The disgraced Duke of York has paid tribute to his mother the Queen, saying: ‘Mummy, your love for a son, your compassion, your care, your confidence I will treasure forever.’
In a statement released on the eve of her funeral, Prince Andrew – who was stripped of his honorary military titles by Her Majesty over his friendship with paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein and exiled from public life – hailed the late monarch for her ‘knowledge and wisdom infinite, with no boundary or containment’, adding: ‘I will miss your insights, advice and humour’.
He described the Queen as ‘Mummy, Mother, Your Majesty, three in one’ and said it had been an ‘honour and privilege’ to serve her.
Andrew accompanied his words with a black and white photo taken by society photographer Cecil Beaton of his mother holding him as a newborn in March 1960.
The duke said: ‘Dear Mummy, Mother, Your Majesty, three in one. Your Majesty, it has been an honour and privilege to serve you. Mother – of the nation, your devotion and personal service to our nation is unique and singular; your people show their love and respect in so many different ways and I know you are looking on honouring their respect.
The disgraced Duke of York has paid tribute to his mother the Queen, sharing a photo of himself as a baby
Prince Andrew attending a vigil, following the death of Queen Elizabeth ll, inside Westminster Hall
Prince Andrew was pictured wearing his military uniform as he arrived at Westminster Hall
‘Mummy, your love for a son, your compassion, your care, your confidence I will treasure forever. I have found your knowledge and wisdom infinite, with no boundary or containment.
‘I will miss your insights, advice and humour. As our book of experiences closes, another opens, and I will forever hold you close to my heart with my deepest love and gratitude, and I will tread gladly into the next with you as my guide.
He finished with the words God Save The King – in honour of his brother King Charles, who acceded the throne after his mother’s death.
In a statement released on the eve of her funeral, Prince Andrew hailed the late monarch for her ‘knowledge and wisdom infinite, with no boundary or containment’
The Queen’s disgraced second son went on to pay millions to settle a civil sexual assault case to a woman he claimed never to have met. Virginia Giuffre sued him for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was 17 after she was trafficked by Epstein. Andrew denied the claims.
In January, ahead of his legal settlement, the Queen stripped him of all of his honorary military roles, including Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, and he gave up his HRH style.
Andrew joined his siblings King Charles and his siblings entered Westminster Hall on Friday night to pay a moving tribute to their beloved mother.
As members of the public watched in complete silence, the four senior royals – all in dress uniform – approached the Queen’s coffin. At just after 7.45pm, the duty officer struck the floor three times with his staff to signal the arrival of the late monarch’s four children.
They lined up, the King at the front, followed by Anne, Edward and then Andrew, as the staff was struck three times again. Solemnly, they approached the catafalque – the raised platform holding the coffin – to take their positions and approach their mother’s coffin.
Another three strikes of the staff, echoing throughout the cavernous Norman hall, and they stepped up before facing outwards, and then three strikes again.
Four candles flickered as they stepped up, the King, 73, sporting his Royal Navy ceremonial dress; Princess Anne, 72, in the uniform of the Blues and Royals, and the Earl of Wessex, 58, the Blues uniform with the rank of Honorary Royal Colonel of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry.
Former Royal Navy helicopter pilot Andrew, 62, who is no longer a working royal and has been stripped of his honorary affiliations, was given special permission by Charles to wear a uniform for the vigil as a mark of respect for Her Majesty. He chose his Vice-Admiral’s uniform, an honour given to him by the Queen on his 55th birthday.
Members of the public, many of whom had been queueing all day, were allowed to keep filing into the 900-year-old hall.
Prince Andrew, 62, who is no longer a working royal, was permitted by his eldest brother King Charles III to wear his military uniform as he stood guard over his mother’s coffin
Jeffrey Epstein’s sex abuse victims are ‘frustrated’ that his friend Prince Andrew has been ‘rehabilitated’ in Queen’s death events
Sex abuse victims of Jeffrey Epstein are reportedly ‘frustrated’ that his long-term friend Prince Andrew has been ‘rehabilitated’ in his public appearances following the Queen’s death last week.
The Duke of York, 62, has returned to public life during the period of mourning since his mother’s death.
But a representative of Epstein’s victims said Andrew’s appearances in honour of the Queen were ‘disrespectful’ and ‘insulting’ to those involved, the Independent reported.
He has been accused of trying ‘rehabilitate’ his public image following the Queen’s death.
The prince wore his military uniform during a vigil at Westminster Hall for the Queen as she lies in state, after King Charles allowed him to wear it.
The vigil had been intended to involve only the Queen’s four children, but in a remarkable show of family unity, 18 senior family members – as well as a host of other relatives – turned up to support them.
They included the Queen Consort, the Countess of Wessex, Princess Anne’s husband Vice-Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank, Edward and Sophie’s children Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn, Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall and her husband Mike, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and Princess Alexandra.
Last night, the Queen’s eight grandchildren together staged a heart-rending evening vigil around their beloved Granny’s coffin.
The Prince of Wales, at the head of the coffin, with his brother the Duke of Sussex at the foot, both in the Blues and Royals No 1 uniform, stood with their heads bowed in her honour in sombre silence in the vast Westminster Hall. Future king William was flanked at the corners by his cousins Zara Tindall and Peter Philips.
Harry was between Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, with 18-year-old Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn – the Queen’s youngest grandchild who is just 14 – at the middle on either side of the coffin.
The grandchildren, invited by the King, had wanted to pay their respects as their parents had done the evening before.
However, the Duke of Sussex is said to be ‘devastated’ after the Queen’s ‘ER’ initials were removed from the shoulder of his military uniform as he held vigil by her coffin – but Prince Andrew was allowed to keep the royal cypher.
Harry’s despair is understood to largely centre around Andrew, who is also no longer a working royal, having retained the initials on his vice-admiral’s uniform.
The Duke of Sussex was a Personal Aide de Camp of the Queen and, as a result, had previously worn the cypher. But it was among the posts he resigned when he stepped down from royal duties and moved to California.
The ‘ER’ initials are traditionally only worn by those ‘in service’ of the monarch, and so the absence of the cypher is thought to be down to dress regulations as opposed to a direct snub of the prince. But such was his despair, Harry is said to have considered wearing a morning suit as they were leaving in order to avoid the embarrassment last night.
A friend told the Sunday Times: ‘He is heartbroken. To remove his grandmother’s initials feels very intentional.’