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Queen Elizabeth was not supposed to be captured with Prince Andrew in Prince Philip’s service, photographer claims

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Photos of Queen Elizabeth II on Prince Andrew’s arm almost didn’t get taken.

The Times UK’s Richard Pohle was the only photographer inside Westminster Abbey on March 29 for the Thanksgiving service in honor of the Queen’s husband Prince Philip, who died aged last year 99 years old. He alleged a Buckingham Palace press officer told him he was ‘t allowed to take pictures of the reigning monarch’s arrival. The queen made an appearance on the arm of her disgraced son until she took her place.

“Naturally I hesitated to order,” Pohle wrote for the outlet. “To an outsider, that might sound reasonable. ‘What’s the matter?’ you may ask. “The Queen should have some privacy in her advanced age. I agree, but when the BBC broadcasts the entire event to the world, I think I should be able to take a picture in as the only official photographer. How would she arrive? There was speculation that she could arrive using a buggy or even a wheelchair. If I didn’t have a photo of this all the UK media would be asking me why not .”

The service was the 95-year-old’s first public outing since suffering several health issues, including testing positive for coronavirus earlier this year. However, Pohle revealed that Andrew escorted his mother away just weeks after settling a sexual assault lawsuit with his accuser Virginia Giuffre.


Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Britain’s Prince Andrew, Duke of York, arrive for the service of thanksgiving in honor of Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey on March 29, 2022.
(Richard Pohle/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

“It changed everything,” Pohle wrote. “‘I absolutely need to photograph this,’ I said, ‘The Queen’s arrival was now the major news event.’ I could see them hesitating, but they repeated that the order not to take a picture “came from above” and that “it was not their decision”.

Pohle noted that the BBC was filming the event to broadcast it. Therefore, he should be allowed to capture still photographs of an event that would be broadcast on television. He said it prompted a press secretary to make a phone call. It was then agreed that Pohle would be allowed to film the finish.

However, Pohle alleged that his troubles were far from over after the request was granted. Pohle claimed he was positioned opposite where the royals were seated. When the attendees introduced themselves to the Queen and Andrew’s arrival, he was unable to see them.

“Desperation dictated me to do something quickly,” he recalls. “When the choir started I jumped off my footstool and moved quickly down the aisle between the rows of seats opposite where the Queen was walking. Suddenly moving from an official position when he was on a royal rote is the most cardinal of sins. I brushed past the press secretary and felt a hand reach out to try to stop me, but I rushed over and crouched down in the center of the room. ‘alley.’


Queen Elizabeth was not supposed to be captured with Prince Andrew in Prince Philip’s service, photographer claims

Royal photographer Richard Pohle has alleged he was not allowed to capture the moment Queen Elizabeth II arrived at Prince Philip’s service with her son Prince Andrew.
(Richard Pohle/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Pohle said he got his shots once the clergy walking past the mother and son turned at the end of the aisle.

“I knew that would be the main image of the ceremony that the media was looking for,” he said. “I returned to my official position past the frowning press secretary and whispered an apology.”

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.

The reigning monarch’s choice of escort has been seen as support for her son after settling a lawsuit related to his relationship with late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.


Queen Elizabeth was not supposed to be captured with Prince Andrew in Prince Philip’s service, photographer claims

Queen Elizabeth II arrives at Westminster Abbey accompanied by Prince Andrew for the service in honor of Prince Philip on March 29, 2022.
(Richard Pohle – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Andrew’s role underscored that he is still a member of the royal family, even after the scandal rocked the palace.

“It was the Queen endorsing Andrew after paying millions to a woman he says he has no recollection of ever meeting,” royal analyst Peter Hunt wrote on Twitter. “That is [Prince] Charles and [Prince] William didn’t intervene – or they did and failed to prevent the prince from playing such a prominent role at his father’s memorial service. ”

The 62-year-old strenuously denied Giuffre’s allegations after suing him. She has accused the British royal family of sexually assaulting her while traveling with Epstein in 2001, when she was 17.

Giuffre, 38, reached an agreement with Andrew after the judge rejected the prince’s bid to have the trial dismissed earlier this year.


Queen Elizabeth was not supposed to be captured with Prince Andrew in Prince Philip’s service, photographer claims

Virginia Roberts Giuffre holds a photo of herself at age 16 when she says Palm Beach multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein began sexually abusing her.
(Emily Michot/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

In a letter to the judge from Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boies, a statement was included which read, in part: “Prince Andrew intends to make a substantial donation to Mrs Giuffre’s charity to support the rights of victims Prince Andrew never intended to slander Ms Giuffre’s character, and he accepts that she suffered both as a proven victim of abuse and as a result of public attacks unjust.”

According to the statement, Andrew acknowledged that Epstein trafficked “countless young girls” over many years and said the prince “regrets his association with Epstein and commends the bravery of Ms Giuffre and other survivors who defended and defended by others”.

He also pledged to support victims of sex trafficking as part of showing his regret.

Giuffre claimed she met Andrew while traveling frequently with Epstein between 2000 and 2002 when her lawyers claimed she was “on call for Epstein for sexual purposes” and was “loaned to d ‘other powerful men’, including Andrew.


Queen Elizabeth was not supposed to be captured with Prince Andrew in Prince Philip’s service, photographer claims

A 2001 photo included in court records shows Prince Andrew with his arm around the waist of Virginia Giuffre, 17, who says Jeffrey Epstein paid her to have sex with the prince. Andrew denied the charges. In the background, Epstein’s girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell.
(United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit)

Her lawsuit said she suffered significant emotional and psychological distress and harm. She claimed to have had sex with Andrew three times: in London on a trip in 2001, at Epstein’s New York mansion when she was 17, and in the Virgin Islands when she was 18 years.

Andrew has repeatedly denied Giuffre’s claims and said he does not recall ever meeting her, although a photograph of Giuffre and Andrew together in a London townhouse, his arm around her stomach naked, was included in Giuffre’s lawsuit against him.

Inconsistencies in her statements over the years that would have been pointed out by Andrew’s lawyers at trial may have motivated her, in part, to settle, although she explained them as innocent mistakes that occurred during recalling traumatic events years later.

Andrew has spent years wrestling with concerns over his ties to Epstein, the American financier who killed himself aged 66 in 2019 in a federal dungeon in Manhattan while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. Epstein’s longtime girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty of related charges in December 2021.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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