Prince Andrew was shunned by the royal family today. The disgraced royal was stripped of most of his royal duties following a disastrous BBC interview in which he defended his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, and on Christmas Day he was ordered not to join his family for the traditional 11am service at the small parish church on the Sandringham estate.
The exclusion of Andrew was surprising as the palace had allowed a narrative to develop that he would be included; instead, he was obliged to attend a 9am service. He was pictured walking with his brother Prince Charles, in an unconvincing attempt to demonstrate solidarity with his brother, whose expulsion from the inner circle of the royal fold he had long sought.
Indeed, although the queen also attended the 9am service (before then having to return to church for the 11am service, having effected an impressively quick costume change for a 93-year-old) the fact that she refused to be pictured entering church with Andrew was a graphic visual illustration of the ignominy into which he has been cast, and the dishonour he has brought upon the Windsor name.
The Queen was not joined by her husband Philip at either service. He was released from hospital on Christmas Eve, after a 4-day stay. Harry and Meghan were also not present as they are taking a sabbatical from royal duties. They are believed to be in Canada.
This year marked Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s first time at the traditional Christmas Day service, arriving with their mother and father the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Prince Louis did not attend.