Queen stands by Andrew during his ‘final Royal outing’

29 March 2022, 09:14 | Updated: 6 April 2022, 13:44

The Queen was helped to her seat by son Andrew.
The Queen was helped to her seat by son Andrew. Picture: Alamy/BBC

By Megan Hinton

Prince Andrew was seen helping the Queen to her seat at the Duke of Edinburgh's memorial service in his first public outing since settling his sex assault case.

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The Queen walked arm-in-arm with son Andrew as the bells of Westminster Abbey fell silent for the service of thanksgiving for Prince Philip.

Andrew, who was stripped of his military titles and royal patronages back in January, was seen helping his 95-year-old mother to her seat next to Prince Charles.

Andrew's attendance comes just weeks after he reached a settlement with sex assault accuser Virginia Giuffre.

Andrew has vehemently denied the allegations against him.

The Royals, particularly Prince Charles, the Queen and Prince William, appeared emotional during the service.

Prince Charles, who is heir to the throne, was moved to tears hearing the address to Prince Philip, wiping his eyes as his father's life was honoured.

The Queen, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Princess Royal were all dressed in dark green in a seemingly subtle tribute to Philip, whose livery colour was Edinburgh Green.

A number of others throughout the congregation also wore the shade, including Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award holder Doyin Sonibare who delivered a special tribute about the effect Philip's youth scheme had on her life.

The service was the Queen's first major engagement in six months after facing mobility issues and recently being struck down with Covid-19.

Whilst the Queen's arrival at Westminster Abbey was mentioned in the order of service, a final decision on her attendance was only understood to have been made today after she reportedly has "good and bad" days with her health.

Westminster Abbey is where the couple got married and was the original venue for Prince Philip's funeral, until Covid forced it to be held at Windsor instead.

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Changes are said to have been made to make the day less taxing for Her Majesty.

Instead of arriving at the usual West Entrance to the Abbey, which would involve steps and a long walk down the Nave in front of the cameras, the Queen was driven around the side to make the walk shorter and away from public view.

Prince Philip will be remembered as a "man of rare ability and distinction" at the Service of Thanksgiving for the life of the on Tuesday.

Members of the Royal Family, including Prince Andrew, are also in attendance, but Prince Harry will not make an appearance.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not return to the UK to attend over security reasons, his spokesperson confirmed on March 11.

Alongside the royal family, members of foreign royal families and the Duke of Edinburgh's wider family and friends, the congregation will include members of the Government and over 500 representatives of the duke's patronages and charities.

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Boris Johnson, who publicly apologised to the Queen and the country over gatherings in Downing Street on the eve of the duke's funeral, will be in the abbey with wife Carrie.

Missing gestures from Philip's pre-pandemic arrangements will see Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award holders and members of the youth UK Cadet Force associations line the steps of Westminster Abbey as guests arrive.

The duke's express wishes for the congregation to join and sing the rousing hymn Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer, and for the clergy from Windsor, Sandringham and Balmoral to play a special part will finally be granted on Tuesday.

Prayers will be said for the duke's "gifts of character; for his humour and resilience; his fortitude and devotion to duty" by the Chapels Royal's Sub-Dean, while "his energy and spirit of adventure" and "strength and constancy" will be heralded by royal estates' clergy - known as the Queen's domestic chaplains.

Around 30 foreign royals will attend, including Prince Albert of Monaco, Denmark's Queen Margrethe, King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway, and Spain's King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, who would have originally been on the pre-pandemic guest list.

Also invited are Sir David Attenborough, Dame Floella Benjamin, Baroness Grey-Thompson and members of the military who were involved in the funeral, including Pipe Major Colour Sergeant Peter Grant and the Grenadier Guards Bearer Party.

Philip, who worked on his own funeral details - codenamed Forth Bridge - for many years, had asked for the choir to sing Te Deum in C by Benjamin Britten, and this will be part of Tuesday's proceedings.

The Dean of Westminster, The Very Reverend David Hoyle, will describe Philip in the bidding as "a man of rare ability and distinction, rightly honoured and celebrated, he ever directed our attention away from himself".

"Working at pace, with so many claims on his attention, he encouraged us to focus, as he was focussed, on the things that matter," he will say.

"His was a discipline and character that seized opportunity and overcame obstruction and difficulty.

"We recall, with affection and respect, the sustained offering of a long life lived fully."