Prince Charles refused to answer questions about his younger brother’s position as he toured a storm-lashed country estate the day after Prince Andrew was stripped of his honorary military titles and gave up his HRH style.
On Thursday evening, Buckingham Palace announced prince Andrew’s military affiliations and royal patronages have been returned to Queen Elizabeth.
The move came after a judge in America threw out Andrew’s motion to dismiss a civil sexual assault case against him, and ruled it can go to trial.
Charles, who is the duke of Rothesay in Scotland, was pressed on the issue by a reporter as he met people involved in the clear-up operation after Storm Arwen in the north-east of Scotland.
A reporter asked him for his view on Andrew’s position – but prince Charles ignored the question, and went on to shake hands with some of those he was there to meet in the storm-hit country estate.
Between 500,000 and one million trees were uprooted on the Haddo Estate in Aberdeenshire at the end of November as winds of up to 100mph tore through the area.
Efforts to clear the once-dense woodlands of fallen trees ahead of replanting have only just begun.
Charles spoke to landscape manager, Oliver Deeming, and head of visitor services, Suzanna Atkinson, as he walked the “Scots Mile” road towards the National Trust for Scotland property at the centre of the estate, Haddo House.
At the house, the prince met representatives from Aberdeenshire Council, the police and power provider SSEN to hear about the impact of Storm Arwen and the state of recovery efforts.
The country park is currently closed to visitors for safety reasons due to the storm damage.
A local resident said Charles’s visit was the first day for some time that the sound of chainsaws was not ringing out around the area.
The visit also took place after the British prime minister’s former director of communications issued an apology over a No 10 party held the night before Prince Philip’s funeral.
James Slack, who until last year was Boris Johnson’s director of communications, apologised on Friday morning for the “anger and hurt” his leaving party in April 2021 had caused.
The Daily Telegraph had reported that advisers and civil servants gathered after work for two separate events on April 16th 2021, as the country was in a period of mourning after the death of prince Philip.