Wednesday, 27 Sep 2023

Prince Andrew has support of The Firm but still won’t ‘return to public duties’

Prince Andrew’s return to the Royal Family fold does not mean he will return to public duties, sources have said.

The Duke of York appears to want to stay close to the Royal Family and is understood to even seek a return to his previous public duties.

The 63-year-old was photographed on Sunday being driven with Prince William and Princess Kate to church on the Balmoral estate, another small sign he is still “much-loved” by his family.

There are also claims that the Duke has recruited high-profile figures to lobby for the return of his old status.

Several sources have indicated, however, that while the family loves having him around, they remain opposed to any changes to his public status.

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“The King is absolutely resolute that there can be no return to public duties for the Duke of York,” one person said, according to the Telegraph.

“He has always been clear that the Duke is a much-loved member of the family, but that does not mean there will be a change in tack when it comes to his royal status.”

It is thought to be incredibly difficult to interfere with decision-making surrounding Prince Andrew’s affairs.

The former Home Secretary Priti Patel was publicly humiliated after sending an email suggesting a review of Andrew’s security arrangements to Sir Clive Alderton, the King’s private secretary.

The email was leaked less than a week after it was sent, forcing Ms Patel to apologise to the King for the “embarrassment and difficulties it had caused”.

Some have viewed this as a warning that anyone who tries to interfere with the decision-making process would be humiliated.

The King and Prince Andrew have reportedly met several times in the last 12 months to sort a plan to give the Duke a purpose.

It was claimed that Andrew offered to manage one or more of the royal states.

But both sides agreed that whatever comes of Andrew’s role in the family, it shouldn’t be played out in public, reported the Telegraph.

Any new work or attempts to change up his royal life would remain behind closed doors because King Charles reportedly knows the type of backlash that would come from publicly endorsing a comeback for the Duke of York.

Andrew also remains at Royal Lodge which he shares with his ex-wife the Duchess of York, despite attempts to relocate him to the much smaller Frogmore Cottage.

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