Calls for Prince Andrew to be banned from Trooping the Colour event

Britain's Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Andrew and Princess Anne take part in the Trooping the Colour parade in central London, Britain June 8, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Will Prince Andrew be at this year's Trooping the Colour? Credit: REUTERS

Buckingham Palace appears to have rowed back on comments that Prince Andrew will attend the Trooping the Colour later this year, saying it is too early to speculate on whether the under-fire royal will be present.

The Duke of York was expected to be absent from many high-profile events following the scandal over his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Despite this, Buckingham Palace last year confirmed to Yahoo News UK that the prince was still set to attend 2020’s Trooping the Colour and Remembrance Sunday events - two of the most important events in the royal calendar.

Speaking before Christmas, a spokeswoman said: “The Duke of York remains a member of the Royal Family. As a Royal Colonel and a war veteran he will take part in these ceremonies.”

However, things appear to have changed and there is now a question mark over whether Andrew - himself a war veteran - will attend the Trooping of Colour.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew, Duke of York watch a flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 8, 2019 in London, England. The annual ceremony involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry, is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign, although the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Prince Andrew has played a key role in the Trooping the Colour in previous years Photo: Getty

The apparent change comes after it was reported that senior military figures requested the under fire Andrew should not make any form of appearance at the annual event on June 13, according to The Times.

He was apparently told he would be instead replaced by a serving officer from the Grenadier Guards, who would ride in his place.

A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace told Yahoo News UK this week it would not comment on whether Andrew would attend the occasion, with a source suggesting it was very early to be speculating on an event set for June.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 18: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Andrew, Duke of York attends a Christmas lunch for members of the Royal Family hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace on December 18, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Andrew was forced to step back from royal duties amid the scandal over his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. Photo: Getty

The news emerges amid a turbulent week for the royals following the fallout over Harry and Meghan’s decision to quit as “senior royals” and embark upon becoming financially independent.

In previous years Andrew, who is Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, has played a key role in the world-famous state occasion.

He has since become mired in a scandal over his links to Jeffrey Epstein, including accusations that he had sex with a teenager trafficked to London by Epstein, which he denies.

Subsequently, Andrew was forced to pull back from royal duties following widespread criticism over his “car crash” interview about his relationship with Epstein and was also axed as patron by a number of charities.

Since then, Andrew missed a Nato reception at Buckingham Palace in December and also the Grenadier Guards’ annual dinner in December, where he was due to be the guest of honour.

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