Prince William Threatened to “Withdraw” from Garter Day If Prince Andrew Appeared Publicly

The Duke of Cambridge was reportedly “adamant” in his ultimatum.

Prince William Prince Andrew
(Image credit: Getty Images)

After his controversial appearance alongside his mother the Queen at his father Prince Philip’s Service of Thanksgiving in late March, Prince Andrew was expected to be seen publicly again this week at the Order of the Garter ceremony, the oldest and most senior Order of Chivalry in Great Britain. (Andrew missed all the recent Platinum Jubilee festivities because of testing positive for COVID-19.)

But, according to reports, an adamant Prince William stepped in and issued an ultimatum—it’s either him or me that will attend the ceremony, and not both of us.

The Independent reports that the Duke of Cambridge warned that he would “withdraw” from the ceremony if his uncle appeared publicly alongside other senior members of the royal family. The family decision to ban Andrew from the festivities was so last minute that Andrew—who, despite being stripped of his honorary military titles and his HRH style, still retains his title the Duke of York—was listed in the program of the ceremony.

(For those who somehow may have missed the Andrew controversy, he stepped back as a working royal in 2020 over links to convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. He paid a multimillion-pound settlement earlier this year on a civil sexual assault case brought against him by Virginia Giuffre, who accused Andrew of sexually assaulting her when she was just 17 years old. Andrew denies the allegation.)

“The Duke of Cambridge was adamant,” The Evening Standard quoted a senior source as saying. “If York insisted on taking part publicly, he would withdraw.”

The Independent reports that Andrew’s wish was to appear at the Order of the Garter ceremony as a signal of his return to public duties.

“Most importantly for [Andrew] is his status as an HRH and ‘Prince of the Blood,’ and he feels that should be reinstated and his position recognized and respected,” an unnamed source told The Telegraph, per The Independent.

According to Insider, Prince Charles also intervened to stop his younger brother from attending, referring to a report from The Telegraph that the decision to ban Andrew was made “following an eleventh-hour intervention by the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge.” A source close to Andrew told the outlet it was a “personal decision” for the Duke of York to miss the event.

The final decision on Andrew’s attendance came down to Her Majesty, who then, according to The Sun, made the final decision “for his own good” after tense family talks. Andrew did not attend (the photo used for this story is from the Order of the Garter ceremony in 2011).

“He was confident and bullish he can make a comeback,” a source quoted in The Sun says.

The outlet reports that “Andrew was spotted heading for lunch with the monarch…just hours after being snubbed from the ceremony.”

Rachel Burchfield
Contributing Royal Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the royal editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.