LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Prince Andrew has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss a thanksgiving service being held for Queen Elizabeth on Friday to mark her 70 years on the throne, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said.
Andrew, the queen’s second son, was forced to quit royal duties over his friendship with late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, and settled a U.S. lawsuit in February in which he had been accused of sexually abusing a woman when she was underage.
Andrew, 62, officially known as the Duke of York, denied any wrongdoing.
“The duke has tested positive for COVID and with regret will no longer be attending tomorrow’s service,” a Buckingham Palace spokesman said.
A palace source said Andrew had seen the 96-year-old queen in recent days but had been taking regular tests. He has not seen the monarch since he tested positive.
Andrew’s standing has plummeted in recent years and he was expected to take a low profile during the four days of national celebration.
There was widespread criticism after he accompanied his mother to a memorial service to her late husband, Prince Philip, in March, although the Archbishop of Canterbury said this week Andrew was seeking to “make amends”.
(Reporting by Michael Holden; Writing by Kate Holton; Editing by Janet Lawrence)