Prince Andrew has made his first public appearance since settling a lawsuit against his sexual assault accuser — and he returned to the spotlight side-by-side with the queen.
Andrew, who stepped back from public duties over his ties to disgraced sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, attended the memorial service for Prince Philip on Tuesday, and he traveled there with Queen Elizabeth II, BBC News reports.
In February, Andrew settled a sexual abuse lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein's victims, for an undisclosed amount. Giuffre has alleged Epstein forced her to have sex with Andrew. He has denied the allegations but never explained a photo that showed him with his arm around Giuffre with Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell in the background, and the lawsuit was headed toward a trial prior to the settlement.
In 2019, Andrew stepped back from public duties in the wake of a widely-panned interview with the BBC, in which he tried to explain his relationship with Epstein and said the disgraced sex offender "conducted himself in a manner unbecoming." The queen stripped him of his military titles in January after a judge said the lawsuit would move forward, meaning he will no longer use the "His Royal Highness" title.
But Sky News wrote that Andrew accompanying the queen to Philip's memorial, traveling there with her in her state limousine, "will be seen as a clear signal of Her Majesty's support." Indeed, Royal commentator Robert Jobson told People the queen "insisted" on being accompanied by Andrew, and this "shows she wholeheartedly loves and believes her son."
Other members of the royal family, including Prince Charles and Prince William, attended the memorial, although Prince Harry, who now lives in the United States with his wife Meghan Markle, did not. In February, an attorney for Prince Harry said he "does not feel safe when he is in the U.K. given the security arrangements applied to him."