Prince Andrew Reportedly Furious Over King Charles' Decision to Ban Him
Prince Andrew may be denied another symbolic royal privilege at The Coronation of King Charles III in May, and he is reportedly devastated. Prince Andrew has lost many of his titles and honors as a member of the royal family since he became known as an associate of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Now, sources close to him say that he may not be allowed to wear his ceremonial robes at his older brother's coronation.
Prince Andrew is a knight in the Order of the Garter, and would typically wear the ceremonial robes associated with that order to a royal coronation. However, the 63-year-old was accused of sexual assault and of participating in an alleged sex trafficking operation, and since then the royal family has generally kept him at a distance as much as possible. Now reports say that the king is "torn" as he tries to decide whether to let Prince Andrew wear his ceremonial robes to the coronation. Author Christopher Andersen, who has written a book about royal customs and history, tried to explain to Fox News reporters what this would mean to a prince like Andrew.
"The letdown for Charles' younger brother may be even worse than what has been reported," Andersen said. "Prince Andrew would normally have been entitled to wear something even grander than his blue velvet Knight of the Garter getup. As the king's brother and the Duke of York, he would presumably wear the same jaw-dropping costume Prince Philip wore at Queen Elizabeth's coronation: a flowing red velvet robe draped with five ermine tails, not to mention his own coronet."
Andersen noted that this decision may include more factors than Prince Andrew's alleged sexual misconduct – for which he settled out of court last year. Andersen pointed out that the royal family is trying to update its traditions in many ways, and said: "This may be just one more example of the palace's desire to make this an 'animal cruelty-free' coronation, and that means no ermine – which, by the way, has been a staple of the royal coronation wardrobe for centuries. Maybe nobody in this coronation ceremony will be wearing ermine – or fur of any kind, for that matter. [But] being a Knight of the Garter is a big deal – it is the senior order of knighthood in the realm – but not as big as being a duke and the brother of the king."
The Order of the Garter is nearly 700 years old, making it the oldest "order of chivalry" in the world. According to a report by The Mirror, it has already been confirmed that the day of the coronation will come with some privileges for knights, including the right to wear their formal collars. It's unclear if that includes Prince Andrew, and there is also speculation about whether the prince will be allowed to wear a ceremonial military uniform after Prince Harry was denied that right at Queen Elizabeth's funeral.
"If the king doesn't allow his own brother to at least wear his Knight of the Garter robes – or barring that, the ceremonial uniform he is still entitled to wear as a vice admiral in the Royal Navy – it will be humiliating for Andrew," Andersen explained. "Conversely, at this historic moment, does the new king want to strike yet another note of disharmony in the royal family? It was unsettling enough to watch Prince Harry scowling as he was initially forced to wear a simple suit at Queen Elizabeth's funeral. King Charles clearly does not want a repeat of that."
The royal family has not officially commented on any of this speculation yet. The Coronation of King Charles III is scheduled for Saturday, May 6 at Westminster Abbey in London, England.