Prince Andrew reconnects with his old life at the Princes’ Vigil

The Duke of York participated in the second vigil of the princes in Westminster Hall, this September 16, 2022, where he was able, like his brother and sister, to wear his Royal Navy uniform. A rare permission considered a “mark of respect” to Queen Elizabeth II.

It was 7:50 in the evening in London when he took over the coffin of his beloved mother. With a serious face, head tilted slightly forward, Prince Andrew participated, on September 16, 2022, in his second watch of princes since the death of Queen Elizabeth II, eight days earlier. Dressed in his Royal Navy vice-admiral uniform, the Duke of York found, in about ten minutes, his former life.

Prince Andrew temporarily dons his Royal Navy uniform during the princes’ vigil at Westminster Hall on September 16, 2022. © PA Photos/ABACA

Since his retirement from public life in November 2019, the one described as the “favorite son” of the late sovereign is no longer authorized to wear it, no longer an active member of the “Firm”. A decision linked to the Epstein scandal and the accusations of sexual assault against him. Together with his brother and sister, King Charles III, the Earl of Wessex and the Princess Royal, the father of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie finally found this uniform that he loved so much. An authorization from the new sovereign who sees it as a “‘mark of respect’ to the queen during the last vigil”, reports the TwitterBritish journalist Roya Nikkhah.

A clan united by grief

After marking a short stop in front of the entrance of Westminster Hall, the four children of Queen Elizabeth II came together before her coffin where they placed themselves, at the ends. The Welsh Guards and Yeomen of the Guard also framed the catafalque in which the body of the sovereign rested for two days. Come join the lying-in-state, the crowd, silent and respectful, bowed and stopped for a few seconds before them under the gaze of almost the complete British royal family. The Windsors took their place at the height and watched over their matriarch.

King Charles III, Princess Anne and Princes Andrew and Edward in front of the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall on September 16, 2022.
The four children of Queen Elizabeth II in front of her coffin in Westminster Hall on September 16, 2022. © PA Photos/ABACA

Queen Consort Camilla and the Countess of Wessex were there, as well as Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, husband of Princess Anne. The four granddaughters of Queen Elizabeth, Princess Beatrice and Eugenie, Zara Tindall and Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, attended this vigil of the princes. His brother, James, Viscount Severn, also arrived, as did Peter Phillips and his two daughters, Savannah and Isla. Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, the husband of Beatrice of York, seemed to have tears in his eyes. The pain could be seen on each other’s faces.

Sophie de Wessex was very touched during the vigil of the princes at Westminster Hall on September 16, 2022.
The Countess of Wessex was very emotional during the vigil of the princes at Westminster Hall on September 16, 2022. © PA Photos/ABACA

Queen Elizabeth’s cousin, Princess Alexandra stands next to her older brother, the Duke of Kent. Also present are Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. Daughters-in-law, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, cousins, nieces and nephews of the late sovereign all reunited in this moment full of emotions. The strong image of a clan united in pain.

Elizabeth's cousins, nieces and nephews gathered at Westminster Hall to attend the prince's vigil on September 16, 2022.
Elizabeth’s cousins, nieces and nephews gathered at Westminster Hall to attend the princes’ vigil. © PA Photos/ABACA

Earlier in the day, Prince Edward issued – for the first time since the death of Elizabeth II – a statement in which he emphasized the fact that “now is the time to let others be able to say goodbye”, thus referring to lying-in-state and the thousands of Britons who paraded in Westminster Hall, like a few days earlier in St Gilles Cathedral in Edinburgh, to pay tribute to someone who had been their queen for more than seventy years. The Earl of Wessex also raised his happiness and his wife Sophie “to see [leurs] James and Louise enjoy the places and activities that their grandparents loved so much.”

After Edinburgh, King Charles III and his brothers and sisters held their second princely vigil, this time in London, on September 16, 2022.
After Edinburgh, King Charles III and his brothers and sisters held their second princely vigil, this time in London, on September 16, 2022. © PA Photos/ABACA

“These times together, these happy memories have become so precious to all of us,” he added. Shortly afterwards, Edward and Sophie greeted the public outside Windsor Castle, where his brother Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson were spotted on Friday looking at hundreds of bouquets of flowers. flowers and words left by grieving Britons.

On the evening of September 17, a special princely vigil will be held in which Queen Elizabeth’s eight grandchildren will participate. A wish on their part to honor someone who counted so much in their lives. Like his uncle Andrew, Prince Harry will be allowed to wear his Blues and Royals uniform for this time of family reflection.

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