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Royal fans question Duke’s ‘convenient’ absence from Thanksgiving service

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Royal fans have questioned the disgraced Prince Andrew and his ‘convenient’ absence from Saint Paul’s thanksgiving service today after the Queen pulled out due to her ongoing mobility issues.

The Duke of York tested positive for Covid-19 and will therefore no longer attend the Queen’s service at St Paul’s Cathedral today.

He has reportedly seen his mother the Queen for the past few days, but she tested negative – and he hasn’t seen her since the positive test.

Andrew, 62, was set to join his royal relatives at Thanksgiving service in London tomorrow, despite no longer being a working member of the family.

However, social media users posted a new wave of memes today, mocking the duke mercilessly after the ‘handy’ news that he had been diagnosed with the coronavirus.

One particularly cutting post from Twitter user, Con Murphy, read: ‘Does anyone really believe Prince Andrew has Covid? Or maybe they don’t want the vile shame.’

Another posted a meme, where the queen appeared to be drawing a line on a lateral flow test, giving the appearance of a positive result.

Pictured on horseback in Windsor on Wednesday, the Duke appeared fit and healthy before the shock diagnosis was announced.

The Duke of York tested positive for Covid-19 and will therefore no longer attend the Queen’s service at St Paul’s Cathedral today – the only Platinum Jubilee event Andrew would attend

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said on Thursday afternoon: “After conducting a routine test, The Duke has tested positive for Covid and will regretfully not be attending the service tomorrow.”

Andrew was not on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the Trooping the Color ceremony for the flypast after the Queen restricted those appearing next to her to working members of her family.

However, Andrew was expected to go to St Paul’s tomorrow, along with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who were also not allowed to stand on the balcony.

Andrew was kicked out of the working monarchy and no longer uses his HRH style after Virginia Giuffre, who was traded by Epstein, accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was 17. The Duke has always vehemently denied the claims.

Prince Andrew was pictured in Windsor yesterday on the eve of the anniversary celebrations

Prince Andrew was pictured in Windsor yesterday on the eve of the anniversary celebrations

Members of the Royal Family - with the exception of Prince Andrew - join the Queen on the balcony of Buckingham Palace yesterday to watch the Platinum Jubilee fly pass as the celebrations begin

Members of the Royal Family – with the exception of Prince Andrew – join the Queen on the balcony of Buckingham Palace yesterday to watch the Platinum Jubilee fly pass as the celebrations begin

Before the anniversary festivities, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Reverend Justin Welby – who now also has Covid and had to retire from service – had suggested Andrew ‘wanted to make it right’, adding: ‘I think that’s a very good thing .’

Andrew was instrumental in escorting his mother to the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service in March.

It came as a surprising change in the planned arrangements – just weeks earlier he had been banned from royal public life and paid to settle his lawsuit.

The move was taken as a sign of the monarch’s support for her son.

He is the latest in a long line of royals captured by Covid, including the Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke of Cambridge and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence.

Princess Michael of Kent, who is married to the Queen’s cousin, Prince Michael of Kent, developed severe symptoms when she was struck by Covid-19 in November 2020.

Meanwhile, the Queen first met her great-granddaughter Lilibet after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had a closed-door lunch with the monarch and senior royals as part of the platinum anniversary celebrations.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex fly over from the US with Lilibet and her brother Archie (pictured last December)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex fly over from the US with Lilibet and her brother Archie (pictured last December)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were spotted in a car in London yesterday during the platinum anniversary celebrations

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were spotted in a car in London yesterday during the platinum anniversary celebrations

Prince Harry speaks to the Duke of Kent with Meghan Markle as they attended Trooping the Color in London yesterday

Prince Harry speaks to the Duke of Kent with Meghan Markle as they attended Trooping the Color in London yesterday

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex introduced their daughter to the Queen, who was nicknamed Lilibet as a child, in Windsor at a private royal family event after Trooping the Color at Buckingham Palace yesterday.

Harry and Meghan are expected to remain mostly inconspicuous over the four-day anniversary weekend, with no sign of the Netflix cameras following them during the Invictus Games in the Netherlands in April. But they will attend Thanksgiving service today at St Paul’s Cathedral – their first joint royal engagement in two years.

Prince Charles will officially represent the Queen at the service in London today after she was forced to withdraw last night.

The Sussexes, who are staying at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor during a visit from California, were banned from the balcony of Buckingham Palace yesterday and instead watched the work of Horse Guards Parade.

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