Prince Andrew coddled as plans to honour Queen Elizabeth take shape ahead of death anniversary

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Joined: Apr 2021

Here is a round-up of news about the UK’s royal family that made headlines recently.

Documents relating to Prince Andrew’s business trips will not be released by the Foreign Office until 2065, it has been reported by the Independent.

The decision not to release the files follows a request by royal biographer Andrew Lownie, who described the move as “absurd”.

Speaking to The Telegraph Lownie said: “It is extraordinary that files relating to Prince Andrew, the subject of my next biography, will be closed until 2065.

“Many questions remain about his role as trade envoy, a public appointment paid for by the taxpayer, and his associations with figures such as Jeffrey Epstein.”

Prince Andrew stepped back from public duties when his affiliation with Epstein, who died in 2019 while awaiting federal sex-trafficking charges, came to light.

In 2011 a photograph emerged of him meeting Epstein in New York just after the financier had been released from jail after serving an 18-month sentence for sexual offences.

In January 2022, a day after a judge rejected the prince’s attempt to have Virginia Giuffre’s sexual assault lawsuit against him dismissed, Buckingham Palace announced Queen Elizabeth had stripped her son of his military titles and patronages.

The Duke of York would no longer undertake public engagements as a working royal or use the “His Royal Highness” title.

Under the Freedom of Information Act (2000), documents relating to the Royal household are exempt from public scrutiny. The Information Rights Unit of the Foreign Office said an exemption to releasing information relating to communications with, or on the behalf of, the late Queen, was “absolute”.

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Queen Elizabeth to be honoured

With just a few days ahead of the one-year anniversary of her passing, the UK government has announced plans to honour the late Queen with a permanent memorial according to USA Today.

Queen Elizabeth died last year on September 8 at the age of 96. On Sunday the UK government announced plans for a memorial for 2026, which would have been the Queen’s 100th birthday.

The Cabinet Office said Robin Janvrin, Queen Elizabeth’s former private secretary, had been appointed as chairman of the Queen Elizabeth memorial committee to consider proposals for a “fitting tribute” to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch following her death in September 2022.

“It will be a unique challenge to try to capture for future generations Her Late Majesty’s extraordinary contribution to our national life throughout her very long reign,” said Janvrin, who worked at Buckingham Palace in various roles from 1987 to 2007.

The recommendations will be presented to Elizabeth’s heir King Charles III and the British prime minister. In 1955 Elizabeth unveiled a statue of her father, George VI, on The Mall outside Buckingham Palace.

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