QUEEN IN DEFIANT SHOW OF SUPPORT FOR HER ‘FAVOURITE’ SON
THE Queen went riding with Prince Andrew in the grounds of Windsor Castle yesterday in a defiant show of support for her beleaguered son.
The pair were accompanied by two grooms as they rode slowly through the morning rain.
The 93-year-old monarch never does anything by chance, as her timely interventions on the independence referendum in 2014 and her plea for national unity over Brexit in January have previously shown.
The Queen also knows every inch of her beloved Berkshire estate and is well aware that the ride would have been captured by photographers. So their ride together can safely be interpreted as a sign of support for her second – and it is said, favourite – son.
For while it was the Queen who effectively ended Andrew’s
role in public life by demanding he take a step back from royal duties – with the backing of her eldest son and heir, Prince Charles – it is known to have pained her greatly.
As they both live at Windsor, the Queen sees a great deal of Andrew and his daughters, Princesses
Beatrice and Eugenie. They frequently pop around to see each other for tea at the weekend, particularly given the long absences of the monarch’s husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, who spends most of his time at Sandringham, her Norfolk estate.
When Buckingham Palace made its historic announcement this week over Andrew’s role, the Queen instructed aides to make clear that while his royal role was effectively over, as her son and eighth in line to the throne, he would continue to remain a member of the Royal Family and would appear by her side at Christmas and events such as Trooping The Colour. Whether there is any public appetite for this remains to be seen.
But the message, it seems, from his mother is that while Andrew may be out, he is most certainly not forgotten.
Morning ride: Prince Andrew and the Queen in the grounds of Windsor Castle yesterday. Above: The monarch with her second son