Did Edward stop driving in Windsor to avoid Prince Andrew? Earl of Wessex hasn’t been seen riding a horse in Windsor Great Park for at least four months
- Prince Edward hasn’t been seen in Windsor Great Park for at least four months
- Edward is normally a fixture in the park, where he stables several horses
- However, he has stayed away since his Andrew, who is facing hotly contested sexual abuse allegations in the US, was caught smiling for the cameras.
Prince Edward has not been seen 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 has been riding there almost every day.
Edward is normally a fixture at the park, where he stabled several horses.
However, he has stayed away since his older brother, who is facing hotly contested sexual abuse allegations in the US, was caught smiling for the cameras.
A source at Palace claimed last night that there was no feud, that relations were ‘good’ between the Queen’s two younger sons and that Edward was just ‘too busy’ to drive.
Prince Edward and Sophie Countess of Wessex visit Forfar Golf Club in Scotland
Andrew arrives in Windsor and rides Windsor Castle this week
Poignant Christmas card hints at his pain over titles
This year’s Wessex Christmas card features a poignant photo of Edward and Sophie with Prince Philip and the caption: ‘In memory of happy days’
This year’s Wessex Christmas card features a poignant photo of Edward and Sophie with Prince Philip and the caption: ‘In memory of happy days’.
Another image shows Edward in a Forfar tartan kilt next to his wife at Forfar Golf Course in Scotland.
The 57-year-old was given the title Earl of Forfar on his 55th birthday but, as expected, was not given the titles Duke of Edinburgh and Ranger of Windsor Great Park after his father’s death in April.
Obviously, Charles wants to reduce the number of titles bestowed on those not in the direct line of the throne.
A source said: ‘Missing the titles is a blow to Edward who has worked so hard for the Royal Family.
“He’s far too kind to say how much it hurts him, but suffice it to say it’s a disappointment.”
But an insider close to the Wessexes said Edward had stopped riding in part because of “the Andrew problem.”
“Edward doesn’t think it would be wise to be seen around Andrew at this point and he certainly has nothing to say to him about the matter,” the insider said.
Edward’s daughter Lady Louise, 18, a talented horsewoman who inherited her grandfather Prince Philip’s custom-built carriage, has also largely stayed away. Instead of weekly classes and regular rides with her father, a source said she had been seen “only very occasionally.”
A source in Windsor Great Park, close to the town’s castle, said: ‘In recent years there was hardly a weekend that you didn’t see 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, keeps horses in Windsor’s stables and would be awarded the title of Ranger of Windsor Great Park after his father’s death in April.
Prince Philip held the position for nearly 70 years and members of the family assumed it would be handed over to Edward. Last night, however, a Palace source said “no decision has been made yet.”
The absence of the Earl of Wessex, long regarded as a ‘bridge’ between his older brothers, poses a greater problem for the royal family.
If the Royals Christmas in Sandringham continues, the shadow of Andrew’s impending US lawsuit will likely hang over the festivities. The Duke’s lawyers are expected to request the dismissal of a civil suit brought by Virginia Giuffre at a hearing on Jan. 4.
Andrew vehemently denies Ms Giuffre, 38, claims that she was forced to have sex with him three times at the behest of American serial 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 discreetly attend an earlier attend service. This was his preference in 2019 after his ‘car accident’ Newsnight interview.
It is believed he will not be accompanied by his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, who was banned by the Duke of Edinburgh for her indiscretions. When promoting her latest book on an Italian daytime TV show last week, she said she hadn’t spent Christmas with daughters Beatrice and Eugenie in 26 years, but added: “I’m delighted to be able to present my children to Her Majesty. She deserves my children.
“You know, I’m used to it. I haven’t spent Christmas with my kids in 26 years. If you leave the royal family, it can’t come both ways.’