Prince Andrew enjoys horse ride in the pouring rain around Windsor after it emerged he was left ‘bereft’ and ‘tearful’ when King Charles told him he would NEVER return to royal duties

  • Prince Andrew, 62, seen riding around the grounds of the Windsor estate today
  • It comes after Mail on Sunday reported his upset following meeting with Charles
  • His brother is said to have told him that he will not return to frontline royal duties
  • Prince Andrew has been outcast since settling £12million US sex assault lawsuit
  • He has repeatedly denied accusations, by Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre 

A smiling Prince Andrew appeared carefree today as he rode around the grounds of Windsor Castle – just days after it was reported how he was left ‘bereft’ at being told he would never return to frontline royal duties.

The disgraced royal, 62, was reportedly ‘tearful’ when his brother, then Prince Charles, informed him during a one-to-one meeting that there would be no route back for him into the royal fold earlier this year.

The Duke of York has been banished from frontline royal duties following a US sex assault lawsuit by Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre. Prince Andrew, who settled for £12million in the case, denies any wrongdoing.

But despite the claims of his dismay, first made in the Mail on Sunday, the royal appeared carefree today as he went out horse riding around the grounds of the Windsor estate.

Wearing a waterproof jacket as he rode through the rain, former Navy serviceman Andrew was seen smiling while on a horse with a Remembrance poppy attached to the bridle.

A smiling Prince Andrew appeared carefree today as he rode around the grounds of Windsor – just days after it was reported how he was left ‘bereft’ at being told he would never return to frontline royal duties

The disgraced royal (pictured), 62, was reportedly ‘tearful’ when his brother, then Prince Charles, informed him during a one-to-one meeting that there would be no route back for him into the royal fold earlier this year

Wearing a waterproof jacket as he rode through the rain (pictured), former Navy serviceman Andrew was seen smiling while on a horse with a Remembrance poppy attached to the bridle 

It comes after the Mail on Sunday reported how the Prince was left ‘bereft’ and ‘tearful’ when Charles told him he would never return to Royal duties.

The Duke of York’s hopes of returning to public life were dashed at a one-on-one meeting with his older brother that an insider has described as ‘emotional and fraught’.

And the devastating decision has left those around the Duke concerned for his well-being, a source told this newspaper.

Andrew is said to have been ‘blindsided’ by the outcome of the private meeting, held at Charles’s Birkhall estate in Scotland, just days before the Queen’s death. 

He believes he could ‘still be of value’ as a working member of the Royal Family despite his association with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, and has lobbied strenuously to resume his former roles.

But The Mail on Sunday understands these hopes were quashed in the early-morning meeting, attended only by the two brothers.

Prince Andrew was left ‘bereft’ and ‘tearful’ when Charles, as Prince of Wales, told him he would never return to Royal duties, The Mail on Sunday can reveal

‘Andrew was totally blindsided,’ the insider said. ‘He is utterly bereft. He always believed there was a way back.’

There will be further evidence of Andrew’s isolation next Sunday, when he will be absent from the Remembrance Day service at The Cenotaph as, stripped of his official duties, he no longer has a role to play. 

His status has also been diminished following the death of the Queen, which robbed Andrew not only of his mother but his chief supporter.

‘Andrew was extremely close to the Queen and tried to raise the issue of his return to public life many times with her,’ said the source. ‘On some occasions she would say mildly conciliatory things but most of the time she would change the subject immediately to avoid talking about it.’

It is understood that most senior figures in the Royal Family had thought the matter settled – that there was no way back. Yet this had not been Andrew’s understanding.

‘Naive as it may sound, he always had hopes of regaining his position as a senior Royal,’ continued the source. ‘At the meeting, Charles told him that he can go off and have a good life, a nice life, but that his public life as a Royal is at an end. He was told, “You have to accept this.’’ ’

‘Andrew was extremely close to the Queen and tried to raise the issue of his return to public life many times with her,’ a source told the Mail on Sunday

Andrew, 62, was stripped of his military affiliations and Royal patronages in January after he lost his bid to quash a civil lawsuit in America brought by Epstein’s former ‘sex slave’ Virginia Giuffre, who claimed she had been forced to have sex with the Duke.

The Duke vehemently denied her claims but, at the time, Buckingham Palace had said that the decision to strip Andrew of his titles was made by the late Queen.

He also lost his right to be addressed as ‘His Royal Highness’ in an official capacity.

The Duke settled the civil case in February for a reported £12 million without accepting liability, and had believed this would allow him to return to Royal duties.

He continues to strenuously deny any wrongdoing.

‘Until the face-to-face meeting with his brother, Andrew believed that there was a way back – that somehow he could be rehabilitated and play a role in The Firm going forward,’ the source said. ‘He came out of the meeting shaken. He is still in shock. He is completely lost and very depressed.’

Andrew, 62, was stripped of his military affiliations and Royal patronages in January after he lost his bid to quash a civil lawsuit in America brought by Epstein’s former ‘sex slave’ Virginia Giuffre, who claimed she had been forced to have sex with the Duke – pictured here with former friend paedophile Jeffrey Epstein

It is understood that Prince Andrew was later reduced to tears again when, in a separate conversation, he was informed he would be barred from wearing a military uniform at his mother’s funeral.

Plans now appear to be afoot to add his siblings Princess Anne and Prince Edward to the list of counsellors of state, the senior Royals who can deputise for the monarch if needed.

If they are promoted through a change in the Regency Act, it would further sideline Andrew and Harry who, as the fifth and eighth in line, are technically closer to the throne but no longer carry out any official Royal duties.

Andrew is being comforted by ex-wife Sarah Ferguson and his daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. 

It is understood the Princesses held at least one meeting with the King to express concern for their father’s wellbeing and plead a case for his return.

But courtiers say there is little sympathy from Prince William or from the Queen Consort, both of whom firmly support Charles’s decision.

The Queen was said to have been so concerned about Andrew that she showed her support publicly by allowing him to escort her down the aisle at Prince Philip’s memorial service in Westminster Abbey in March.

Prince Andrew was left ‘tearful’ after a tense face-to-face meeting with Charles, then Prince of Wales, who told his younger brother he will never return to Royal duties, a source has claimed

‘Sadly, the image of the Queen on Andrew’s arm overshadowed the service,’ said a Royal insider. ‘It was all anyone was talking about and there was uneasiness among senior members of the family about the Queen’s decision, but she insisted.’

Andrew now feels ‘misled’ by close relatives and blames certain courtiers for ‘ushering him down a cul-de-sac’ and, he believes, briefing against him.

‘He cannot comprehend there is no place for him in public life,’ said the source. ‘He has a support system but he is in bad shape. He is finding it hard to process the reality of how life will be from now on.’

The Duke was barred from wearing his military uniform during the Queen’s funeral but was allowed to wear it during the private vigil after Charles took pity on his brother and relented.

Since the funeral, the man who was once dubbed ‘Air Miles Andy’ because of his frequent trips abroad has been confined to his home, Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park.

He has occasionally been spotted riding in Windsor Great Park but has become a ‘virtual recluse’, according to the source, who adds: ‘He has no idea what the future holds and has no real plans. He is struggling to accept this is the end of the road for him as a Royal. It is all he has ever known.’

Prince Andrew, pictured today, sets out for a ride on his horse, which had Remembrance poppies on its bridle, in Windsor

The loss of the Queen has also exacerbated his isolation. ‘Until his troubles, he always had the ability to make the late Queen laugh,’ said a friend. ‘They were very close and had a warm and loving relationship. There was no awkwardness.’

Andrew has denied being close to Epstein, who killed himself in jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial on child sex trafficking charges.

Epstein’s former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, is currently serving 20 years in a Florida jail after being found guilty last December on child sex trafficking and other charges.

In an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday last month, 60-year-old Maxwell described Andrew as her ‘dear friend’, saying: ‘I feel so bad for him. I follow what is happening to him. He is paying such a price for the association. I consider him a dear friend. I care about him.’

On Saturday night, both Buckingham Palace and a spokeswoman for the Duke of York declined to comment.

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