Did Queen Elizabeth Force Prince Andrew To Take a Break From His Royal Duties?

The fate of the British monarch relies heavily on public perception. So when Prince Andrew was caught hanging out with a convicted sex offender and pedophile, the royal family had to take immediate action to protect their position.

He may be a cherished member of the royal family, but the Queen is willing to do just about anything to protect the monarchy. It may surprise you to learn what Prince Andrew had to do because of his role. 

Why did Prince Andrew step away from royal duties?

Prince Andrew at Canary Wharf on March 7, 2011 in London, England.
Prince Andrew | Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The Duke of York is facing consequences after it was revealed that he had a connection to convicted sex-offender, Jeffrey Epstein. During an interview with The BBC, Prince Andrew answered questions for the first time about his relationship with Epstein. He called his visits “the wrong thing to do.”

Prince Andrew is known to have associated with Epstein in 2010 when the two were photographed walking in the park, after Epstein’s conviction for soliciting a minor for prostitution. Around the same time, Prince Andrew was also photographed spending time at Epstein’s Manhattan home. 

“I kick myself for on a daily basis,” Prince Andrew told The BBC, “because it was not something that was becoming of a member of the Royal Family and we try and uphold the highest standards and practices and I let the side down, simple as that.”

Some are unsure if a public interview about the situation was the right move for Prince Andrew, but his private secretary, Amanda Thirsk pushed hard, against some of his other advisors for it to happen. According to her, “the Duke has done nothing wrong … All he did was go and see his friend.”

Epstein took his life earlier this year while in prison. 

Did Queen Elizabeth force Prince Andrew to leave royal duties?

Prince Andrew’s association with Epstein has not only caused a PR nightmare, but it’s also gotten in the way of his work for the monarchy. According to The Guardian, Queen Elizabeth gave her son permission to “step back from public duties for the foreseeable future.”

Although this seems like an order from the queen, royal expert Katie Nicholl told ET that the decision was up to Prince Andrew. “My sources at Buckingham Palace are insisting that it was the duke’s decision and that the statement reflects that,” she said. 

However, Prince Andrew didn’t have much choice. According to Nicholl, it became very clear that stepping down was the only viable option. Prince Andrew is widely regarded as the queen’s favorite son, but because of the scandal and all the damage that it was causing the monarch, he had to leave public life. 

But this doesn’t mean Prince Andrew is no longer a part of the royal family. He’ll still take part in family events, such as standing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace and walking his daughter, Princess Beatrice, down the aisle when she gets married next year. 

Prince Andrew promises to cooperate with the investigation of Jeffrey Epstein 

During his BBC interview, Prince Andrew vowed to help any law enforcement agency that requested his cooperation against Epstein. He’s even prepared to testify in the trial himself if that’s needed. The FBI is currently searching for more victims, and Prince Andrew’s help may be a great asset to the investigation. 

“His suicide has left many unanswered questions,” Prince Andrew told The BBC, “particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathize with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure. I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives.”

While the lives of Epstein’s victims may have been torn apart, the effect this will have on Prince Andrew’s public persona remains to be seen. Perhaps if he’s able to help the investigation in a positive way, his reputation with the public may be saved.