After taking a break from public outings, Queen Elizabeth returned to the spotlight when she arrived at Prince Philip's memorial service on March 29 — but onlookers were more surprised by the fact that she was escorted by son Prince Andrew, who just settled his sexual assault lawsuit in February.
A source told the Daily Mail that the royal family assumed he would be the one accompanying the monarch since they live the closest to each other, but the brood hoped the duo had enough "common sense" to keep Andrew in the background, especially since this acted as his first official outing since settling his case.
The source claimed Prince William and Prince Charles were particularly "dismayed" by Andrew's decision to put himself "front and center." Added the insider, "It would be a great shame if the service was overshadowed by all of this. There is a strong sense of regret that this has happened."
On the other hand, former royal correspondent Peter Hunt believes the Queen hasn't been second-guessing her decision.
"It didn't happen by chance. She's very clearly stating that he has a role at family occasions," he noted. "It's one thing to accept that he should attend his father's memorial service, it's quite another thing to then give him quite a prominent role so it was an active choice to give him such a prominent role."
Other royal family members in attendance included Kate Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. It was announced beforehand that Prince Harry wouldn't be attending due to security issues.
The Duke of Edinburgh's former bodyguard Richard Griffin dished to Sky News that his absence was gossiped about during the gathering.
"That was a big disappointment for everybody. Certainly around where I was they thought he should have been here. All this nonsense about he couldn't get protection, as far as I'm concerned that was a pathetic excuse, he should have been here to honor his grandfather," he shared. "At the end of the day, if he was that worried about security he could have stuck with his brother and father who have got wonderful security. He would have been more than safe."