Prince Andrew has tested positive for Covid (Picture:
AP / PA)

Covid-stricken Prince Andrew was never going to accompany the Queen to today’s Jubilee service, royal sources say.

The Duke of York bowed out of the mass at St Paul’s Cathedral last night, saying he had tested positive for coronavirus.

The Queen, who has been suffering with on-going mobility issues, will also not be attending after experiencing some ‘discomfort’ during yesterday’s Platinum Jubilee events.

However, it’s understood that even if both Andrew and Her Majesty had been well, the duke would not have been seen anywhere near his mother.

Senior royal family members were said to have expressed ‘dismay and consternation’ when the monarch’s disgraced second son took centre stage at a memorial for her late husband Prince Philip in March.

Prince Andrew has been cast out of the working royal family (Picture: AP)

There was a huge public backlash after Andrew escorted his mother to her seat at Westminster Abbey, in his first public outing since settling a sex abuse case.

Palace aides were determined to not let Andrew’s presence overshadow the special service honouring the Queen’s 70 year reign today and ensured he was blocked from accompanying Her Majesty to St Paul’s, according to The Telegraph.

The service will represent the biggest royal outing of the Jubilee, with Prince Harry and Meghan also due to attend.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, had been due to lead the mass before also being struck down with Covid.

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Earlier this week he urged the nation to be more forgiving towards the duke, saying Prince Andrew was ‘seeking to make amends’.

He said the Queen was ‘fully entitled’ to have him accompany her on big occasions, adding: ‘ Forgiveness really does matter. I think we have become a very, very unforgiving society. There’s a difference between consequences and forgiveness.

‘I think for all of us, one of the ways that we celebrate when we come together is in learning to be a more open and forgiving society.

‘Now, with Prince Andrew, I think we all have to step back a bit. He’s seeking to make amends and I think that’s a very good thing.’

However he admitted it’s ‘not surprising’ people have such deep feelings about Andrew.

Prince Andrew was absent from the balcony at Buckingham Palace (Picture: Getty)

He said: ‘You can’t tell people how they’re to respond about this. And the issues of the past in the area of abuse are so intensely personal and private for so many people. It’s not surprising there’s very deep feelings indeed.’

Andrew stepped down from public life in 2019 after the furore over his friendship with paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein reached a new high following a car crash Newsnight interview.

The duke was eventually cast out of the working monarchy and no longer uses his HRH style after Virginia Giuffre, who was trafficked by Epstein, accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was 17.

The duke strenuously denied the allegations and claimed he had never met her.

This year he paid an undisclosed sum, believed to be around £10m, to settle the civil case out of court.

This was seen as the only option to members of the royal family, who feared a trial would overshadow the jubilee celebrations.

The duke was not expected to attend any other jubilee events, and was notably absent from an appearance on the royal balcony at Buckingham Palace yesterday, which was reserved for working members only.

He was also not part of the royal entourage that drove down the Mall in carriages for the Trooping the Colour.

The duke is said to harbour a desire to return to public life, but had no wish to overshadow his mother’s big moment.

Apart from his appearance at Philip’s memorial he has largely kept his head down, keeping busy by visiting his newborn Grandchildren and spending private time with the Queen.

Andrew has been advised that for this year at least, he must remain largely out of public sight.

It has been suggested that one safe option would be to allow him to run one of the Queen’s estates, according to the Telegraph, while others have suggested that he rehabilitate himself through charity.

However, some believe he is past any point of return.

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