After years of allegations, the lid was blown on Prince Andrew’s relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein last year and the royal family member had his public duties suspended for the “forseeable future.” Now, it looks like the Prince may never make a return to his former life.
In November 2019, Prince Andrew appeared on BBC’s Newsnight for one of the most ill-advised tell-all interviews in history. During the viral interview, Andrew denied allegations of sexual abuse and claimed he had “no recollection of ever meeting” victim Virginia Giuffre, despite mounting evidence that suggested otherwise.
Missed the controversy? Get a rundown below:
Prince Andrew also played down his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein. At one point during the interview, he admitted to staying at Epstein’s mansion in 2010 after Epstein had been convicted of sex offences against a minor, claiming the location was “a convenient place to stay.”
The interview was seemingly approved by the Queen, but it backfired and quickly became a PR nightmare for the royal family. Shortly after, Buckingham Palace announced Prince Andrew would be stepping down from his public duties and earlier this year, his security was downgraded, putting an end to his “round-the-clock police protection.”
Things have gone from bad to worse for Prince Andrew over the past few months. In May, it was reported he and his ex-wife were in a legal dispute regarding $9M AUD of debt they were unable to pay. Later, a spokesperson for the Duke confirmed the Queen “will not be stepping in to settle the debt.” The same month, Prince Andrew’s Charitable Trust was investigated by the Charity Commission regarding almost $650,000 AUD in payments to his former secretary Amanda Thirsk.
Fast-forward to this week and the bad news continues. The Sunday Times reports that Prince Andrew won’t ever resume official royal duties. A royal correspondent wrote, “The prince hoped his status change would be temporary, but those hopes have disappeared.”
“The royal family has ‘no plans to review’ his position,” they added.
Considering the insurmountable backlash Prince Andrew faced following his Newsnight interview let alone the very serious accusations of sexual abuse against him – it’s really no surprise he’s not heading back to royal life any time soon.
For victims like Virginia Giuffre, it must be some sort of small consolation – but is it really enough given the nature of these allegations?
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