Prince Andrew’s ‘royal comeback plan’ is ‘bizarre’ timing, royal expert says

Prince Andrew's plotted return to royal duties and the public eye has been branded "quite bizarre" by royal experts.

The Duke of York is said to be planning his comeback and, although the Queen has a "soft spot" for her son, the move could be vetoed by Prince Charles and Prince William, according to The Sunday Times.

Discussing the idea on The Royal Rota podcast, ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship and Royal Producer Lizzie Robinson said it would be very risky before Ghislaine Maxwell's trial has concluded.

Prince Andrew's friendships with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and Maxwell, who is charged with facilitating the abuse of underage girls, led to him stepping back from duties in November last year.

Robinson said: "I found it extraordinary. I had a double-take moment when I saw that story.

"The thought that he wants to return to royal life, to duties…I just think until this has been cleared-up and he has spoken to the FBI that he proves a distraction and he would be unable to work with that hanging over him."

Shipley said a source close to Prince Andrew said the story in the Sunday Times was "not totally inaccurate".

He added: 'I get the impression they have this long-term plan so in order for that to happen there would have to be a resolution of the legal process and a total exoneration on his part."

  • Prince Andrew 'plotting return to public life' after Jeffrey Epstein scandal

Discussing if Prince Andrew could organise a "reframing of his duties", Shipley said it was "too early for that".

Calling the plan "quite bizarre", he said: "I can’t believe for a second that anyone in the Royal Family is thinking of putting Prince Andrew front and centre of any event anywhere in the near future."

A source close to Prince Andrew told Daily Star Online that any future public role for the Duke of York would be "different".

They said: "He’s thinking very hard about how best he can serve his country, and a public reframing of the role of the Duke of York is critical.

"He’s very sensitive to the public mood and acutely conscious that the public are the prime consideration.

"All this still needs to be discussed with his family and then with other stakeholders – the government and Palace officials.

"It is his intention to return to public duties but none of this can seriously progress until the legal process in the US has been resolved and the Duke’s side of the story has been properly explained."

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