Prince Andrew Misses Order of the Garter Procession After 'Family Decision' Is Made

A source close to Andrew tells PEOPLE his withdrawal was a "personal decision" made in consultation with his family

Prince Andrew was notably missing from one of the oldest royal traditions on Monday: Order of the Garter.

Every June, a grand procession of the knights takes place at Windsor Castle, accompanied by a marching band and Officers of the Order, all in grand ceremonial dress. The ancient order of chivalry was founded by King Edward III in 1348.

Despite being a knight in the Order of the Garter, Andrew did not appear in the public procession or any public aspects of the ceremony even though he was listed in the official program.

In what royal sources describe as a "family decision," the Duke of York withdrew at the last minute following discussions led by his brother Prince Charles and Prince William. The two princes have increasingly taken the lead in decisions like this, especially over perceptions about the royal family's public image and standing are concerned.

A source close to Andrew tells PEOPLE his withdrawal was a "personal decision" made in consultation with his family.

Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh
Prince Andrew. Chris Jackson/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Andrew has not been involved in any public royal event — apart from accompanying his mother to a thanksgiving service for his late father Prince Philip in March — for a couple of years in the wake of his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

However, Andrew did take part in a private ceremony inside the castle on Monday that saw Camilla and former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair invested in the Order of the Garter.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, attend the Order of the Garter Service
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Andrew's absence also meant that he didn't overshadow Camilla's big day, which would have been a relief to Charles. It's likely that the heir to the throne argued that Andrew does not show his face at the prestigious event.

In February, Andrew lost the remaining public accouterments of royal life after settling his lawsuit with his sexual abuse accuser Virginia Guiffre. Andrew has denied the claims she made against him.

The Order Of The Garter Service At Windsor Castle
Prince William and Prince Edward. Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Dressed in their velvet robes and hats with an ostrich plume, Prince Charles and Prince William did the ceremonial walk to St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

And there was an important addition to the procession — Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. The wife of Prince Charles (and future Queen Consort) was invested as a Royal Lady of the Order of the Garter by Queen Elizabeth in the Garter Throne Room at Windsor Castle earlier in the day.

The Queen, who has been suffering ongoing mobility issues, did not join her family members in the public portion of Monday's royal event. She hosted the private meeting and lunch inside the castle.

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Order of the Garter Service
Kate Middleton. Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Camilla's place in the order was announced in December and was seen as one of the steps toward the Queen also confirming that it was her "sincere wish" that Camilla will become Queen Consort when Prince Charles accedes to the throne.

Watching the procession was William's wife Kate Middleton, 40. She made her debut at the service in 2008 (three years before their royal wedding) when William was made a knight.

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