Prince Andrew has “absolutely no future” in public life despite being seen out with the royal family over Easter, according to a leading royal expert.
Speaking on the latest episode of the Daily Express’s Royal Round-Up, royal expert and correspondent Richard Palmer told host Pandora Forsyth that King Charles and his son, William, Prince of Wales, see no way back for Andrew.
Andrew has withdrawn from public life since he paid a reported $20m (£12m) to settle his civil sex case with accuser Virginia Giuffre, who alleged that she was sexually abused by Andrew in locations including Ghislaine Maxwell’s London home and Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse.
Andrew has always denied the allegations and said he had no recollection of meeting his accuser, but the scandal prompted his retreat from public life and his senior royal role.
Mr Palmer said: “You always have to divide up what people do as a family and what they do as the head of state. Inevitably, it all gets mixed up.
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“Prince Andrew, for example, was with the royal party at church on Easter Sunday and immediately there was some speculation, ‘Is the King trying to worm Andrew back into public life?’ But I just dont see any sign of that.
“I think the King and his immediate heir, Prince William, believe that there is absolutely no future in public life for Prince Andrew.
“That doesn’t mean that the King isn’t going to extend hospitality to his brother and spend time with him privately and behind the scenes.
“I guess it became public because a small media party, a rota, was invited to cover the royal party going to church, so it’s a really grey area.”
Mr Palmer also discussed a couple of people who will NOT be attending the Coronation on May 6 – Andrew’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson and Lady Pamela Hicks, daughter of the late Lord Mountbatten.
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He said: “Fergie’s not going. She’s going to be spending Coronation day watching it all on TV. She’s going to get some champagne in, have the corgis with her and be watching it on the sofa.”
Lady Pamela Hicks is the daughter of Lord Mountbatten, uncle to Prince Philip and godfather to Charles.
“I think some people were surprised by that [her omission] because Lady Pamela, who had her 94th birthday this week, went to the two previous two coronations and is one of only two surviving bridesmaids from the Queen’s wedding to Prince Philip. The other one is Princess Alexandra.
“Her daughter India Hicks had been saying she might be one of only a very small number of people to have been to three different coronations.
“I don’t think it’s a snub, it’s just that there’s not a lot of space.”