Is Prince Andrew’s Royal Status in Jeopardy?
Earlier this year, federal prosecutors charged Epstein with one count of sex trafficking of a minor and one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. This was alarming for the royal family because Prince Andrew was once close friends with Epstein. The prince even stayed friends with Epstein after Epstein was convicted of sex crimes in 2008. And one of the alleged victims, Virginia Roberts, has accused the prince of abusing her, which Prince Andrew has denied.
Now, Prince Andrew is doing PR control, but it looks like that might be doing more harm than good.
Prince Andrew’s ‘no holds barred’ interview on Jeffery Epstein
Although the Duke of York has released several statements in the past few months about his relationship with Epstein, a recent BBC interview drew intense backlash.
In the interview, Prince Andrew said he did not regret his friendship with Epstein. But he later released a statement that seemed to counter that sentiment.
“I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein,” the statement said. “His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure.”
In the statement, he also announced he would be stepping back from public duties “for the foreseeable future.”
What does this mean for Prince Andrew’s title?
Prince Andrew has not been charged with any crimes, but his BBC interview did not go over well. Royal insiders are calling it a “disastrous PR move.”
In fact, some are suggesting that once Prince Charles takes the throne he might downgrade his younger brother’s status.
“It’s no secret that Charles wants to streamline the monarchy when he eventually succeeds the Queen, and they have had plenty of disagreements in the past over Andrew’s role and that of his daughters,” an anonymous royal source told The Daily Telegraph. “The Newsnight interview won’t have done anything to help Andrew’s argument that he and his family should have a more high-profile role.”
Is there discord in the royal family?
Prince Charles and Prince Andrew have reportedly had a strained relationship. Earlier this year, Andrew was notably absent from an event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Charles’ investiture as the Prince of Wales.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Prince Charles viewed Prince Andrew’s interview about Epstein with “incredulity and alarm” and considered it “misguided.”
And on Nov. 20, it was announced that Queen Elizabeth had given her permission for Prince Andrew to step back from his royal duties. Only time will tell how this unfolds for the royal family.