The real reason Prince Andrew didn’t join The Queen on the balcony for Trooping The Colour

He wasn't the only one missing.
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Content warning: This article discusses the topic of sexual abuse which may be triggering for some readers.

It should come as no surprise that the Buckingham Palace balcony is prime real estate. As such, there is a strict royal protocol as to who can stand on it.

WATCH: The Royal Family on the balcony at The Queen’s Birthday Parade

While it depends on the occasion itself, the monarch and their spouse will always get a spot, plus the first and second in line to the throne and their spouses.

But for the 2022 Trooping the Colour, which is a part of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, things were a little different.

This year, “after careful consideration”, the Queen decided that the balcony appearance was to be “limited to Her Majesty and those Members of the Royal Family who are currently undertaking official public duties on behalf of The Queen,” according to a Buckingham Palace spokesperson.

The Queen, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew on the balcony for Trooping the Colour 2019. (Credit: Getty)

As a result, the royals that appeared on the balcony with Her Majesty included: Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Princess Royal, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra. As well as the Cambridge and Wessex children, and Princess Anne’s husband Sir Timothy Laurence.

Due to the “working royal” stipulation, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Duke of York were noticeably absent from the balcony.

After choosing to step back from royal duties in 2020 and move to California, Meghan and Harry were stripped of their royal highness status. In February 2021, the Palace confirmed that the Sussexes would not return as working members of the royal family.

In 2019, Prince Andrew stepped down from his royal duties in what the Palace deemed a “personal decision”. (Credit: Getty)

Prince Andrew has also not been a working royal since 2019. Four years earlier, Andrew was accused of sexual abuse along with the now-convicted sex offenders Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.

In court documents at the time, a woman named Virginia Giuffre alleged to be the victim of sex trafficking and abuse by Jeffrey Epstein when she was 16.

Virginia also claimed the duke sexually assaulted her on three occasions when she was under the age of 18. Andrew denied all the allegations and said in a now-infamous BBC interview that he had no recollection of meeting Virginia.

In 2019, Prince Andrew stepped down from his royal duties in what the Palace deemed a “personal decision”.

Prince Andrew was noticeably absent from the 2022 Trooping the Colour balcony appearance. (Credit: Getty)

“I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein,” the duke said in a statement after Jeffrey took his own life while awaiting trial.

“His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure. I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives.”

The royal added that he was “willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required”.

In February 2022, it was confirmed that the duke and Virginia had reached an out-of-court settlement.

If you or someone you know has been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, help is always available. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit their website.

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