Did Edward stop riding in Windsor to avoid Prince Andrew? The Earl of Wessex has not been seen on a horse in Windsor Great Park for at least four months
- Prince Edward has not been seen riding in Windsor Great Park for at least four months
- Edward is usually a constant element in the garden, as he stables many horses
- However, he has stayed away since Andrew, who faces hotly contested sexual assault allegations in the United States, was caught smiling in front of the cameras.
Prince Edward has not been seen riding in Windsor Great Park for at least four months amid signs that members of the royal family are keen to distance themselves from Prince Andrew, who rides there almost every day.
Edward is usually a constant element in the garden, as he stables many horses.
However, he has stayed away since his older brother, who faces hotly contested sexual assault allegations in the United States, was caught smiling in front of the cameras.
A source at the palace insisted last night that there was no dispute, that relations were “good” between the Queen’s two youngest sons and that Edward was “too busy” to ride.
Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, visit Forfar Golf Club in Scotland
Andrew arrives in Windsor then rides at Windsor Castle this week
Touching Christmas card alludes to being hurt by nicknames
This year’s Wessexes Christmas card poignantly features a photo of Edward and Sophie with Prince Philip and the caption: “In Memory of Happy Days”
This year’s Wessexes Christmas card poignantly features a photo of Edward and Sophie with Prince Philip and the caption: “In Memory of Happy Days.”
Another photo shows Edward in a Forfar Tartan kilt next to his wife at Forfar Golf Course in Scotland.
The 57-year-old was named Earl of Forfar on his 55th birthday but was not, as expected, given the titles of Duke of Edinburgh and Keeper of Windsor Great Park following his father’s death in April.
It is understood that Charles wished to reduce the number of titles given to those not in direct line to the throne.
A source said the loss of titles was a blow to Edward, who has worked hard for the royal family.
“He’s very kind to say how much damage he’s done because of it, but suffice it to say it’s a disappointment.”
But an insider close to the Wessex family said Edward had stopped riding in part because of the “Andrew problem”.
“Edward doesn’t think it’s wise to be seen anywhere near Andrew at the moment, and he certainly has nothing to say to him on the case,” the insider said.
And Edward’s 18-year-old daughter Louise, a talented jockey who inherited her grandfather’s custom-made chariot, Prince Philip, has also largely moved away. Instead of weekly lessons and regular trips with her father, a source said she was seen “only a few times”.
A source in Windsor Great Park, near the town’s castle, said: “It’s hardly a weekend in the past few years when you haven’t seen Edward and Lady Louise riding, but not anymore. You ask around and Edward hasn’t been seen here for at least four months.
Edward, 57, who lives in nearby Bagshot Park, raises horses at Windsor Stables and was expected to earn the nickname Ranger of Windsor Great Park after his father’s death in April.
Prince Philip held this position for nearly 70 years and family members assumed he would pass to Edward. But a source in the palace said last night that “the decision has not yet been taken.”
The absence of the Earl of Wessex, who has long been considered a “bridge” between his older brothers, is an even bigger problem for the royal family.
If the royal family’s birthday party at Sandringham continues, the shadow of Andrew’s fight looming in the US court will likely cast over the festivities. Duke’s attorneys are expected to seek dismissal of Virginia Joffrey’s civil lawsuit during a January 4 hearing.
Andrew vehemently denies allegations that Geoffrey, 38, was forced to have sex with him on three occasions at the behest of American pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The Duke is expected to join the family in Sandringham, if Covid-19 restrictions allow, but is unlikely to join them at church, opting instead to attend previous services discreetly. This was his preferred choice in 2019 after his interview with Newsnight about the ‘car accident’.
It is believed that he will not be joined by his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, who was prevented by the Duke of Edinburgh for her reckless actions. Speaking on an Italian daytime TV show promoting her latest book last week, she said she hadn’t spent Christmas with her daughters Beatrice and Eugenie in 26 years, but added: ‘I am very happy to present my children as gifts to Her Majesty. She deserves my children.
‘You know, I’m used to it. In 26 years, I haven’t spent Christmas with my kids. If you leave the royal family, you can’t get both ways.