PRINCE Andrew today broke cover to to attend a prayer service for the Queen where he thanked fans for their support.

At Crathie Kirk church he told well-wishers "now we start the process of handing her on".

The Queen regularly visited the small church during her stays at the royal retreat.

This afternoon Prince Andrew was spotted driving his family to the grounds where he and his family attended a prayer service.

He waved to fans as he led a convoy of black Land Rovers to the nearby chapel.

The Duke of York, Prince Edward, Princess Eugenie, Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall, Sophie Wessex and Lady Louise Windsor all looked solemn as they arrived at the church.

The family then walked by well-wishers and thanked them for their support.

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There they took time to look at flowers and tributes left for the late Queen.

The Duke of York thanked people for visiting Balmoral after the death of his mother the Queen, saying: “We’ve been allowed one day, now we start the process of handing her on.”

Princess Eugenie laid her own flowers as Andrew took out his glasses to read notes left for The Queen.

She then began to cry as her father comforted her.

It comes as Princess Beatrice has been given an important new role following the death of her grandmother.

The elder daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson is now a Counsellor of State – meaning she can step in for King Charles when needed.

We’ve been allowed one day, now we start the process of handing her on.

Before Her Majesty's passing, Charles, William, Harry and Andrew all held the position and could perform the monarch's duties temporarily if she was unable to "due to illness or absence abroad".

This is because they are the top four people in line of succession over the age of 21.

But now Charles is King, it means Beatrice is number four on the list, not including Queen Camilla who can also act in His Majesty's absence.

In her new position, Beatrice will be authorised to carry out most of the official duties of the sovereign, according to the Royal Family website.

The Queen was dealt a huge blow last year when her "favourite" son Prince Andrew was embroiled in a sex claim scandal.

The Duke of York paid a multi-million pound settlement to Virginia Giuffre, 38, in February over the allegations.

He was stripped of all his patronages and military titles by the Queen and has barely been seen in public since.

In April, he did appear alongside his mother at Prince Philip's remembrance service, travelling in her car and walking her down the aisle of Westminster Abbey.

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But he was forced to skip her Platinum Jubilee celebrations after coming down with Covid.

Although the four-day weekend to mark the Queen's 70 years on the throne brought joy to the UK, there was one royal family member noticeably missing.

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