On the UK news circuit, Mail Online reports today: “The Queen has stepped out in public with Prince Andrew for the first time this year after the spotlight swivelled from his disgraced friendship with Jeffrey Epstein to the abdication of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.”
According to the report: “The Duke of York accompanied his regal mother to church at Sandringham today, after joining her and Prince Philip for a private lunch on the Norfolk estate.”
Pictured “beaming as she led her suited middle son along the gravel path and into the service at St Mary the Virgin Church in Hillington”.
“Since he was fired from frontline royal duties in the wake of his car-crash Newsnight interview in November last year, Andrew has shunned Family events and only broken cover a handful of times,” the report said.
“But this morning the 93-year-old monarch offered him a strong public show of support as she looks to extinguish the turmoil raging through the Firm.
“The Queen’s desperation to move on from the past few months of royal woes took a major step last night as an agreement was finally reached over Harry and Meghan’s future outside the fold.
“In a heartfelt statement, she announced the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would be stripped of their HRH titles as they forge a new life in Canada.
“And as a path forward was finally plotted through the Megxit crisis, Her Majesty also seemed determined to move on from the disruption caused by Andrew with a public show of forgiveness.
“In the days after Andrew’s Newsnight grilling – where he was accused of shrugging off sex offender Epstein’s crimes as ‘unbecoming’ – he was spotted from afar horseriding with the Queen at Windsor.
“Since this time, Andrew steered clear of Family events and memorably avoided attending the traditional Christmas church service at Sandringham, slipping out of an earlier private service via a back exit.
“But today’s joint church trip was choreographed to showcase her willingness to move past the Epstein storm, and suggests Andrew is preparing to be gradually reintroduced into the royal mix.”
The report continues: “Under the terms of yesterday’s historic deal thrashed out at Sandringham, the pair, who will be known as Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, will cease to be working members of the Royal Family from this spring and will not perform any official duties on behalf of the Queen – effectively leaving ‘The Firm’ completely.
“The move will see Harry drop all of his official military positions and the couple will also spend the majority of their time in North America, a source told ITV.
“But Harry and Meghan, who sources say intend to spend ‘the majority’ of their time in North America, will pay a heavy financial and emotional cost.
“As well as returning the £2.4 million spent on a lavish refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, they will pay a commercial rent – estimated at up to £360,000 a year – to retain it as their British home.
“Prince Charles will continue to ‘offer private financial support’ and, crucially, the couple will have free rein to negotiate lucrative commercial deals that experts believe could net them hundreds of millions of pounds, although they have pledged ‘to uphold the values of Her Majesty’.”
But it was also noted that “a number of unresolved issues remain, including whether Harry and Meghan will be required to strip the word ‘Royal’ from their SussexRoyal website, and who will pick up the multi-million pound bill for their continuing security requirements”.
“And a statement from Buckingham Palace (pictured) read: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are grateful to Her Majesty and the Royal Family for their ongoing support as they embark on the next chapter of their lives’.”
“All the new arrangements that are due to come into effect in the spring will be reviewed by Buckingham Palace in 12 months.
“Their new titles mirror the styling given to Harry’s mother Diana after her divorce when she was no longer allowed to use HRH.
“She was known as Diana, Princess of Wales.
“The Sussexes will pay back £2.4million of taxpayers’ money spent on renovating the house in Berkshire.
“Despite the official statements saying they would no longer be funded by the taxpayer, it is understood Harry will still be reliant on the Bank of Dad – with Prince Charles bankrolling him from the Duchy of Cornwall.”