Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, has had a difficult summer. Though he had planned to spend time last month at Balmoral, the queen’s Scottish residence in the Highlands, he departed suddenly when the news broke that his friend, Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted pedophile, had killed himself, and new accusations broke about the monarch’s second son.
The Daily Mail reported that Prince Andrew returned this weekend to Scotland to attend church with his mother, to show that the queen is still supporting him through this latest crisis. The Duke of York has had most of his appearances canceled over the last month to stay out of the news while the latest accusations about sex with underage girls dies down.
Mother and son were pictured sitting side-by-side in the Queen’s royal car as they were driven to the traditional Sunday service at nearby Crathie Kirk in northern Scotland. Both members of the royal family smiled and waved as if nothing was wrong, and it was just a routine drive to services.
The queen, who usually returns to London in October following her annual summer break north of the border, has shown her support for the Duke of York (rumored to be her favorite) in the weeks since the Jeffrey Epstein scandal reached its peak.
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Today in #Newcastle, The Duke of York meets students who are studying at North East Futures UTC, a state-of-the-art UTC that aims to fill the skills gap in Digital Technology & Healthcare Science sectors. UTCs (University Technical Colleges) enables students to apply learning to relevant and real-life contexts, supported by cutting-edge research facilities, staff and partners. HRH is Patron of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust, which supports and promotes new and existing UTC’s.
The prince is reportedly set to return to his usual duties in England this week, hosting The Duke of York Award for Technical Education at St. James’s Palace, despite the continued headlines. Buckingham Palace has continued to deny that the Duke of York has done anything wrong, despite his past affiliation with Epstein.
Though Prince Andrew is Queen Elizabeth’s third child, he has long been rumored to be the favorite, reported The Inquisitr.
The two are often seen on horseback together, riding for recreation around the palace grounds. Queen Elizabeth used to ride regularly with her husband, Prince Philip, but the Duke of Edinburgh no longer rides horses since his double hip replacement surgery last year. The prince does, however, still drive horse-drawn carriages around the Windsor estate.
All of the queen’s children ride, but the monarch is most often seen these days with Prince Andrew or Prince Charles. She can still be seen at 92, riding with a scarf over her hair instead of a helmet. The queen was given her first Shetland pony as a gift for her fourth birthday, courtesy of her grandfather, George V, and has been riding ever since.