Prince Andrew’s role at the Coronation and what he’ll do on the day

Born second-in-line to the throne, the Duke of York was one of the core members of the Firm for several decades. After leaving the Royal Navy, Prince Andrew travelled the world as the UK’s special representative for International Trade and Investment. He also carried out royal engagements in the UK and joined links with several organisations – including Fight for Sight, Attend and the Royal United Services Institute.

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As a working royal, he also held honorary military titles and represented the Crown and the country abroad by taking part in overseas trips.

The Duke of York’s standing in the Royal Family, however, changed in November 2019, when he stepped back from public duties following his disastrous interview with Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis.

Andrew has since made only a few public appearances alongside members of the Firm and at events open to the wider Royal Family. looked into the possible role Prince Andrew could play at the historic Coronation of his elder brother.

Will Prince Andrew have a role?

Though Buckingham Palace hasn’t confirmed the Duke of York will attend the Coronation of his brother on Saturday, it has been widely tipped he will be among the 2,200-strong crowd.

However, given the Duke is no longer a working member of the Firm, he is unlikely to be as prominent during the service as senior royals such as Princess Anne or the Prince of Wales.

Sources dismissed in February the idea Prince Andrew could play a significant role during the Coronation after it was noted Garter Knights such as him have been historically chosen for key roles during the services crowning British monarchs.

While Andrew remains a Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, he stepped down as a senior royal after being hit by backlash in the wake of his interview with Newsnight, which was entirely focused on his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

In January last year, more than two years since he had last carried out a royal engagement, Andrew also returned his royal patronages and military associations to the late Queen.

At the time, he was facing the prospect of a trial in New York after Virginia Giuffre had launched a civil lawsuit against him, in which she had accused Prince Andrew of sexually abusing her while she was 17 and being trafficked by Epstein.

The Duke, who has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, and Ms Giuffre settled out of court a few weeks later – a move which didn’t represent an admission of liability on Andrew’s behalf.

Despite the settlement, Andrew did not return to the forefront of the Firm. A few weeks later, he walked Elizabeth II through Westminster Abbey to attend the memorial service for Prince Philip, but his prominence was hugely criticised by many commentators and members of the public alike.

Following the death of the Queen in September, he joined several events and corteges to honour his mother’s memory and it was reported he and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson would take care of the late monarch’s surviving dogs.

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If Andrew does attend the Coronation service, he will not play any role but the one of the spectator.

As a Duke, he would have been required to step at the centre of the abbey, kneel in front of the King and pledge his allegiance to him. But the streamlined Coronation taking place on Saturday is reportedly no longer including the dukes’ pledge, a move commentators have described as smart not just because it slashes the time of the service but also because it avoids putting the spotlight on the Duke of York and the Duke of Sussex.

As a non-working royal, Andrew is also unlikely to take part in the Coronation Procession taking place after the crowning of the King and Queen, which will see prominent Firm members travelling by carriage from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace.

Finally, Andrew is unlikely to join Charles and Camilla on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch the RAF flypast.

During the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the late Queen also reserved this honour to senior members of the Firm – excluding Prince Andrew among others.

Where will Prince Andrew be seated?

The seating plan hasn’t yet been shared with the public, but most members of the Royal Family are expected to watch the Coronation service from the royal box in Westminster Abbey.

Given he is eighth-in-line to the throne and he is not a senior royal, it is expected Andrew will be seated behind working Firm members such as the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and the Prince and Princess of Wales.

Andrew may be placed by organisers next to his daughters – Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice – who are beloved members of the Royal Family but don’t have a working role in it.

However, given he is the brother of the King, Andrew may be given a more favourable spot in the box as has happened on other occasions during the past few years. Despite his diminished role in the Firm, the Duke sat in the front row during both the memorial service for his father and the funeral of his mother.

King Charles and Queen Camilla may have decided to have a more slimmed-down Coronation than that of his late mother Queen Elizabeth II, but the guest list remains extensive. Here are just some of those invited to the momentous event:

Royal Family members: Prince William and Princess Kate, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Zara Tindall, Mike Tindall, Prince Edward, Princess Anne,Timothy Laurence.

Other notable British royals or relations: Tom Parker Bowles, Laura Lopes, Andre Parker Bowles, Annabel Elliot, Marchioness of Lansdowne, Duke of Norfolk, Marquess of Cholmondeley, Baron Carrington, Earl of Errol, Earl of Dundee, Joseph Morrow, Baron Hastings, Duke of Argyll.

Foreign royals: King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain, Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco, King Car and Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princes Mary of Denmark,  King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, Crown Prince Fumihito and Crown Princess Kiko of Japan, Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg.

Foreign politicians: Emmanuel Macron, Jill Biden, Michelle O’Neill, Han Zheng, Ursula von der Leyen.

Politicians: Rishi Sunak, Domaniç Raab, Jeremy Hunt, Suella Braverman, Sir Keir Starmer, Boris Johnson, Liz Truss, Theresa May, David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, John Major, Tracy Brabin, Humza Yousaf.

Invited guests: Joanna Lumley, Jay Blades, David and Victoria Beckham, Stella McCartney, Rowan Atkinson, Bear Grylls, Lord Lloyd Webber, Dame Kelly Holmes, Amanda Holding, Rose Ayling Ellis, Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom.

What has Prince Andrew said about the Coronation?

The Duke of York hasn’t made any official comment about the Coronation. However, a source claimed in March the Duke was “furious” as he was being “disrespected”.

While the dress code for attendees at the Coronation hasn’t been shared, as a Garter Knight the Duke would be entitled to wear the velvet robe of the ancient order. But a source claimed two months ago Andrew had been “left completely in the dark” over his role and required dress.

The insider told the Mirror: “Andrew is furious. He’s already not playing a part and now he feels he is being disrespected and dictated to over something he is fully entitled to (wear).”

If he can’t wear the Garter robe, Andrew will have to wear a normal suit, as he has been barred to don his uniform in public since he relinquished his honorary military appointments.

Prince Andrew’s standing in the Royal Family

Given his low popularity among Britons, the Duke of York is unlikely to ever return to public duties. However Queen Elizabeth II first and King Charles later have quietly signalled Prince Andrew hasn’t been banished from his family.

Prince Andrew was among the many members of the Royal Family to join King Charles at Sandringham on Christmas Day and to walk with him to St Mary Magdalene Church to attend the service on the morning of December 25.

In March, Andrew was spotted horse riding in Windsor with his brother Prince Edward.

Most recently, the royal joined the Easter Sunday service, and was pictured walking to St George’s Chapel in Windsor behind the King and Queen and alongside his sister Princess Anne.

While Prince Andrew finds himself in a similar position to Prince Harry, as they are both veterans and former working royals who stepped back from public duties, the Duke of York appears to have retained a solid bond with his relatives – most likely also thanks to the fact Prince Andrew hasn’t publicly aired his grievances against the Palace and the Firm.

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