Royal Fans Divided By Prince Andrew's Attendance At Prince Philip Memorial
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Royal fans are divided over Prince Andrew's presence at the memorial service for his father, the late Duke of Edinburgh, that took place today.
Prince Philip's life was celebrated with a special memorial at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday, almost one year on from his death in April last year.
Most senior royals were in attendance, including Prince Andrew, who escorted the Queen to her seat moments before the service commenced.
Andrew, who has been stripped of his royal patronages, titles and military roles, rarely attends royal events, but was present on Tuesday.
His attendance comes just weeks after he reached a financial settlement with his accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre, 38, who accused Jeffrey Epstein and his then-associate Ghislaine Maxwell of sexual abuse, and claims she was "forced to have sex" with the Duke of York when she was 17 years old. She also accused the prince of “battery”.
Prince Andrew has always denied the claims and the settlement sees the end of the civil claim filed in the US.
Following Andrew's attendance, many royal fans were divided on whether he should have been at the service.
"Was there really no one better than #PrinceAndrew to escort the Queen into the abbey today? Another ill judged decision from the Royal Family," said one.
While another wrote: "Not the best idea to let Prince Andrew travel with the Queen to Prince Phillip’s memorial service."
And a third added: "This move it totally tone deaf, inappropriate & inconsiderate to ALL victims."
Others took a differing view, with one writing: "He was there because it was his father. He wasn’t there as Prince Andrew representing the royal family. He’s there as a close family member."
While another said: "Perhaps Prince Andrew performed such a high profile role at his father’s memorial service because, erm, he was his son. Just a thought."
Speaking to Tyla, Jo O’Reilly, digital brand strategist at Salience, explained it was 'always going to be a tricky decision' for the royals.
"This was always going to be a tricky balance for the royals, on the one hand, they are real, and in many ways private family, and this is a memorial service. You can understand on some human level them wanting to have all of Philip's children in attendance," she says.
"However, his attendance reinforces the message that the royals are out of touch with the public mood, especially surrounding Prince Andrew.
"This is after all a public event to commemorate Prince Philip's legacy as a working member of the royal family, and his contribution to public life, including his patronage of hundreds of charities, including those which worked specifically to support young people."
Meanwhile, publicist Brenda Gabriel adds: "I believe Prince Andrew was always going to attend the memorial of his father both as a doting son and emotional support to his mother.
"In spite of Andrew’s legal woes he loved his father and loves his mother so I believe it was important to him to pay his respects publicly, with those who knew and loved Prince Philip, especially since only 30 people were allowed to attend his funeral which took place during lockdown."
What do you think?
Topics: News, Royal Family