Prince Andrew may have stepped back from his official duties in the wake of a disastrous interview about his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, but the Duke of York is still the Queen’s son. And according to a new report in the Sunday Times, he is set make an appearance with the rest of the royal family on Christmas morning.
Every year, the Queen’s immediate family walks together to St Mary Magdalene, a 16th-century church on their Sandringham property, on Christmas day.
Per royal reporter Roya Nikkah, this year, that holiday stroll will serve as a “a litmus test of the public mood on Prince Andrew.”
Of the planned appearance, Buckingham Palace told Nikkah: “The Duke of York is still a part of the royal family and you can expect to see him at family occasions.”
Last month, following enormous public criticism of his Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis about his friendship with Epstein, Prince Andrew voluntarily resigned from his royal duties for the foreseeable future.
“It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support,” he wrote in a personal statement.
“Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission.”
He also expressed sympathy for Epstein’s victims and shared that he will speak with law enforcement “if required.”