Buckingham Palace appears to have rowed back on comments that Prince Andrew will attend the Trooping the Colour later this year, saying it is too early to speculate on whether the under-fire royal will be present.
The Duke of York was expected to be absent from many high-profile events following the scandal over his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
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Despite this, Buckingham Palace last year confirmed to Yahoo News UK that the prince was still set to attend 2020’s Trooping the Colour and Remembrance Sunday events - two of the most important events in the royal calendar.
Speaking before Christmas, a spokeswoman told Yahoo News UK: “The Duke of York remains a member of the Royal Family. As a Royal Colonel and a war veteran he will take part in these ceremonies.”
However, things appear to have changed and there is now a question mark over whether Andrew - himself a war veteran - will attend the Trooping of Colour.
The apparent change comes after The Daily Mail reported Andrew had been told not to attend the occasion on June 13 and would be instead replaced by a serving officer from the Grenadier Guards, who would ride in his place.
A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace told Yahoo News UK today it would not comment on whether Andrew would attend the occasion, with a source suggesting it was very early to be speculating on an event set for June.
The news emerges amid a turbulent week for the royals following the fallout over Harry and Meghan’s decision to quit as “senior royals” and embark upon becoming financially independent.
Today, the Queen was said to be trying to find a “workable solution” to Harry and Meghan’s future roles.
In previous years Andrew, who is Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, has played a key role in the world-famous state occasion.
He has since become mired in a scandal over his links to Jeffrey Epstein, including accusations that he had sex with a teenager trafficked to London by Epstein, which he denies.
Subsequently, Andrew was forced to pull back from royal duties following widespread criticism over his “car crash” interview about his relationship with Epstein and was also axed as patron by a number of charities.
Since then, Andrew missed a Nato reception at Buckingham Palace in December and also the Grenadier Guards’ annual dinner in December, where he was due to be the guest of honour.