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Why Prince Andrew 'led' the royals at event missed by Prince William and King Charles

Andrew and Sarah walking to St George's Chapel in Windsor
Andrew appeared to lead the royals into the service (Getty)

The Duke of York's appearance at the thanksgiving service for the late King Constantine of Greece on Tuesday sparked criticism.

From the photographs, Prince Andrew, 64, looked as though he was leading members of the British royal family walking from Windsor Castle to St George's Chapel.

However, it's understood that the disgraced Duke was not officially leading the Windsors but because the order of precedence was in reverse order of seniority, as seen at events such as the Easter Sunday service and Commonwealth Day.

Andrew arrived at the service alongside his former wife, Sarah, Duchess of York, followed by other non-working royals, Mike and Zara Tindall, and Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.

The Princess Royal arrived last in the group of the royals who walked to church, with Queen Camilla travelling by car.

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King Charles, the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh were all absent from the service.

Andrew walks ahead of royals as he arrives at Constantine memorial
Andrew strode ahead of his former wife, Sarah (Getty)

Prince William, who pulled out of attending the memorial last-minute due to a "personal matter" would have walked behind his aunt Princess Anne, with the Queen taking the most senior position last.

It's understood that the disgraced Duke of York attended the thanksgiving service in a personal capacity because it was not an official public event.

Andrew has only made a handful of public appearances since stepping back as a senior royal in November 2019, following his TV interview with BBC Newsnight, which focused on his connections to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah, Duchess of York attend the Thanksgiving Service for King Constantine of the Hellenes at St George's Chapel on February 27, 2024 in Windsor
Andrew and Sarah still live together at Royal Lodge in Windsor (Getty)

In February 2022, the Duke reached an undisclosed out-of-court settlement with Virginia Giuffre, after she sued him claiming she was trafficked by Epstein to have sex with the royal when she was 17 and a minor under US law. The Prince has vehemently denied the allegations.

Queen Elizabeth II stripped her son Andrew of his honorary military roles and he lost the use of his HRH style in an official capacity in January 2022.

Andrew, who is the father of Princess Beatrice, 34, and Princess Eugenie, 33, was last seen publicly with the royal family on Christmas Day in Sandringham.

Princess Alexandra was seated in the front row with her daughter Marina
Andrew was seated in the front row at the service alongside Marina Ogilvy and the Duchess of Gloucester (Getty)

Last year, he also attended King Charles' coronation and the Easter Sunday service in Windsor.

The Duke resides at Royal Lodge in Windsor with his ex-wife Sarah, who learned of her skin cancer diagnosis in January.

Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York (L), Sarah, Duchess of York (2L) Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi (2R) and Britain's Princess Beatrice of York (R) arrive for the Royal Family's traditional Christmas Day service at St Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandringham Estate in eastern England
Andrew with Sarah, Edoardo and Beatrice on Christmas Day (Getty)

The Duchess, 64, urged her social  media followers "be diligent with their health checkups" in a personal Instagram post last week.

"I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2023 and melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer, this year and had it not been for the diligence and care of my physicians, my situation could have been so much worse," Sarah wrote. "It was a busy 2023 and I almost put off my routine mammogram, but my sister Jane convinced me to go. After undergoing a mastectomy and reconstruction, I could only hope that I was in the clear, which is why a new diagnosis of skin cancer came as a shock."

The author added that she was "now in the best hands and feeling positive with the support of my family".

Andrew and Sarah are grandparents to Princess Beatrice and Edoardo's daughter, Sienna, two, and Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's sons, August, three, and Ernest, who turns one in May.

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