The Queen has given her under-fire son, Prince Andrew, a Christmas reprieve. Picture: Getty Images
The Queen has given her under-fire son, Prince Andrew, a Christmas reprieve. Picture: Getty Images

Queen gives Andrew Christmas reprieve

Prince Andrew will now join the Queen for church on Christmas Day in his first public appearance since his "car crash" interview over his links to paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

It's reported the under-fire Duke will make his first public appearance when he joins the rest of the royal family on December 25th under the gaze of monarchists at Sandringham.

Prince Andrew was famously forced to step down from public duties following the backlash over his perceived ill-judged comments in a BBC interview in which he made no apology to Epstein's victims.

 

The Queen attended Ascot with Prince Andrew in June. Picture: Getty Images
The Queen attended Ascot with Prince Andrew in June. Picture: Getty Images

He also said he had "no recollection" of meeting Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew three times as a teenager.

She alleged she was ordered to have sex with the Duke of York while working for multi-millionaire Esptein as a 17-year-old in 2001.

Prince Andrew vehemently denies the claims and says he has "no recollection" of ever meeting Ms Roberts Giuffre.

 

SPrince Andrew’s recent interview with the BBC was a disaster for the royal family. Picture: BBC
SPrince Andrew’s recent interview with the BBC was a disaster for the royal family. Picture: BBC

The Queen and the royal family traditionally attend the Christmas Day morning service at St Mary Magdalane Church on the monarch's Norfolk estate.

Most of the family walk to church from Sandringham House and back again, past members of the public with whom they often mingle for a quick chat.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman reportedly told The Sunday Times: "The Duke of York is still a part of the royal family and you can expect to see him at family occasions."

It has previously been reported the Duke faced being banned from the high-profile festive service - over fears it would be infiltrated by sex abuse campaigners.

Prince Andrew (left) with the royal family after a Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham in 2000. Picture: AP
Prince Andrew (left) with the royal family after a Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham in 2000. Picture: AP

A royal source said: "There are discussions about Christmas Day and a desire from many courtiers for Prince Andrew to stay away from the church, where he would be pictured with the rest of the family.

"There are now genuine concerns over sex abuse campaigners planning to be part of the crowds to jeer the Duke publicly.

"They know the world's media would be there and it would end up dominating headlines of the day.

"There is no real fear from officials about the protest turning violent. It's more about the further embarrassment it would cause to the royal family."

 

Prince Philip reportedly tore strips off his son over the scandal. Picture: Getty Images
Prince Philip reportedly tore strips off his son over the scandal. Picture: Getty Images

The Sun also reported how Prince Andrew secretly travelled to Sandringham for a family summit with Prince Philip and Prince Charles - hours before a BBC interview with Ms Roberts Giuffre piled more pressure on.

Prince Charles is believed to have "read the riot act" to his brother and demanded he give up all duties for "the foreseeable future".

 

This story was originally published in The Sun and is reprinted with permission.



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