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Andrew’s 62nd birthday celebrations herald start of isolation for royal

The Duke of York celebrates his birthday on Saturday but may be banned from the memorial service for his father.

18 February 2022

The Duke of York will celebrate his 62nd birthday on Saturday but faces the prospect of being banned from the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service, a commentator has suggested.

Andrew is likely to have a low-key event to mark the anniversary following a dramatic week that confirmed he will never return to royal duties after he reached an out of court settlement in his sexual assault civil case.

The royal family publicly severed its ties with the duke when the Queen stripped him of his remaining patronages and military affiliations in January.

But in a sign of his future status, Andrew may be denied access to the service of thanksgiving for Philip which will be held at Westminster Abbey on March 29, according to lawyer Mark Stephens.

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The Duke of York during a television interview at the Royal Chapel of All Saints, Windsor, following the announcement of Philip’s death (Steve Parsons/PA)

Mr Stephens, an international reputation lawyer from the law firm Howard Kennedy, said: “The settlement has drawn a line under further humiliation of him but there’s no way back for him now. I think a bellweather of that is it’s very unlikely he will attend his father’s memorial.

“Obviously he’s been present at his father’s funeral and he took the opportunity to command the cameras at that and I think the royal family will not allow that to happen a second time.

“I think they understand that he is toxic and if he goes to these events it will be seen as a tacit approval and so, whilst it’s quite hard, the royal family can’t be seen to have him at things like the memorial.”

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The Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex with the Duke of Sussex walking in the procession for the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh (Victoria Jones/PA)

In another development, councillors in York have said they are taking steps to remove the duke’s freedom of the city.

Andrew was given the Honorary Freedom of the City of York in 1987 but Liberal Democrats, who form the largest group on City of York Council, said a motion to begin the process of removing the honour will be submitted at the next full council meeting on March 24.

The motion will also call for the prince to relinquish his title as Duke of York in the wake of the settlement of his legal battle with Virginia Giuffre.

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