Is Prince Andrew Fired As a Royal Or Just Temporarily Stepping Back?
Prince Andrew has been involved in a PR nightmare after it was alleged that he had connections to several of Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual assault cases. The prince and those representing him have vehemently denied these allegations, but that has not stopped the public from scrutinizing him even further.
With his image in jeopardy, the Duke of York recently revealed that he will no longer be doing his royal duties. However, could this mean that he has been fired as a royal? Or is there a chance that he will return in the future? Here’s what we know.
Prince Andrew is accused of having sexual relations with a minor
Epstein was a convicted sex offender who not only abused many women and young girls, but he reportedly allowed his victims to be abused by his wealthy friends as well. Prince Andrew has been accused of being one such friend of the notorious felon. Epstein killed himself in a U.S. jail cell this summer.
Prince Andrew and Epstein met a couple of decades ago through Epstein’s ex-girlfriend: Ghislaine Maxwell. The two of them remained on very good terms through the years.
Epstein was once seen at Princess Beatrice’s party birthday. He even helped pay off Prince Andrew’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson’s debt. Ferguson has since voiced regret for taking money from Epstein.
“I personally, on behalf of myself, deeply regret that Jeffrey Epstein became involved in any way with me,” she said in an interview with London’s Evening Standard newspaper. “I abhor pedophilia and any sexual abuse of children and know that this was a gigantic error of judgment on my behalf. I am just so contrite I cannot say. Whenever I can, I will repay the money and will have nothing ever to do with Jeffrey Epstein ever again.”
Prince Andrew then found himself on the receiving ends of accusations from one of Epstein’s victims: Virginia Robert Giuffre.
Giuffre alleged in an interview with Dateline that she first had sex with Prince Andrew at Maxwell’s London house in 2001 when she was just 17 years old. Afterward, Giuffre and Prince Andrew reportedly had sexual encounters two more times: once in New York and once in the Virgin Islands.
Prince Andrew denies Virginia Robert Giuffre’s accusations
From the start, Prince Andrew and the palace have both denied that Giuffre’s accusations are true.
Prince Andrew even decided to have an interview with The BBC to share his side of the story. He told host Emily Maitlis that he does not remember ever meeting Giuffre, and that her claim of them having sex at Maxwell’s house could not have been true.
According to the prince, he was with his children that day and actually took Princess Beatrice to a pizza party in Woking in the afternoon. He added that he remembered quite well what happened because going for pizza in Woking was an unusual thing for him to do.
During the interview, Prince Andrew also stated that he does not regret being friends with Epstein because “the people that I met and the opportunities that I was given to learn either by him or because of him were actually very useful.”
After the release of the interview, many people criticized Prince Andrew. Some critics feel that Prince Andrew was not very sympathetic to Epstein’s victim, and the fact that he did not regret his friendship with Epstein does not sit well with others.
Prince Andrew has shared that he will ‘step back from public duties’
Prince Andrew’s reputation was already rather negative before The BBC interview, and it became even worse afterward. As such, Prince Andrew has announced that he will no longer be taking on royal duties, citing that his association with Epstein “has become a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support.”
He continued: “I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission.”
Prince Andrew also mentioned that he “unequivocally regret” being connected to Epstein and that he “deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure.”
Has Prince Andrew been fired as a royal?
It seems that, for now, Prince Andrew will still be a royal, though he won’t be working like the rest of his family members. However, whether he will truly be stripped of his titles or not remains to be seen. Some people believe that Prince Charles might push for his brother’s titles to be removed, especially since there are already rumors that Prince Charles will “slim down” the monarchy when he becomes king. But, for the time being, it appears the Duke of York is doing exactly what he said in his statement: stepping back from public appearances.