Why The Queen's Funeral Could Mean The Last Of Prince Andrew's Public Appearances

As the world mourns the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the end of her 70-year reign, arrangements have been made for her funeral. According to CNN, the late queen's funeral will be held on September 19, 2022. What's more, King Charles III proclaimed the funeral date as a public holiday in the United Kingdom. With the ascension of the king to the throne, Fox News reported that this might be the last time Prince Andrew makes a public appearance. Of course, this is due to his alleged ties with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was convicted as a sex offender, and the sexual assault allegations brought forth by Virginia Giuffre.

"Probably the biggest drama was with Prince Andrew. If anything was causing the queen stress, it was him; he was a real, real crisis," royal expert Shannon Felton Spence told Fox News. Spence, formerly a British public affairs official, added, "His boss now is King Charles, and he doesn't have the same fondness for Andrew as his mother did. He will be at the funeral and other official things, but I would not be surprised if this will be the last we see of Andrew with the family."

Spence believes Andrew will not have a central role despite the fact that The Daily Beast reports he took a high-profile role during the public mourning ceremony. This caused rumors to buzz around whether the royal family "tested the waters" during the mourning ceremony to determine what his role should be during the funeral procession. Still, Prince Andrew's future in the royal family remains to be seen.

King Charles reportedly has big plans to modernize the monarchy

Another reason Prince Andrew, Duke of York, might have cause to worry is King Charles' widely-reported plan to modernize the monarchy. As royal expert Jonathan Sacerdoti explained to Us Weekly, "It's always been rumored that he wants to slim down the working royals at the core of the family." Following a difficult few years, during which Andrew's sex scandal was constantly in the press, the newly-crowned king will be looking to ensure only the most important and trusted family members are front and center in an attempt to save them from further negative attention, per The Times.

The various royal press officers are generally left to their own devices, which makes it tough to effectively handle PR scandals. Likewise, if there are fewer higher-ranking members of the royal family, taxpayers would have to pay less to fund their lifestyles, which would likely also enamor them to the public more. According to Tatler, Charles may reduce the active members to just seven people. Previously, this group was comprised of the queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry. 

Obviously, it will now look very different if the king does go ahead.

The royals were disappointed by Prince Andrew's scene-stealing antics elsewhere

King Charles may soon come to regret letting his beleaguered brother play a central role in the queen's funeral since the royals regretted including Prince Andrew in Prince Philip's memorial. As the Daily Mail reported, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, "insisted" on escorting his ailing mother to her seat on the day — stealing the spotlight in the process — in direct defiance of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Charles. The father-son duo didn't think it was a good idea, and the move was seen as a desperate attempt to get back in the public's good graces.

Even Andrew's own siblings were reportedly "dismayed" by how his presence dominated press coverage of the event. Former BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt told Express the queen wanted to show that her beloved son "still has a role at family occasions." Hunt elaborated, "It's one thing to accept that he should attend his father's memorial service, it's quite another thing to then give him quite a prominent role so it was an active choice to give him such a prominent role."

Funnily enough, as the New York Post points out, Andrew could still become king someday since he's currently eighth in line to the throne. However, he'd have to outlive a whole bunch of people for that to happen and, if Charles downsizes the monarchy, it may turn out to be a moot point.