Prince Andrew hopes Prince Philip’s funeral will fuel his comeback to public life, but Charles believes there is “no way back” for the disgraced duke, it has been reported.
The Duke of York has been kept out of the public eye ever since his car crash interview with Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis about his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, The Sun reports.
But yesterday, he spoke publicly for the first time since, paying tribute to his father and “grandfather of the nation”.
It is now reported that Andrew spoke out because he is increasingly confident he will be able to return to some of his royal duties in future, believing the public will soften their stance towards him.
His supporters hope people will sympathise as they see him grieve at the Duke of Edinburgh’s televised funeral this weekend.
A source close to Prince Andrew told the Daily Mail: “He still harbours thoughts that he can make a comeback. He genuinely thinks that’s possible.”
Andrew has strongly denied sex claims made against him by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, one of Epstein’s victims who claims she was made to have sex with the Duke on three occasions – twice while underage.
Andrew’s allies are said to be heartened by claims Ghislaine Maxwell – Epstein’s accomplice – will not call him as a witness at her trial, even though he remains under a dark cloud because of his lack of co-operation with the FBI Epstein investigation.
The source said: “It’s promising that Ghislaine doesn’t appear to plan to call him as a witness.
“He still does believe in his heart of hearts that he can return and that time will be a healer. He thinks he will be able to resume royal duties at some point and save his reputation.
“He hopes the public, if he’s supporting his mother in this difficult time, might give him the benefit of the doubt. He hopes there is a way back.”
Andrew has reportedly insisted on taking a full role during the funeral preparations and it has been said he will use his status as the Queen’s favourite son to support her behind-the-scenes.
However, some – with Charles reportedly among them – believe there is no way he can come back.
One royal source told the Mail: “Prince Andrew might hope that this sad situation changes things, but Prince Charles is adamant there is no way back while allegations hang over him.
“He spoke on camera in a private capacity because this is a family event. No one can stop him doing that.”
Andrew told reporters yesterday he would always treasure his memories of his father, describing him as “so calm” and “always someone you can go to”.
Andrew said of his father: “He was a remarkable man.
He added that British people have lost the “grandfather of the nation”, and said his mother the Queen “is feeling it probably more than anyone else”.
But he said the monarch is “incredibly stoic”.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission