Prince Andrew to attend Prince Philip's memorial service in first public outing since sex case

File photo dated 05/04/15 of the Duke of York, who has reached a "settlement in principle" in the civil sex claim filed by Virginia Giuffre in the US, court documents show. Issue date: Tuesday February 15, 2022.
File photo dated 05/04/15 of the Duke of York, who has reached a "settlement in principle" in the civil sex claim filed by Virginia Giuffre in the US, court documents show. Issue date: Tuesday February 15, 2022.

The Duke of York plans to attend his father the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service, it is understood

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Andrew, who recently settled a civil sex claim against him, will be present at the Westminster Abbey event on March 29.

It would be his first public appearance since the out-of-court agreement – revealed in court documents in mid-February – was made with his accuser Virginia Giuffre.

Members of the Royal Family, including the Queen, are expected to attend next week’s service, alongside Philip’s friends, colleagues and representatives of organisations he supported.

It was confirmed earlier this month that the Duke of Sussex will miss the memorial service, with a spokesperson for US-based Harry saying he would not return for the high-profile occasion but adding that he hoped to visit his grandmother the Queen soon.

Andrew stepped down from royal duties in November 2019. He attended Philip’s funeral in April 2021.

In January, the Queen stripped her second son of his honorary military titles and royal patronages, and he stopped using his HRH style, in a move that effectively cast him adrift from the institution.

But it had been thought that any decision around Andrew’s attendance would depend on whether the Queen considers the thanksgiving church service a family event or an official engagement, and how much she and royal aides would be concerned that Andrew’s presence could detract from the proceedings.

Last month, a letter submitted to the United States District Court said Andrew “regrets his association” with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, and had agreed to make a “substantial donation” to Ms Giuffre’s charity, after the pair agreed an undisclosed out-of-court settlement in her civil sex claim against him.