Prince Andrew’s Scandal May Get Him Banned From Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas
While some royal family fans are wringing their hands over Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s apparent absence from the royal Christmas festivities this year, a whole other group is anxiously waiting to find out if a different royal family member is planning to make an appearance. In fact, it appears that scores of protesters are prepared to spend their Christmas Day hitting the streets if Prince Andrew turns up at the holiday event this year. The Duke of York has been facing backlash over his ties and friendship with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Prince Andrew is caught in an increasingly deepening scandal
Prince Andrew’s problems started several years ago when a woman named Virginia Roberts Giuffre came forward with serious allegations against the now-deceased (and convicted) Epstein. She alleged that Epstein had kept her as a “sex slave” when she was a teenager. What does all this have to do with the royal family?
Well, Prince Andrew was close friends with Epstein. Their relationship began back in 1999, and Prince Andrew invited Epstein to the Queen’s private Scottish residence that same year. In the following years, Prince Andrew would be spotted with Epstein or Epstein’s companion Ghislaine Maxwell at such high-profile locations as Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and Windsor Castle.
Giuffre first came forward with her story in 2001, and she alleged that she had been trafficked overseas and had three sexual encounters with Prince Andrew in Maxwell’s London townhouse. Prince Andrew vehemently denied the story.
Later, in 2008, Epstein was convicted of child prostitution and sentenced to 18 months in prison. Shortly after his release from prison in 2010, Prince Andrew was spotted with Epstein in New York City.
Prince Andrew faced an earlier political fallout
The photos of Prince Andrew continuing to associate with Epstein after his conviction was enough to cause political fallout. But he managed to stay mostly under the radar until Giuffre renewed her allegations in 2015 with official court documentation against Epstein. She also named Prince Andrew in the case. The royal family denied all allegations.
When Epstein was again found guilty — this time for sex trafficking — in 2019 and then died of alleged suicide in his jail cell, the case gained unprecedented attention. Throughout it all, Giuffre maintained her story: She was trafficked to Prince Andrew when she was underage.
Prince Andrew made the disastrous decision to go on The BBC and attempt to clear his name. In the interview, he again denied all allegations but also made it clear that he did not regret his past friendship with Epstein, a statement that many see as unacceptable.
Prince Andrew has withdrawn from his duties and public appearances
In the new fallout, Prince Andrew has been consciously distanced from the royal family, a move that must be hurtful for the Queen who clearly loves her son. She even canceled his 60th birthday party, which was slated for February.
As he stepped away from his public duties, and largely kept out of sight in recent weeks, the controversy has not died down.
When you’re a member of the royal family, staying out of the public eye is no small feat. Even private events become public affairs, and many are now speculating if Prince Andrew will miss his own daughter’s wedding because of the scandal.
One of the most immediate tests for just how deep his isolation from the rest of the royal family goes will be the traditional Christmas church service. He frequently appears at church alongside his mother, and this holiday tradition will be difficult to miss. But if his appearance will turn it into a disgraced and protested event, he may choose to stay away in an attempt to shield his family from further harm.