PRINCE Andrew was never going to accompany the Queen to tomorrow’s Jubilee service, royal sources say.
The Duke of York has bowed out of all events after it was revealed this afternoon he has tested positive for Covid.
The Queen has since also confirmed she will not be attending after suffering some discomfort during today’s festivities.
However, it’s understood that even if both Andrew and Her Majesty had been well, the duke would have been forced to watch the festivities on TV instead.
Andrew’s alleged ban follows a huge public backlash after he insisted on taking the Queen’s arm and escorting her to her seat in Westminster Abbey at a memorial service for Prince Philip.
The move is said to have angered Prince William and Prince Charles, who argued against it.
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The Telegraph reports that the heirs were among senior royals “astounded that Andrew would take centre stage” after he settled his sex abuse case with Virginia Giuffre earlier this year.
And after their “dismay and consternation”, he was blocked from accompanying Her Majesty to St Paul’s tomorrow, it’s reported.
The service will be the biggest royal outing of the Jubilee.
It was due to see the Queen is surrounded by all of her children, grandchildren and cousins.
Even with her absence, all other senior royals, as well as Meghan and Harry, will attend.
Palace aides had no intention of allowing the moment to be overshadowed by Andrew – and banned him from standing beside his mother.
He was also told he couldn’t appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace today. Meghan and Harry were also notably absent, despite reports the Queen had invited them to attend.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, who had been due to lead tomorrow’s service, has also been struck down with Covid.
Just days ago, he said Her Majesty was “fully entitled” to be accompanied by Andrew.
“We all have to step back a bit. He is seeking to make amends and I think that’s a very good thing,” he said.
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The Duke’s presence had long threatened to cast a shadow over the Jubilee.
He paid his accuser a reported £12million to avoid a court showdown, although vehemently denies any accusations of wrongdoing.
In court documents, he was accused of “victim shaming” after referring to Ms Giuffre was a “money-hungry sex kitten”.
Prince Charles is among the senior royals who reportedly warned him that the case couldn’t be allowed to drag on through the Jubilee.
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It’s understood Andrew told friends he had no desire to overshadow his mother this weekend – despite harbouring a wish to return to public life.
A statement released by his reps today reveals: “After undertaking a routine test the Duke has tested positive for Covid and with regret will no longer be attending tomorrow’s service.”