Prince Andrew has appeared in public with the Queen for the first time since his scandalous BBC interview about paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and subsequent departure from his royal duties. The Queen was accompanied by her third child when they attended a service at St Mary the Virgin church in Hillington, near Norfolk’s Sandringham estate, on Sunday. It was reported by the Daily Mail that the Duke of York also joined his regal parents for a private lunch on the Norfolk estate the day before.
The family trip happened just a day after Queen Elizabeth II issued an official statement in relation to another crisis for the monarchy – Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s abdication from their royal duties.
On 8 January, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex declared that they would live “financially independent” lives and balance their time between the United Kingdom and North America from now on. This was confirmed by the Queen on Saturday, who officially announced that the Sussexes would no longer use their HRH titles and receive public funds for royal duties.
As Elizabeth II and her son were pictured beaming and relaxed as they made their way into the church, some netizens suggested that a showcase of Queen’s public affection to her partly disgraced son may directly be connected with a clamour surrounding Megxit.
The Queen went to church with Prince Edward to show harry and meghan she prefer Him over them. Good for the Queen, kinda like in your face harry and meghan— Elaine Warthen (@elaine_warthen) January 19, 2020
Prince Andrew is OK but Meghan and Harry are the evil ones... Cool, cool.— Leena (@LeenaSaveOurNHS) January 19, 2020
Others were just appalled to see the British monarch grinning next to her son following the public outrage caused by Prince Andrew’s catastrophic interview, where he defended his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
She's standing by him.— Kenzie🇬🇧 (@kenzingtonGB) January 19, 2020
Why is the modern world catering to pedos!
I see the great grandchildren kept away while Andrew is on the prowl— Óglaigh (@Feckme4) January 19, 2020
Jeffrey Epstein had been under investigation for nearly two decades at the time of his death in his cell this past August, where he was being held while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.