“Dear Mummy, Mother, Your Majesty, three in one. Your Majesty, it has been an honor and privilege to serve you,” the Duke of York, 62, said in a Sunday, September 18, statement, per Sky News. “Mother — of the nation, your devotion and personal service to our nation is unique and singular; your people show their love and respect in so many different ways and I know you are looking on honoring their respect.”
Andrew added: “Mummy, your love for a son, your compassion, your care, your confidence I will treasure forever. I have found your knowledge and wisdom infinite, with no boundary or containment. … I will miss your insights, advice and humor. As our book of experiences closes, another opens, and I will forever hold you close to my heart with my deepest love and gratitude, and I will tread gladly into the next with you as my guide.”
The Duke of York, 62, broke his silence shortly after his late mother was placed under “medical supervision” due to health concerns. “Following further evaluation this morning, The Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision,” Buckingham Palace revealed in a statement on Thursday, September 8, as Elizabeth’s loved ones rushed to Scotland to be by her side. “The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.”
Hours later, the palace announced Elizabeth had “died peacefully” at home.
Andrew is the second son of the late monarch and Prince Philip, who passed away in April 2021. After losing his father, the former warship captain issued his first public comment since stepping down from his senior duties in November 2019.
“It’s a terrible loss,” he said outside a service at the Royal Chapel in Windsor Great Park at the time. “My father said to me on the telephone a few months ago, ‘We’re all in the same boat and we must always remember that.’ … My father’s death has brought home to me, not just [my family’s] loss, but also the loss that everybody else has felt.”
Though he noted that his loved ones were “feeling a great sense of loss” in the wake of Philip’s death at age 99, the prince added that the outpouring of support helped them cope. “The tributes have been amazing,” he said. “The messages that I’m getting are absolutely outstanding.”
Andrew has been embroiled in a scandal since 2019, when his alleged ties to the late Jeffrey Epstein were called into question. The U.K. native was sued by Virginia Giuffre, who accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was underage, but he continued to maintain his innocence.
“I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever,” he claimed during an interview with the BBC in November 2019. “It just never happened.”
More than two years later, Buckingham Palace confirmed that Andrew would be stripped of his HRH status. “With The Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen,” a statement read in January. “The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”
The queen did not speak publicly about her son’s scandal ahead of her death. One month after the palace’s announcement, Andrew settled his lawsuit with Giuffre, 38, out of court for an unknown amount of money.
“Prince Andrew intends to make a substantial donation to Ms. Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights,” a letter submitted to the United States District Court in New York City explained in February. “Prince Andrew has never intended to malign Ms. Giuffre’s character, and he accepts that she has suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks. … Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms. Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others.”
Andrew continued to largely stay out of the public eye after the settlement, but he accompanied his late mother to Philip’s memorial in March. Three months later, the duke skipped the queen’s Service of Thanksgiving after contracting COVID-19.
Along with Andrew, Elizabeth is survived by King Charles III, who assumed the throne following her death, Princess Anne and Prince Edward. The royal family tree continues with eight grandchildren — including Prince William and Prince Harry — and 12 great-grandchildren.