When Prince Andrew took a seat in the front row and not next to his daughters, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, at Prince Philip's memorial service on March 29, people were stunned.
Not only was it the first time the disgraced prince made a public appearance since he settled his sexual abuse lawsuit with Virginia Roberts, but he also was photographed escorting his mother, Queen Elizabeth, into Westminster Abbey.
"When they got to the Abbey and he is then walking her into the church, I think there were a lot of eyebrows raised," Russell Myers, who is a royal editor for The Mirror, said. "When you looked at the order of service he was supposed to be sitting with his daughters, behind the Queen with Beatrice and Eugenie, and then he was front and center."
"We were talking last week about PR disaster for the royal family, and I'm sorry to say this is another huge one that they've got to tackle," he stated. "Look at the front pages today and the coverage, it is absolutely extraordinary."
Not only were Prince Charles and Prince William upset that Andrew was going to be there, but other people in the firm also gave him the cold shoulder. “Taking his place next to [Prince] Edward he cut an isolated but defiant-looking figure, but there were no glances or even nods of greeting and no discernible eye contact. The eye-avoidance looked deliberate, with most of the Firm staring pointedly ahead as though barely even aware of him," body language expert Judi James noted.
Despite Andrew's slip-ups, it seems like the Queen is not fazed by the drama. "The message from the Queen about her prodigal son Andrew looked unequivocal today. As her eldest son Charles is fond of saying, this is now clearly a 'non-negotiable' relationship," James said. "Not only did she choose her second son to accompany and support her as she walked into the Abbey, making this the first time she has been seen in public accepting assistance from anyone, she also paused before they parted to take their seats and threw him a smile of thanks in front of U.K. and foreign royalty as well as the eyes of the rest of the world."