Royal fans have questioned disgraced Prince Andrew and his ‘convenient’ absence from the St Paul’s thanksgiving service today after the Queen pulled out due to her ongoing mobility issues.
The Duke of York tested positive for Covid-19 and will therefore no longer attend the Queen’s service at St Paul’s Cathedral today.
He is understood to have seen his mother the Queen in the last few days but she has tested negative – and he has not seen her since testing positive.
Andrew, 62, was expected to join his royal relatives at the Service of Thanksgiving in London today despite him no longer being a working member of the family.
However, social media users today posted a fresh wave of memes, mercilessly mocking the duke following the ‘convenient’ news he has been diagnosed with coronavirus.
One particularly cutting post from Twitter user, Con Murphy, read: ‘Does anyone really believe Prince Andrew has Covid? Or maybe they don’t want the despicable embarrassment involved.’
Another posted a meme, with the Queen seemingly appearing to draw a line on a lateral flow test, giving the appearance of a positive result.
The duke was pictured riding a horse in Windsor on Wednesday, and appeared to be fit and healthy before the shock diagnosis was announced.
The Duke of York tested positive for Covid-19 and will therefore no longer attend the Queen’s service at St Paul’s Cathedral today – the one event during the Platinum Jubilee that Andrew was set to attend
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said on Thursday afternoon: ‘After undertaking a routine test The Duke has tested positive for Covid and with regret will no longer be attending tomorrow’s service.’
Andrew was not on the Buckingham Palace balcony at the Trooping the Color ceremony for the flypast after the Queen limited those appearing alongside her to working members of her family.
However, Andrew had been expected to attend St Paul’s tomorrow along with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who were also not allowed to stand on the balcony.
Andrew was cast out of the working monarchy and no longer uses his HRH style after Virginia Giuffre, who was trafficked by Epstein, accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was 17. The Duke has always strenuously denied the claims.
Prince Andrew is pictured riding in Windsor yesterday on the eve of the Jubilee celebrations
Members of the Royal Family – not including Prince Andrew – join the Queen on the balcony of Buckingham Palace yesterday to view the Platinum Jubilee flypast as the celebrations begin
Before the Jubilee festivities, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby – who also now has Covid and had to pull out of the service – had suggested Andrew was ‘seeking to make amendments’, adding: ‘I think that’s a very good thing.’
Andrew took a central role in escorting his mother to the Duke of Edinburgh memorial service in March.
It came as a surprise change to the planned arrangements – only weeks earlier he had been banished from royal public life and paid to settle his court case.
The move was taken as a sign of the monarch’s support for her son.
He is the latest in a long line of royals to catch Covid, including the Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke of Cambridge and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence.
Princess Michael of Kent, who is married to the Queen’s cousin Prince Michael of Kent, suffered severe symptoms when she was struck down with Covid-19 in November 2020.
Meanwhile, the Queen has met her great-granddaughter Lilibet for the first time after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had lunch with the monarch and senior royals behind closed doors as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are flying over from the US with Lilibet and her brother Archie (pictured last December)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are seen being driven in a car in London yesterday during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations
Prince Harry speaks to the Duke of Kent with Meghan Markle as they attend Trooping the Color in London yesterday
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex introduced their daughter to the Queen, who was nicknamed Lilibet as a child, yesterday at Windsor in one the Royal Family’s private events after Trooping the Color at Buckingham Palace.
Harry and Meghan are expected to remain mostly low-profile over the four-day Jubilee weekend, with no sign of the Netflix cameras that followed them around at the Invictus Games in the Netherlands in April. But they will attend today’s Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral – their first joint royal engagement in two years.
Prince Charles will officially represent the Queen at the service in London today after she was forced to pull out last night.
The Sussexes, who are staying at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor while visiting from California, were not allowed on the Buckingham Palace balcony yesterday and instead watched proceedings from Horse Guards Parade.