Prince Andrew Cannot Ever Return to Public Life, 83 Percent of Brits Say

The majority of British adults surveyed in a new poll said that they felt Prince Andrew could not make a return to public life due to the details of a sexual assault scandal that emerged in 2018.

Eighty-three percent of 2,463 British adults surveyed by YouGov responded to the question "Do you think Prince Andrew can or cannot ever return to public life?" with either the answer "he probably cannot" or "he definitely cannot." Fifty-nine percent of respondents said he "definitely cannot" while 24 percent said, "he probably cannot."

The result comes as Andrew made an aborted attempt to appear in public at the royal Garter Day ceremony at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on Monday.

Despite having his military and charity patronages stripped over the past year following the sexual assault lawsuit brought against him by Jeffrey Epstein victim, Virginia Giuffre, Andrew remains a Royal Knight Companion of the Order of the Garter, which is a personal gift of the queen.

Prince Andrew Public Life Polling YouGov
A new survey by YouGov showed 83 percent of Brits said that they felt there was no way back to public life for Prince Andrew following his scandalous association with Jeffrey Epstein. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

A source close to Andrew had told Newsweek in the lead-up to Monday's event that the prince was "still planning to attend Garter Day" after getting over a bout of COVID which saw him miss the official celebrations of the queen's Platinum Jubilee in early June.

In spite of this intention, it was announced on Monday that Andrew would not take part in the public-facing elements of the events after all. Instead of participating in the traditional procession of knights from Windsor Castle to the chapel and the chapel service itself, Andrew attended the investiture ceremony and lunch from behind the safety of the castle walls.

A source close to the prince told Newsweek that the decision was a "personal" one made by the royal himself, but a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace subsequently told Newsweek that it was a "family decision."

This follows reports that suggested Prince Charles and Prince William had intervened with the queen to block Andrew from appearing in public as general attitudes towards him remain negative.

In YouGov's royal family favorability polls, Andrew is consistently bottom with only a 6 percent total positive response from British adults against an 88 percent total negative response.

Only 7 percent of those surveyed in the most recent poll asking whether they believed Andrew could make a return to public life responded that he "probably can" or "definitely can."

The Telegraph reported on Sunday that the prince was actively lobbying the queen to assist in rehabilitating his public image since he settled the sexual assault lawsuit brought against him by Giuffre in February for an estimated $14 million.

The newspaper reported that the prince was seeking to have his official military patronages reinstated, including the colonelcy of the Grenadier Guards which he was forced to surrender earlier in the year.

Prince Andrew Queen Elizabeth II Philip Memorial
Prince Andrew's presence at the queen's side for the service of thanksgiving for the life of Prince Philip caused widespread criticism. Richard Pohle/WPA Pool/Getty Images

The prince is also reported to hope for the reinstatement of his HRH (His Royal Highness) title which he ceased using at the beginning of the year when the court case was still active. A statement from Buckingham Palace released at the time read:

"With The Queen's approval and agreement, The Duke of York's military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen.

"The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen."

Since this statement, the royal has made two formal public appearances, once for the funeral of his father Prince Philip in April 2021 and again for the service of thanksgiving for the life of Philip in March 2021.

It was Andrew's appearance at the service of thanksgiving held at Westminster Abbey that caused considerable criticism owing to the prince's prominent position entering the proceedings on the arm of the queen.

Commentators at the time called the move "gobsmacking" and openly questioned the queen's better judgment at seemingly approving the decision.

Andrew is 62, and some royal commentators have suggested that he should be given an official role but one which keeps him out of the public eye and which would keep him quietly close to the queen.

Richard Fitzwilliams previously told Newsweek that: it's time that a job is found for him out of the public eye as much as possible. You can't expect him to do absolutely nothing"

He suggested "a job with the royal estates, something reasonably quiet and that didn't involve public appearances. The Duke of Edinburgh used to do that as Ranger of the Great Park in Windsor. That sort of thing."

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