Blow for Prince Andrew as he ‘tests positive for Covid’ and is forced to miss key Jubilee thanksgiving service at St Paul’s after being told to stay away from Trooping the Colour today
- Duke of York will miss Jubilee Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral
- Andrew, 62, was set to join wider royal family at high-profile event tomorrow
- He saw Queen in last few days but has not seen her since he tested positive
- Duke was cast out of the working monarchy and no longer uses his HRH style
Prince Andrew has tested positive for Covid-19 and will therefore no longer attend the Queen’s service at St Paul’s Cathedral tomorrow, Buckingham Palace said today.
The Duke of York is understood to have seen his mother the Queen in the last few days but she has tested negative – and he has not seen her since testing positive.
Andrew, 62, was expected to join his royal relatives at the Service of Thanksgiving in London tomorrow despite him no longer being a working member of the family.
But, in a dramatic development just hours before the service, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said this afternoon: ‘After undertaking a routine test The Duke has tested positive for Covid and with regret will no longer be attending tomorrow’s service.’
Andrew was not on the Buckingham Palace balcony today for the flypast after the Queen limited those appearing alongside her to working members of her family.
Prince Andrew is pictured riding in Windsor yesterday on the eve of the Jubilee celebrations
The Queen and Prince Andrew on the Buckingham Palace balcony in London in June 2019
It meant there was no place for the shamed Duke of York at today’s celebrations even in a private capacity, showing just how far the Queen’s son has fallen from grace.
The monarch’s disgraced second son stepped down from public life after the furore over his friendship with paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, and paid millions to settle a civil sexual assault case to a woman he claimed never to have met.
However, Andrew had been expected to attend St Paul’s tomorrow along with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who were also not allowed to stand on the balcony today.
Andrew was cast out of the working monarchy and no longer uses his HRH style after Virginia Giuffre, who was trafficked by Epstein, accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was 17. The Duke has always strenuously denied the claims.
Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Westminster Abbey in London accompanied by her son Prince Andrew for the Service of Thanksgiving for the Duke of Edinburgh on March 29
The Queen and Andrew leave together after attending the service for Philip in London in March
Before the Jubilee festivities, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby – who also now has Covid and had to pull out of the service – had suggested Andrew was ‘seeking to make amends’, adding: ‘I think that’s a very good thing.’
Andrew took a central role in escorting his mother to the Duke of Edinburgh memorial service in March.
It came as a surprise change to the planned arrangements – only weeks earlier he had been banished from royal public life and paid to settle his court case.
The move was taken as a sign of the monarch’s support for her son.
He is the latest in a long line of royals to catch Covid, including the Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke of Cambridge and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence.
Members of the Royal Family – not including Prince Andrew – join the Queen on the balcony of Buckingham Palace today to view the Platinum Jubilee flypast as the celebrations begin
Andrew was due to attend the service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London tomorrow (file image)
Princess Michael of Kent, who is married to the Queen’s cousin Prince Michael of Kent, suffered severe symptoms when she was struck down with Covid-19 in November 2020.
Today, a delighted Queen took centre stage at her historic celebrations as she greeted crowds from the Buckingham Palace balcony, surrounded by her family.
Huge cheers erupted from the thousands of well-wishers packed onto The Mall in London as the monarch emerged for the special flypast after Trooping the Colour.
Wearing sunglasses, the 96-year-old sovereign looked joyful as she surveyed the patriotic scenes, giving broad smiles as she enjoyed the aircraft display.
It was the second of two appearances from the monarch on the balcony today – the start of the special extended Jubilee weekend marking her 70-year-reign.