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
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.