As one of the Queen's four children, the Duke of York should, under any other circumstances, have been gearing up to play a prominent role during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
In his former guise as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, he would have ridden alongside the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal and the Duke of Cambridge at Trooping the Colour.
As a working member of the Royal family, he would have appeared alongside his immediate family on the Buckingham Palace balcony.
But instead of being front and centre during a national moment of celebration, representing the monarch at myriad events, he will be hidden away behind closed doors, forced to watch the festivities, like the rest of the nation, on television.
The only event that the Duke is expected to attend throughout the four-day jamboree is the service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral on Friday.
Otherwise, aides hope at least, he will be all but invisible.
Far from being out of sight and mind, his absence will be keenly felt. For while he may have largely kept his head down in recent months, a set-piece royal occasion such as this will serve only to remind the world of his alleged misdemeanours.
While the rest of the Royal family turn out en masse in their finery, the tawdry allegations of sexual abuse that have engulfed the Duke in recent years cannot fail to resurface.
When he appears at St Paul's on Friday, the cameras will be clicking.
Will he keep his head down and manage to stay in the background? Or will he propel himself to the fore, much like he did at the Duke of Edinburgh's memorial service in March when he insisted on escorting his mother to her seat, to the chagrin of his family?
Such antics were said to have caused dismay and consternation among senior Royal family members, astounded that he would take centre stage at his first public outing since paying millions to the woman who had accused him of sexual abuse.
Indeed, The Telegraph understands that plans have been put in place to ensure that whoever does have the honour of accompanying the Queen to St Paul's on Friday, it will not be the Duke.
The service will represent the biggest royal outing of the Jubilee, as the monarch is surrounded by all of her children, grandchildren and cousins.
Palace aides have no intention of allowing the moment to be overshadowed.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, had been due to lead the service before being struck down with Covid. He said that the Queen was "fully entitled" to have been accompanied by her second son at the Duke of Edinburgh's memorial service, following a wave of public criticism.
He said of the Duke of York: "We all have to step back a bit. He is seeking to make amends and I think that's a very good thing," adding that the Jubilee offered society a chance to come together and learn to become more forgiving.
Elsewhere, the Duke will be a notable absentee on the Buckingham Palace balcony, when his siblings gather around the Queen for the first such appearance in three years.
And at Trooping the Colour, when his elder brother and sister, alongside their nephew, lead the royal entourage as Colonels of their respective regiments, they will be in a formation of three, rather than four.
A pariah, the Duke's presence had long threatened to cast a shadow over the Jubilee.
For months, the murky prospect of a sexual abuse trial loomed large as he became entangled in a bitter legal process that cast him in a far from favourable light.
Accused of sexually abusing Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a victim of convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, on three separate occasions, he was criticised for "victim shaming" after submitting legal documents that referred to her as a "money-hungry sex kitten" and accusing her of seeking "another payday" at his expense.
In response, Ms Giuffre condemned the Duke for launching a "baseless, defamatory" attack on her credibility, character and motives.
Senior members of the family, including the Prince of Wales, made clear that the civil case could not drag on through the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
A financial settlement, while far from clearing his name, was deemed the only option to prevent the Royal family's name being dragged further through the mud.
The Duke may have drawn a line under the whole sorry saga with a hefty payment, but it was not without huge personal sacrifice.
Stripped of his military titles, ordered not to use the HRH title with which he was born and effectively sacked as a working member of the Royal family, his reputation is in tatters.
Aware of the predicament he finds himself in, the Duke is said to have no wish to overshadow his mother's big moment.
Aside from his high-profile turn at St George's Chapel, Windsor, in March the Duke has largely kept his head down since settling his lawsuit with Ms Giuffre.
Although he harbours a desire to return to public life in the longer term, he has been advised that for this year at least, he must remain largely out of public sight.
A 700-word account of his active service in the Falklands, posted on his ex-wife's Instagram page, perhaps acted as a wake-up call. The post was swiftly deleted after attracting a wave of hostile comments – proof, if any was needed, of wider public sentiment.
In the meantime, the Duke is trying to keep himself busy.
He may have been relieved of his public duties in November 2019, following his disastrous Newsnight interview, but his legal battles kept him occupied for more than two years.
Such was the level of contact with Gary Bloxsome, his solicitor, that lines between the professional and social appeared blurred as the two played golf together and enjoyed regular afternoon teas.
With Mr Bloxsome's services no longer required, he is seen less and less regularly at Royal Lodge, Windsor.
In the meantime, the Duke sees his newborn grandchildren and spends a lot of time with the Queen, travelling at least twice a week to Windsor Castle to ride, while taking the opportunity to pop in on her for lunch or afternoon tea.
It has been suggested that one safe option would be to allow him to run one of the Queen's estates. Others have suggested that he rehabilitate himself through charity, while many more believe him past any point of return.