Prince Andrew has broken his silence following the sad death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II earlier this week.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II passed away following months of health and mobility issues, and in the days that have followed, numerous family members have shared statement and tributes online.
After deciding against making a statement, Andrew shared his grief while visiting flowers that have been laid out at Balmoral, where the Queen died on Thursday.
Asked by a mourner how things were, Andrew said: “We’ve been allowed one day, now we start the process of handing her on.”
He added: “It’s nice to see you, thank you for coming.”
On Sunday, the Queen’s coffin is expected to be taken by road to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.
Andrew and his two daughters were joined by two of the Queen’s children, the Princess Royal and the Earl of Wessex, the Countess of Wessex, Anne’s husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence and the Queen’s grandchildren Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall and Lady Louise Windsor at the service on Saturday.
It was a prayer service held at the nearby Crathie Kirk church, a place the Queen visited regularly during her stays at Balmoral.
Shortly after the service finished at about 2.30pm, the family began a sombre walk across the bridge over the River Dee towards the castle.
When Andrew was born in 1960, 12 years after his eldest sibling CKing Charles, now 73, the Queen decided to take some time away from her Royal duties to focus on being a parent.
“When Prince Charles and Princess Anne were born, the Queen wasn’t able to spend the time with them that she would have wished to,” Richard Fitzwilliams, a royal commentator, told CNN.
But when the Duke was born, she “was able to give him more attention and Andrew was someone with whom she's had a particular affinity”.
He was later described as the "golden boy" by royal commentator Katie Nicholl as he returned home from the Falklands war, after having followed his father's footsteps by joining the Royal Navy.
But in recent years, Andrew's name has been drenched in controversy, particularly following his "car crash" BBC Newsnight interview with presenter Emily Maitlis, where she questioned him on on his relationship with Epstein and Giuffre’s claims against him.
And during the trial with Virginia Giuffre, Buckingham Palace released a statement concerning Andrew's 12 of his military affiliations, including Colonel of the Grenadier Guards.
It read: “With the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronages have been returned to the Queen.
"The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”
Following his settlement with Giuffre, the Queen stood by his side as she gave Andrew a prominent role by accompanying her to Prince Philip's memorial in March 2022 – making it clear he hasn't been shunned by her.
And while he hasn't been seen at the forefront of many events with the Royal family, including the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the Queen has showed her enduring support of him behind closed doors.
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