Disgraced Prince Andrew pays emotional tribute to the Queen: 'I will forever hold you close to my heart'

The Duke of York, 62, spoke out for the first time since the monarch's death on September 8

Disgraced Prince Andrew pays emotional tribute to the Queen: 'I will forever hold you close to my heart'
Prince Andrew paid an emotional tribute to his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in light of her demise (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images, Duke of York)
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LONDON, ENGLAND: Prince Andrew paid an emotional tribute to his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in light of her demise.

The Duke of York, 62, spoke out for the first time since the monarch's death on September 8. He has stepped down from royal duties and been stripped of his honorary military titles over his friendship with pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein. In a statement released on the eve of the Queen's funeral, the prince hailed his mother for her "knowledge and wisdom infinite, with no boundary or containment," adding that he will miss her "insights, advice, and humor."

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Alongside the statement, Andrew shared a black and white photo of his mother holding him as a newborn baby. The snap was captured by society photographer Cecil Beaton in March 1960.


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"Dear Mummy, Mother, Your Majesty, three in one," the duke said. "Your Majesty, it has been an honor and privilege to serve you. 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. 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 concluded the statement with the words 'God Save The King' in honor of his brother King Charles, who ascended the throne following his mother's demise. 

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British Royal Queen Elizabeth II is greeted by an unspecified person, with Prince Andrew and his nanny, Mabel Anderson, in the background along with two of the Queen's corgis, on their arrival at Liverpool Street Station in London, England, 2nd February 1962. The Royal Family are returning to London following their stay at the Sandringham Estate. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
British Royal Queen Elizabeth II is greeted by an unspecified person, with Prince Andrew and his nanny, Mabel Anderson, in the background along with two of the Queen's corgis, on their arrival at Liverpool Street Station in London, England, 2nd February 1962. The Royal Family were returning to London following their stay at the Sandringham Estate (Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Andrew was exiled from public life as he paid millions to settle a civil sexual assault case brought on by a woman who he claimed to have never met. Virginia Giuffre accused the prince of sexually assaulting her multiple times when she was 16 and 17 after being trafficked by Epstein. The Duke has vehemently denied the allegations. The Queen stripped her second son of all his honorary titles in January, ahead of his legal settlement. He had to give up his military role as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards as well as his HRH title. 

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Andrew joined King Charles and his other siblings at Westminster Hall on Friday night to pay a heartrending tribute to their mother. The vigil was originally intended to involve only the Queen's four children, but at least 18 senior family members as well as a host of other relatives turned up to support them in a show of family unity.

Prince Andrew, Duke of York (C) holds a vigil beside the coffin of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as it lies in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, ahead of her funeral on Monday, on September 16, 2022 in London, England.
Prince Andrew, Duke of York (C) holds a vigil beside the coffin of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as it lies in state on the catafalque in Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster, ahead of her funeral on Monday, September 16, 2022, in London, England (Jack Hill - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

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Among those attending the tribute were the Queen Consort, the Countess of Wessex, Princess Anne's husband Vice-Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Princess Beatrice and her husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank, Edward and Sophie's children Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn, Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall and her husband Mike, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and Princess Alexandra.

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