ‘He just doesn’t seem to understand the public outcry.’
The Duke’s prominent role at the memorial service was said to have left Princes Charles and William ‘dismayed’, as he walked his mother through Westminster Abbey to her seat in full view of the live broadcast cameras — to the shock of many in the congregation.
Even his siblings were said to be ‘dismayed’ by the stunt, with them earlier hoping ‘common sense’ would prevail and he would accept playing a backroom role in the event.
The Queen arrived at the service holding the Duke of York by the elbow with her left hand and her stick with the right, having said it was her ‘wish and final decision’ for Prince Andrew to walk with her that day.
It was the shamed royal’s first public appearance since he paid a reported £12million settlement to Jeffrey Epstein victim Ms Giuffre to end a highly-damaging civil sexual assault case in New York.
He was forced to step back from public life over his association with late Epstein and the scandal that followed.
It is reported that 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-publicized event.
Sources claimed that the Duke of York got his way after lobbying to take his 95-year-old mother to her seat because she ‘couldn’t say no to her favorite son’ despite objections from William and Charles.
The Dean of Westminster had been expected to take the Monarch to her seat while the Prince followed behind, according to the order of service. After walking arm in arm with his mother, he then sat in the front row next to brother Prince Edward, rather than with his daughters as was expected.
Critics have painted the move as a brazen attempt by the 62-year-old to slide back into the spotlight, hoping it might lead to a ‘mission creep’ return to public life or a ‘springboard’ to appear at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Taking an official role, such as riding in procession for Trooping the Colour, has been ruled out.
A source close to the duke previously suggested the service would mark his final public appearance and that it was ‘highly unlikely’ he would appear at the flagship events to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.
He was stripped of his military honors and royal patronages, and told by Charles he would be made to ‘disappear’ from public life following his final official outing for his father’s memorial.