Ahead of his brother’s arrival at London’s Westminster Abbey, the Duke of York made his way by car from Buckingham Palace to the ceremony’s location. Unlike his siblings Princess Anne and Prince Edward, who both sported their military garb, Andrew wore a morning suit, as he was stripped of his military titles and royal patronages in January 2022 amid his sexual assault scandal.
The controversial prince was reportedly booed by several onlookers during his journey to Westminster Abbey, according to NBC News. No longer a working royal, Andrew will play no formal role in the ceremony, as well as his nephew, Prince Harry. Andrew was seated a few rows behind his siblings and other royal family members, such as Prince William and Princess Kate.
Andrew’s Saturday attendance comes more than one year since he lost the use of an “HRH” distinction following his sexual assault lawsuit. The third child of the late Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip was accused of misconduct by Virginia Giuffre in late 2019.
“I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever,” the former helicopter pilot told the BBC that November, shortly after stepping back from his regal duties. “It just never happened.”
Giuffre later filed a lawsuit against Andrew in August 2021, claiming he raped and sexually abused her when she was 17 years old. The prince fervently denied the allegations at the time and eventually settled the case out of court for an undisclosed sum. The legal battle also called Andrew’s ties to Jeffery Epstein into question. The disgraced financier was arrested on federal charges of sex trafficking minors in August 2019. Epstein died by suicide in his prison cell one month later.
It was during the scandal’s fallout that he demoted from royal duties. “With The Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement in January 2022. “The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”
After losing his honorary titles, Andrew — who shares daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie with ex-wife Sarah Ferguson — made rare public appearances at his parents’ respective funerals in April 2021 and September 2022.
While Philip did not have an official state funeral due to coronavirus pandemic restrictions, Andrew participated in the late queen’s memorial procession last year. However, the Royal Navy veteran was unable to wear his ceremonial uniform. Andrew and his nephew Prince Harry, who stepped down from his own role as a senior working royal in 2020, both wore black morning suits to the procession. Charles later granted them special exemptions to only wear their military regalia at two separate vigils at the queen’s casket in Westminster Hall.
While Andrew is no longer a working royal post-scandal, he has attended several events with his family, including his parents’ memorials, the royals’ annual Easter services last month and Saturday’s coronation.
Andrew’s ex-wife Ferguson, 63, however, did not receive an invitation to the crowning ceremony. Us Weekly confirmed in April that the Duchess of York had been excluded from the guest list.
“You can’t have it both ways,” the A Most Intriguing Lady author said during an appearance on the U.K.’s Loose Women on April 14. “You can’t be divorced and then say, ‘I want this …’ [You’re in] or you’re out. I personally will be having a little tea room and coronation chicken sandwich and putting out the bunting, that’s what I’m going to be doing.”
Ferguson — whose divorce from Andrew was finalized in 1996 after six years of marriage — is set to attend Charles’ Coronation Concert on Sunday, May 7. Us confirmed last month that she will be seated in a “VIP” section of the crowd in front of Windsor Castle’s East Lawn.
If you or anyone you know has been sexually abused, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). A trained staff member will provide confidential, judgment-free support as well as local resources to assist in healing, recovering and more.