Fans of the royal family were surprised to see Queen Elizabeth II escorted to her late husband Prince Philip's memorial service by none other than her son Prince Andrew, who just six weeks ago settled a sexual assault lawsuit with his accuser Virginia Giuffre. The queen traveled with her disgraced son by car from Windsor to Westminster Abbey Tuesday morning.
The queen reportedly "insisted" that she arrive on Andrew's arm, despite some objections from senior members of the royal family, royal commentator Robert Jobson told PEOPLE. Jobson, the author of Prince Philip's Century, said the move is proof that the queen "wholeheartedly loves and believes her son. As she did when she made a statement about Camilla being Queen's Consort, many people will now accept the queen's word and judgment."
"It does make sense that [Andrew] accompany her because he doesn't have a partner," Jobson added. "A settlement has been paid but he's guilty of nothing in the eyes of the law. She has faith in Andrew. Even if he disappears from public life, he's been able to pay tribute to his father, who after all, was very proud of his service in the Royal Navy, where he fought in the Falkland Islands conflict."
Although it wasn't known if Queen Elizabeth would attend her late husband's memorial ceremony, as it was reportedly a decision that had to be made on the day, her appearance marks the first time she has been at a public event outside of a royal residence since mid-October.
Special arrangements were made for the 95-year-old monarch. Instead of entering through the main doors of Westminster Abbey, which would have meant walking the length of the aisle, she came in through a side door with one arm on Andrew and the other on a cane. Despite her recent mobility issues, she stood to pray and sing anthems throughout the service.
Tuesday's Service of Thanksgiving acted as a way for representatives of the charities Prince Philip worked with to pay tribute to him. His funeral last April had a 30-person limit due to pandemic restrictions. Only his wife, four children, eight grandchildren and other close family members and friends were able to attend.0comments