Why Did Queen Elizabeth Take So Long To Cut Ties With Prince Andrew Over Sex Abuse Allegations?

In the aftermath of sex abuse allegations and his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, Prince Andrew is stepping back from public duty. The official notice from the palace says that the Queen “has given her permission” for Andrew to lay low.

Of course, one has to wonder if that is a polite way of saying he was in fact ordered to step back.

What exactly does this mean for Prince Andrew and other members of the royal family? At the very least, the Duke of York will be taking a temporary break from his royal duties and will be out of the public eye for the time being.

Some say the move should have happened much sooner, considering the prince’s long-time associations with Epstein.

What took so long for Queen Elizabeth to cut professional ties?

Queen Elizabeth II attends the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle.
Queen Elizabeth II | Pool/Max Mumby/Getty Images

The connections between Epstein and Prince Andrew were made public as early as 2011. Why did it take the queen so long to cut ties with her son?

Prince Andrew’s now-infamous BBC Two interview appears to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Prince Andrew’s interview aired on November 16th. By speaking publicly, his intent was to hopefully do some damage control. While he denied any sexual improprieties, he never said he regretted his relationship with Epstein.

By speaking out, Prince Andrew has clearly done more harm than good. He caused quite a bit of fallout and embarrassment for the palace as a result of the interview. The prince announced he was stepping back just four days later, on November 20th.

There’s already a lot happening at the palace right now 

The powers that be could be forgiven for not acting sooner on Prince Andrew. The palace has had their hands full recently.

Over the past few months, there’s been a lot going on with other royals, especially Prince Henry and Meghan Markle. The palace has been kept on its toes with Meghan and her relationship with her controversial father.  

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have received intense scrutiny since their marriage, causing them to celebrate the holidays in the U.S. this year. Many wonder if Henry, Meghan, and Archie may set up a home base in the U.S. very soon.  

Earlier this year, Prince William was entangled in rumors of an affair. The future king was accused of being involved with Kate Middleton’s friend Rose Hanbury.

What’s more, it’s possible the queen was waiting to see if this scandal blew over.

Prince Andrew is no stranger to controversy

This isn’t the first time the palace has had to do damage control for Prince Andrew. Both the prince and his former wife Sarah Ferguson are no strangers to controversy

After being married for several years, photos of Ferguson having her toes sucked by another man gained international attention. The two later divorced after a decade of marriage.

Despite no longer being married, Prince Andrew and Ferguson maintain a close relationship today. Throughout the sex abuse allegations, Ferguson has shown her support for Prince Andrew.

In fact, the duchess posted a supportive message on Twitter the night before the prince’s ill-fated interviewer, stating that the Andrew was “a true+real gentleman.”

Over the summer, Prince Andrew, Ferguson, and their two daughters Beatrice and Eugenie were photographed together. The divorced duo’s closeness has led many to wonder if they’ve privately reconciled, or are even head towards remarriage. 

What the future holds for Prince Andrew

It’s unclear at this point if Prince Andrew is only stepping back temporarily, or if this is a more permanent move. If Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan do in fact move to the U.S., Prince Andrew may be called upon to fulfill some royal duties in their absence.

The future of Prince Andrew’s two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, also remains unclear. Both daughters currently live in royal residences, with the rent paid for by their father. If Prince Andrew is no longer a working royal, it remains to be seen how he will cover his daughter’s expenses.

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