As the Royal Family celebrated the wedding of Princess Beatrice to her fiance Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi on Friday, there was one person noticeably absent from official photographs.
Prince Andrew, Beatrice’s father, was not pictured in any of the images released by Buckingham Palace over the weekend, despite walking his daughter down the aisle.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Beatrice stayed with Andrew and her mother Sarah Ferguson at the Royal Lodge in Windsor before the wedding so he could walk her down the aisle.
It was previously thought that Beatrice and Mozzi had been with his family in Oxfordshire.
The photographs Beatrice and Mozzi chose to release featured only two others – the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
The wedding ceremony was also attended by their respective parents and siblings, as well as Wolfie, Mozzi’s son, but only four of the reported 20 attendees are in the images.
Andrew’s absence from pictures comes amid a transatlantic war of words and his effective retirement from royal life.
The Duke of York, 60, stepped back from his public duties in November after a disastrous interview with BBC Newsnight about his friendship with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
US authorities have asked for him to speak to them about Epstein, who died as he awaited trial on sex offence charges, but Andrew says he has offered and been ignored.
Since then he has rarely been seen in public, and his website has been taken down after the contract with the host provider ended.
His link to the case involving Epstein has been reignited after authorities arrested and charged his friend Ghislaine Maxwell.
Royal author Nigel Cawthorne, who wrote Prince Andrew, Epstein and the Palace, said: “As far as Andrew himself is concerned, I would think he is a very worried man.
“Mentally and emotionally, I believe he's in prison himself – one of his own making.”
Dickie Arbiter, former palace press secretary, told The Sun on Sunday that Andrew’s absence from the photographs was “tragic for Beatrice”.
He said: “His absence from his eldest daughter’s private wedding photographs was perhaps to be expected, if highly unusual.”
Beatrice and Mozzi’s wedding photos are very different to those of their royal peers from recent weddings. Beatrice’s younger sister Eugenie released a series of images with her new husband Jack in 2018, including ones with the whole family around.
And with a televised wedding, the nation watched Andrew walk Eugenie down the aisle of St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
Beatrice’s mother, Sarah Ferguson is also absent from the new photographs, and has so far remained quiet on social media about the big day.
She is understood to have helped planned the wedding with her daughter to enable the Queen and Prince Philip to attend before they go to Scotland for the summer.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph about his absence, Camilla Tominey said: “It seemingly wasn’t enough for the ceremony to be held in secret – effectively sparing the Queen’s beleaguered son from appearing in public.
“The Royal powers that be had clearly decided it was probably not a good idea for him to feature in the historic pictorial record of the event either.
“It is undoubtedly a spectacular fall from grace for the 60-year-old Royal who had gained a reputation for leaving no one in any doubt of his status as the sovereign's second born son.”
Beatrice and Mozzi are thought to have known each other for many years, and started dating after meeting again at Eugenie’s wedding in 2018.
They announced their engagement in September 2019 and had planned to wed in London, with a reception in the grounds of Buckingham Palace.
But they had to cancel the reception and postpone the wedding as lockdown was implemented across the UK to help curb the spread of coronavirus.