The royals took a “family decision” to limit disgraced Andrew’s appearance on Garter Day to a behind-the-scenes lunch and investiture ceremony.
Therefore Andrew was not seen in public during the event, one of the most colourful in the royal calendar, after Prince Charles and William reportedly lobbied the Queen about his participation.
It was later reported that William warned he would pull out of today’s ceremony if his disgraced uncle was allowed to take part.
According to the Evening Standard, William was “so alarmed” at the prospect of Andrew taking part in the event, that he made it clear that unless the Duke of York was dropped from taking part in public, he would not be taking part.
And according to body language expert Judi James, William appeared to almost be hiding and keeping out of the spotlight during the event – and only perked up when standing next to his wife Kate and aunt Sophie Wessex.
Love the royals? Sign up for the Mirror’s daily newsletter to get all the latest news on the Queen, Charles, Kate, Wills, Meghan, Harry and the rest of The Firm. Click here to sign up.
Judi told the Mirror: “William cut a dour and rather miserable-looking figure at the Garter procession, with his body language suggesting he was almost determined to sustain an unsmiling expression despite the fact that Princess Anne and Charles and Camilla were all smiles and acknowledgement to the crowds.
“William was walking beside his uncle Edward, who appeared to have been trying to engage him in conversation.
“The last time William adopted this low-performance, almost ‘hiding’ look that appears to be trying to repel interest or attention was at the State opening of parliament when he attended with his father but seemed keen not to upstage Charles, who has a famous dislike of being eclipsed by his own relatives.
“William must be aware that he often rates higher in the polls than his father and that he is often described as being the man people would prefer to see as the next king.
“However this ‘out of the spotlight’ approach seemed to dissolve the minute he was back with Kate and Sophie when he was his usual charming, amusing and relaxed-looking self.
“So why did his mood seem to change so dramatically? His expression in the procession did look deliberate. His lips are clamped and there is some muscle tension around his top lip as well as a pulling down of the corners of the mouth.
“There is also a muscle bulge creating a rounded effect on the cheeks at the sides of his mouth.
“His head is down as he walks and his eyes are also down. He appears to glance up out of necessity to see where he is walking but then he dips his head again each time as though keen to project a serious image while all around him are smiling.”
Meanwhile, the Queen did not take part in the procession of Garter Knights who walk through the grounds of Windsor Castle to St George’s Hall where the annual service commemorating the Order is held.
Given the monarch’s mobility issues the decision was expected and in past years she has travelled by car to the place of worship. However, she did attend the lunch and the investiture ceremony.