Duke of York ‘bans public parts of Garter Day service’

The disgraced Duke of York has reportedly been banned from appearing in public at the Garter Day service in Windsor amid a claim he wants a return to royal duties.

Andrew, who missed Platinum Jubilee celebrations after testing positive for Covid, will only be allowed private parts of Monday’s ceremony, according to The Sun.

His last public engagement was when he escorted his mother, the Queen, to the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service in March.

The Duke of York (left) and the Earl of Wessex during an earlier Order of the Garter Service (Eddie Mulholland/The Daily Telegraph/PA)

He was due to join the extended royal family at a service of thanksgiving in St Paul’s Cathedral on the second of four days of Jubilee celebrations earlier this month, but ahead of the ceremony it was announced that he had caught coronavirus.

The Sunday Times reported that Andrew, who is a Knight of the Garter, will be present alongside senior members of the Royal Family on Monday for the annual service at St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

But The Sun said heirs to the throne, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge, had lobbied the Queen over the issue.

The royals feared a “backlash”, the newspaper said, adding that Charles and William reportedly agreed on their approach before telling the Queen, who made the final decision.

Buckingham Palace and a representative for Andrew have been contacted for comment.

The news came as it was claimed Andrew wanted his HRH status restored.

The Queen’s middle son has walked away from public life after furor sparked over his friendship with billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. He paid millions to settle a civil sexual assault case, to a woman he claimed he had never met.

The Duke was ousted from the working-class monarchy after Epstein’s trafficker Virginia Giuffre accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was 17.

Andrew denied the allegations.

In January, before his legal settlement in the case, the Queen stripped Andrew of his honorary military duties, including that of Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, and he gave up his HRH style.

Former Labor Prime Minister Sir Tony Blair may clash with protesters in Windsor (Daniel Leal/PA)
Former Labor Prime Minister Sir Tony Blair may clash with protesters in Windsor (Daniel Leal/PA)

On Sunday, the Telegraph quoted an unnamed source as saying: “Colonel of the Grenadier Guards was his most coveted title and he wants it back. Having remained a councilor of state, he also feels he should be included in royal and state events.

“Most important to him is his status as HRH and ‘Blood Prince’ and he feels this should be restored and his position recognized and respected.”

During Monday’s service, the Duchess of Cornwall will be installed as Royal Lady of the Order of the Garter.

Meanwhile, a protest is expected in Windsor amid opposition to the appointment of former Prime Minister Sir Tony Blair to Britain’s oldest and oldest order of chivalry.

The Duchess of Cornwall
The Duchess of Cornwall will be installed as Royal Dame of the Order of the Garter (Chris Jackson/PA)

It was announced in December that the former Labor leader was to be made a Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter – the highest possible rank.

More than 1.5 million signatures have been collected on a petition calling for the ‘cancellation of the knighthood’, saying he was the ‘person least deserving of any public honour’ and should be ‘held accountable’ war crimes”.

Sir Tony was Prime Minister during the Allied military invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Stop the War said campaigners will gather outside the Queen Victoria statue outside the castle on Monday to protest Sir Tony’s appointment.

Baroness Valerie Amos
Baroness Valerie Amos will be named Lady Companion of the Order (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)

Also on Monday, Baroness Valérie Amos will be named Dame Companion of the Order.

The Labor member of the House of Lords, who was the first black person to become a cabinet minister, will now also be the first black person named Lady Companion of the Order.

Each year the Royal Knights and Ladies of the Order of the Garter gather at Windsor Chapel for a colorful procession and ceremony.

Crowds watch down the hill to the Chapel from the State Apartments, dressed in blue velvet coats, red velvet cowls, black velvet hats and white ostrich feathers.

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