Prince Andrew is smiling and waving as he breaks cover for the first time since the Queen sacked him

Prince Andrew is smiling and waving as he breaks cover for the first time since the Queen sacked him

Prince Andrew smiled and waved today as he surfaced for the first time after being effectively sacked by his mother after the Queen and Prince Ch

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Prince Andrew smiled and waved today as he surfaced for the first time after being effectively sacked by his mother after the Queen and Prince Charles agreed he had to go.

The Duke of York looked remarkably cheerful as he left his grace-and-favour Windsor home driving his £170,000 Bentley Flying Spur sports car this morning, despite calls for him to give evidence to the FBI under oath reaching fever pitch.

Andrew’s public life is over at the age of 59 after the Queen discussed the crisis with heir to throne Prince Charles, who is in New Zealand, and summoning her distraught ‘favourite son’ to Buckingham Palace to learn his fate yesterday.

Prince Charles, who is in New Zealand with his wife Camilla, is said to have stepped in and made it clear his younger brother be stripped of all royal duties.  

The siblings have had high-profile rows over whether Andrew’s daughters Beatrice and Eugenie should enjoy the perks given to senior royals such as Charles’ children William and Harry – and the sisters’ public roles are likely to fall by the wayside after their father’s demise and ahead of Beatrice’s wedding next year.

The Duke of York is today being urged to fly to America to speak to the FBI with lawyers for Jeffrey Epstein’s victims warning him ‘any delay’ must lead to US agents heading to London to interview him before Christmas.  

Prince Andrew smiles and waves as he leaves Windsor this morning after being banned from carrying out royal duties and being stripped of some of the perks

Prince Andrew smiles and waves as he leaves Windsor this morning after being banned from carrying out royal duties and being stripped of some of the perks

Prince Andrew smiles and waves as he leaves Windsor this morning after being banned from carrying out royal duties and being stripped of some of the perks

Andrew was summoned to Buckingham Palace to see his mother the Queen yesterday who told him he should step down - but allowed him to draft a statement in his own words

Andrew was summoned to Buckingham Palace to see his mother the Queen yesterday who told him he should step down - but allowed him to draft a statement in his own words

Andrew was summoned to Buckingham Palace to see his mother the Queen yesterday who told him he should step down – but allowed him to draft a statement in his own words

Andrew is under massive pressure to speak to the FBI - his brother Prince Charles is said to be instrumental in getting him to step down

Andrew is under massive pressure to speak to the FBI - his brother Prince Charles is said to be instrumental in getting him to step down

Andrew is under massive pressure to speak to the FBI – his brother Prince Charles is said to be instrumental in getting him to step down

The Queen was serious at a Chatham House award event in London last night

The Queen was serious at a Chatham House award event in London last night

The Queen was serious at a Chatham House award event in London last night and had spoken to he son Charles, who is in New Zealand (pictured today)

The Queen was serious at a Chatham House award event in London last night and had spoken to he son Charles, who is in New Zealand (pictured today)

The Queen was serious at a Chatham House award event in London last night and had spoken to he son Charles, who is in New Zealand (pictured today)

Attorney Lisa Bloom, who represents five of Epstein’s ‘slaves’, has said she is ready to subpoena Andrew and force him to give evidence in the US – but prosecutors would treat him as a witness to help prosecute Epstein’s ‘helpers’ and co-conspirators rather than a criminal suspect.

Can the FBI force Andrew to speak to them about Epstein and his ‘helpers’? 

Prince Andrew is being urged to speak to the FBI about his dealings with Jeffrey Epstein by flying to the US for formal interviews.

If he refuses Buckingham Palace is braced for the Duke of York to be issued with a subpoena to give evidence in the US.

Prince Andrew is viewed as a key witness to Epstein’s crimes – despite the royal denying he ever witnessed anything untoward.

Since Epstein’s death the FBI probe has moved on to those who aided him in his sex crimes spanning three or more decades.

Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of Robert Maxwell, is under suspicion of helping the financier find girls but she has denied any wrongdoing and has never been arrested. It is not known where she is.

If Andrew refuses to set foot in America, the FBI has the power to request an interview in London – but he would have to agree to it first.

Any attempt to force the issue would lead to a diplomatic row – and probably a high profile legal battle into whether the duke has immunity, something he and the palace would be keen to avoid.

Lawyers for Epstein’s victims say they are willing to subpoena him but serving any foreigner, let alone a closely protected royal, with the documents is notoriously difficult.  

Ms Bloom said: ‘Andrew and his staff must cooperate with all investigations, show up for civil depositions and trials, and produce all documents. Nobody is above the law and everybody should have to answer questions’.

The Queen took decisive action against her second son last night in a desperate bid to contain the fall-out from the duke’s disastrous Newsnight interview about his years of friendship with the paedophile.  

Andrew will lose his £249,000 annual income from the taxpayer-funded Sovereign Grant as a result – but will keep his grace-and-favour home in Windsor and cash will still come in from his mother’s Duchy of Lancaster estate, the source of her multi-million pound private income.

The Duke wanted to speak to the BBC but he was skewered by Emily Maitlis. The misjudgment triggered days of catastrophic headlines and caused a string of businesses and charities to desert him, with experts calling it the biggest crisis to grip the royal family for decades.

Royal expert Penny Junor said: ‘I would think the Queen is horrified – it’s been a disastrous year’ and biographer Ingrid Seward, Editor in Chief of Majesty Magazine, said: ‘I have never known anything like this in living memory’.

Andrew has been pilloried for his TV performance because of a lack of contrition for his friendship with the paedophile and his failure to express sympathy for the dozens of women Epstein trafficked and abused over three decades.

His alibis for not having sex with Virginia Roberts three times including being in Woking’s Pizza Express have also been widely ridiculed by the public. And now his claim he was with Britain’s consul general in New York when Ms Roberts said they slept together in 2001 became at odds with the diplomat in question, Sir Thomas Harris, who said last night: ‘I don’t recall him staying with me’. 

As Andrew was effectively retired by the royal family aged 59, it has emerged: 

  • Lawyers for Epstein’s victims called for Andrew to sit down with FBI agents and give an in-depth interview under oath ‘without delay’ with calls for Americans to head to London to speak to him if he refuses;
  • More than 20 major companies and charities – including Barclays, KPMG and the English National Ballet – distanced themselves from Andrew and the initiatives he has been backing; 
  • Major questions emerge over his alibis over a trip to New York during which Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Roberts claims they had sex after diplomat denies the royal stayed with him and an aide claiming Andrew was free and unaccompanied on his first afternoon of the 2001 visit;
  • A letter from Buckingham Palace casts doubt on the Duke of York’s claims about when he first met the tycoon, who killed himself in jail in August;
Princess Beatrice spotted for the first time since her father Prince Andrews's highly controversial Newsnight interview with her fiance Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi

Princess Beatrice spotted for the first time since her father Prince Andrews's highly controversial Newsnight interview with her fiance Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi

Princess Eugenie is seen leaving the Elephant Family Charity dinner in London as her father faces the backlash

Princess Eugenie is seen leaving the Elephant Family Charity dinner in London as her father faces the backlash

Prince Andrew’s daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie put on brave faces last night as they faced the prospect that their father’s stepping back from royal duties will spell the end of their own royal roles 

Charles and his mother decided the Duke should step down

Charles and his mother decided the Duke should step down

Charles (pictured with Andrew and their children at St Paul’s Cathedral in 2012) spoke to the Queen and decided the Duke of York should step down. The brothers have clashed in the past about the royal roles of Andrew’s his children

Prince Andrew (pictured during his car crash interview with the BBC's Emily Maitlis) was told to step down from royal duties

Prince Andrew (pictured during his car crash interview with the BBC's Emily Maitlis) was told to step down from royal duties

Prince Andrew (pictured during his car crash interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis) was told to step down from royal duties 

The Duke was forced out of public life after lengthy discussions with his eldest brother the Prince of Wales, who is touring New Zealand, and the Queen summoned Andrew to Buckingham Palace and told him to step down but allowed him to draft his own statement.

Buckingham Palace confirms Prince Andrew WILL continue to work on his Pitch@Palace project because it is a private initiative 

Buckingham Palace today confirmed that Prince Andrew will continue to work on Pitch@Palace tech entrepreneurs initiative because it is a private venture. 

The Duke of York has faced a barrage of firms and other organisations terminating or reviewing their association with the initiative after his BBC interview on Saturday.

The announcement comes after Andrew said he would step back from public duties for the ‘foreseeable future’, in an unprecedented move for a royal in modern times.

Andrew made the bombshell statement last night after mounting pressure following his interview about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.  

Barclays said it was concerned about the situation involving the Queen’s 59-year-old son and was keeping its involvement with Pitch@Palace under review. 

Asian-focused bank Standard Chartered joined accounting firm KPMG in deciding not to renew its sponsorship of Pitch@Palace.  

Since quitting as the UK’s trade envoy in 2011, the duke has built up Pitch@Palace, in which he helps to put would-be entrepreneurs in touch with investors and mentors. 

A source close to Andrew told BBC News he would continue to be involved in the initiative, which does not provide any funding to start-up firms. But with the duke the main draw for wealthy investors, its future looks uncertain.

Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, said: ‘Andrew’s office at Buckingham Palace will go. There are lots of … secretaries who have been working hard there for years.

‘He is patron of a lot of charities and there is a considerable amount of work, but I think the office will be shut down.

‘I fear this is also the end for Pitch@Palace, at least in its current guise. This disaster is going to affect a lot of staff.’

A royal insider said: ‘When the Queen and the Prince of Wales stand firm together they are a pretty formidable combination in terms of getting things done.’ 

Last night the duke issued a statement confirming he was, with his mother’s permission, ‘stepping down’ from public duties for the foreseeable future. He will lose his £249,000 annual income from the Sovereign Grant as a result.

But he will keep getting cash handouts from his mother’s Duchy of Lancaster estate, which turned a £21.7million profit last year and provides the Queen and her children with a private income.

Andrew will also keep his grace-and-favour Royal Lodge home, which he has spent £7.5million renovating in recent years and taxpayer-funded police bodyguards.

The royal residence in Windsor Great Park was gifted to him by Her Majesty in 2003 when he split from the Duchess of York and the couple sold their Sunninghill Park mansion in Ascot to a billionaire Kazakh oil tycoon who paid £15million – £3million over asking price – and then razed it to the ground. 

Last night, a friend of Andrew told The Sun: ‘The Queen summoned the Duke to Buckingham Palace to tell him her decision. It was a devastating moment for both of them. His reputation is in tatters. It is unlikely he will ever perform royal duties again. He is disgraced.’  

Lawyers for Epstein’s victims called for Andrew to sit down with FBI agents and give an in-depth interview under oath – and US agents should go to Britain if he refuses; 

More than 20 major companies and charities – including Barclays, KPMG and the English National Ballet – distanced themselves from Andrew and the initiatives he has been backing;

A Mail investigation called into question his alibi over a trip to New York during which Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Roberts claims they had sex;

A letter from Buckingham Palace cast doubt on the Duke of York’s claims about when he first met the tycoon, who killed himself in jail in August;

Andrew’s career was ended last night just four days after the broadcast of a BBC interview he volunteered for – already branded one of the worst decisions ever made by royal.

The source said that the Duke will no longer receive his Sovereign Grant allowance because that funds expenses incurred during official duties. His income from the Queen’s private funds will remain intact. 

The devastated prince, who is eighth in line to the throne, was told he could write his own statement in an attempt to allow him to bow out gracefully.

After informing the wider royal family first, Buckingham Palace put out a statement shortly before 6pm on the distraught prince’s behalf saying: ‘I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission.’

It is unprecedented for a senior royal to be asked to stand down in this way and illustrates how damaging Andrew’s BBC Newsnight interview was for himself, and the monarchy. The dramatic announcement came just as Andrew was trying to insist that it was business as usual.

The Mail can reveal that he had even planned to fly to Bahrain this Saturday for a Pitch@Palace charity initiative, despite the furore over last Saturday’s television ordeal.  

The 59-year-old prince and his team – led by private secretary Amanda Thirsk – knew speaking publically about the Epstein scandal was a huge gamble.

But they felt backed into a corner following the sex offender’s suicide and repeated claims by Miss Roberts that she was ‘trafficked’ by her abuser to have sex with the Queen’s son on three occasions, the first when she was just 17.

Prince Andrew (pictured during his interview with Emily Maitlis on the BBC's Newsnight) is facing a furious backlash over his relationship with Epstein

Prince Andrew (pictured during his interview with Emily Maitlis on the BBC's Newsnight) is facing a furious backlash over his relationship with Epstein

Prince Andrew (pictured during his interview with Emily Maitlis on the BBC’s Newsnight) is facing a furious backlash over his relationship with Epstein

The duke denies meeting Virginia (together in 2001) and suggested this photo could be fake in his extraordinary and explosive BBC interview

The duke denies meeting Virginia (together in 2001) and suggested this photo could be fake in his extraordinary and explosive BBC interview

Pictured: Andrew walking in New York with Epstein following his conviction for sex offences

Pictured: Andrew walking in New York with Epstein following his conviction for sex offences

The duke denies meeting Virginia (left, together in 2001) and suggested this photo could be fake in his extraordinary and explosive BBC interview (pictured, right, Andrew and Epstein in New York after Epstein had finished his prison sentence for sex offences)

Mrs Thirsk and her team hoped that by choosing such a formidable interviewer as Emily Maitlis the general public would be convinced of his innocence and honesty. 

How Duke of York’s annual meetings with Epstein brought decades of trouble  

– 1990s

Andrew first meets Epstein, reportedly introduced through his friendship with Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell. Andrew welcomes Epstein to the Queen’s private Scottish retreat in Aberdeenshire. Andrew later says he sees Epstein ‘infrequently’, adding ‘probably no more than only once or twice a year’.

– 2000

Andrew and Ms Maxwell are seen on holiday with Epstein at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida. Epstein and Ms Maxwell attend a party at Windsor Castle hosted by the Queen to mark Andrew’s 40th birthday, the Princess Royal’s 50th, the Queen Mother’s 100th and Princess Margaret’s 70th.

– 2001

Virginia Roberts claims to have had sex with Andrew ‘three times, including one orgy’, with the first encounter allegedly taking place in Ms Maxwell’s London townhouse. Ms Roberts claims to have had sex with Andrew on two more occasions, at Epstein’s New York home and at an ‘orgy’ on his private island in the Caribbean.

– 2008

Epstein admits prostituting minors and is sentenced to 18 months in prison.

– 2010

Epstein is released from jail. Andrew is photographed with the disgraced Epstein in New York’s Central Park. Footage emerges years later, reportedly shot on December 6 2010, showing him inside Epstein’s Manhattan mansion, from where he is seen looking out from a large door of the property waving a woman goodbye after Epstein leaves to get into a chauffeur-driven car.

– 2011

The duke quits his role as UK trade envoy after the fallout from the Central Park photos.

– 2015

Buckingham Palace denies Andrew has committed any impropriety after he is named in US court documents related to Epstein. A woman, later named in reports as Ms Roberts, alleges in papers filed in Florida that she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17, which is under the age of consent in the state.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Andrew, in his first public engagement since he was embroiled in the allegations, responds, saying: ‘Firstly I think I must, and want, for the record, to refer to the events that have taken place in the last few weeks.

‘I just wish to reiterate, and to reaffirm, the statements that have already been made on my behalf by Buckingham Palace.’ In April the claims against Andrew are struck from US civil court records following a federal judge’s ruling.

– 2019

Newly released legal documents show that Johanna Sjoberg, another alleged Epstein victim, claimed Andrew touched her breast while sitting on a couch inside the US billionaire’s Manhattan apartment in 2001. Buckingham Palace said the allegations are ‘categorically untrue’. Epstein is found dead in his jail cell on August 10, having killed himself after being charged with sex trafficking.

Later that month a pilot on Epstein’s private jet claims Andrew was a passenger on past flights with the financier and Ms Roberts. The Sun newspaper reported that David Rodgers said in a testimony released in August that Epstein, Andrew and the-then 17-year-old travelled to the US Virgin Islands on April 11 2001. Buckingham Palace describes the evidence statement as having ‘a number of inconsistencies’ and said that Andrew was on a different continent in some cases.

Following Epstein’s death, a statement from the palace says that Andrew is ‘appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes’. Breaking his silence on the issue for the first time since 2015, Andrew then releases a statement on August 24 saying: ‘At no stage during the limited time I spent with him (Epstein) did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.’ 

On November 16, the prince gave a ‘disastrous’ BBC interview in which he spoke about his friendship with Epstein and addressed allegations of his own sexual conduct. He faced a barrage of criticism following his television appearance, with the royal accused of a lack of empathy with Epstein’s victims. 

During the interview, Andrew, questioned by Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, twice stated his relationship with Epstein, who died in jail while facing sex trafficking charges, had some ‘seriously beneficial outcomes’, giving him the opportunity to meet people and prepare for a future role as a trade envoy. The duke denied he slept with Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s victims, on three separate occasions, twice while she was underage, saying one encounter in 2001 did not happen as he spent the day with his daughter Princess Beatrice, taking her to Pizza Express in Woking for a party.

The same alleged sexual liaison, which the American said began with the royal sweating heavily as they danced at London nightclub Tramp, was factually wrong as the duke said he had a medical condition at the time which meant he did not sweat. He cast doubt on the authenticity of a picture that appears to show Andrew with his arm around the waist of Mrs Giuffre, when a teenager.

 

Instead, millions of viewers were left astonished by Andrew’s attempt to explain his relationship with Epstein, with his interview only adding to the doubts over his account of their time together.

The duke was lambasted for his decision to fly to the US and stay with Epstein for four days after his release from prison for sexual offences against children. 

He said he had to tell the financier in person that he could no longer have anything to do with him – it was the ‘honourable’ thing to do.

He was also roundly criticised for failing to show any remorse for Epstein’s dozens of female victims. 

As the backlash grew, supporters of his key public initiatives – such as the entrepreneurial scheme, Pitch@Palace – began to openly withdraw their support.

Several charities of which he was patron also tried to distance themselves from him. 

Desperate to move on, officials reiterated their hope that once the dust had settled, the public would see Andrew as an ‘honest, decent and honourable man’.

As revealed by the Mail earlier this week, he was back at his desk at Buckingham palace on Tuesday trying to get on with his work. 

But that day he was forced to cancel a trip to South Yorkshire to visit flood-hit towns.

It was then that the Queen decided to take action. 

She asked Andrew to come into the palace from his home, Royal Lodge, in Windsor, to see her in between official duties including audiences with ambassadors and a public event with Sir David Attenborough.

An insider told the Mail: ‘There was a very definite feeling that everyone needed to think cool, calm and sensibly. There’s been no sense of fury. 

‘The Queen and the senior royals were very much looking at how the furore was impacting on the General Election and on the institution of the monarchy at a deeper level. 

‘It’s difficult to think of another time when we have seen more decisive action. 

‘The Queen has shown very decisive leadership and the difference is that she is energised by having the Prince of Wales with her.’

In his statement Andrew said he unequivocally regretted his association with Epstein, sympathised with his victims and would help any investigation. 

A royal aide confirmed the prince would be temporarily stepping back from his duties. No time period was specified.

He will, however, continue to attend events as a member of the Royal Family such as the Christmas Day service at Sandringham and Trooping the Colour.

Andrew receives an undisclosed stipend from the Queen, believed to be in the region of £250,000.

His diminished role is expected to lead to redundancies in his private office. 

It is likely that other members of the Royal Family will take on some of the prince’s patronages and charitable duties.  

Andrew was forced to cancel a visit to the flood-hit towns of Fishlake and Stainforth, near Doncaster, South Yorkshire, yesterday. A source said his trip – which was not publicised in advance – was scrapped as a result of the fall-out.

The Duke had told Maitlis in his appearance that he did not have sex with Virginia Roberts, who says she slept with him when she was 17. 

Ms Roberts, now Mrs Giuffre, was trafficked by Epstein and picture shows the prince stood with her in 2001. 

Prince Andrew told Maitlis he had met Epstein through the since-disgraced financier’s girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, ‘back in 1999’, and it has been suggested that it is her London house in which he was pictured with Roberts. 

But a letter written to The Times newspaper in March 2011 by the Duke’s then-private secretary Alastair Watson suggests he may have met Epstein years earlier.

Major Watson, who spent nine years in the role of Andrew’s private secretary, was writing to the newspaper countering claims the duke was friends with Saif Gaddafi.

But, in a now key passage, he wrote: ‘There has been widespread comment on the duke’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.

‘The duke has known Mr Epstein since being introduced to him in the early 1990s. 

‘The insinuations and innuendos that have been made in relation to the duke are without foundation.’

The duke denied he slept with Ms Roberts on three separate occasions, twice while she was underage, saying one encounter in 2001 did not happen as he spent the day with his daughter Princess Beatrice, taking her to Pizza Express in Woking for a party.

The same alleged sexual liaison, which the American said began with the royal sweating heavily as they danced at London nightclub Tramp, was factually wrong as the duke said he had a medical condition at the time which meant he did not sweat.

He cast doubt on the authenticity of the picture that appears to show Andrew with his arm around the waist of Mrs Giuffre, when she was teenager. 

Five multi-million pound businesses have cut ties with Prince Andrew’s Dragons’ Den-inspired charity and three more are now considering dumping the crisis-hit Royal since the interview aired. 

Prince Andrew had a secret meeting with Ghislaine Maxwell in London in June this year two weeks after Epstein inquiry was revived 

Prince Andrew secretly met with alleged pimp Ghislaine Maxwell (together at a wedding in 2000) in London a fortnight after the US revealed plans to reopen its probe into Jeffrey Epstein

Prince Andrew secretly met with alleged pimp Ghislaine Maxwell (together at a wedding in 2000) in London a fortnight after the US revealed plans to reopen its probe into Jeffrey Epstein

Prince Andrew secretly met with alleged pimp Ghislaine Maxwell (together at a wedding in 2000) in London a fortnight after the US revealed plans to reopen its probe into Jeffrey Epstein

Prince Andrew secretly met with alleged pimp Ghislaine Maxwell in London a fortnight after the US revealed plans to reopen its probe into Jeffrey Epstein.

The Duke of York arranged a meeting with Maxwell, who is accused of procuring underage girls for Epstein, while she was in Britain for a charity event.

Andrew and Maxwell met up on or about June 5, according to the Daily Telegraph, the day before she set off on a charity motoring rally from London to Monte Carlo.

It is understood to be the last time that the British socialite visited the UK, before her disappearance from public view amid an FBI inquiry into her links with Epstein.

During Andrew’s ‘disastrous’ interview with the BBC on Saturday, presenter Emily Maitlis pressed the prince on the last time he met with his long-time friend Maxwell.

He replied: ‘It was earlier this year, funnily enough, in the summer, in the spring, summer. She was here doing some rally.’

When asked by Maitlis if their meeting had taken place after Epstein’s arrest in July, Andrew said: ‘No, no, no, no, no, no, no, this was… this was early spring.’

Maitlis then enquired on whether or not the duke and Maxwell had discussed Epstein and the allegations against him during their meeting.

He added: ‘Funnily enough, no, not at all. There wasn’t anything to discuss about him because he wasn’t in the news, you know, it was just… we had moved on.’

While Epstein would not be arrested for another month, the disgraced financier had been named in court documents filed two weeks before the meeting in London.

In the files, federal prosecutors set out their intentions to quiz alleged victims of Epstein as part of plans to reopen the case against him.

He had escaped sex trafficking charges in 2008 after a secret plea deal saw him admit to a lesser charge of soliciting a minor for prostitution.

However he was arrested once again in July after a host of women accused him of sexual assault and trafficking. He was found hanging in his cell in August.

The University of Huddersfield is the only organisation to vocally back their Chancellor – but this has sparked insurrection among students who are lobbying Andrew to resign with a ‘Not my Chancellor’ campaign on campus and a major vote later this week. 

And London Metropolitan University told MailOnline this afternoon they will review whether to keep Andrew as a patron at its next Board of Governors meeting on Tuesday, November 26.   

Prince Andrew last night signalled he would speak to FBI detectives investigating billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

In his statement announcing he was stepping aside from public duties, the prince said he was ‘willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency… if required’.

Andrew’s offer to co-operate with the authorities was welcomed by lawyers representing Epstein’s victims, but they questioned why he would only do so ‘if required’.

The legal teams called on Andrew and his bodyguards to give ‘in-depth interviews’ to the FBI revealing everything they knew about Epstein.

The Mirror claims that the duke may have been filmed on secret cameras installed by the paedophile as an ‘insurance policy’ against his rich and powerful friends and the footage could be in the hands of the authorities.

The whereabouts of Epstein’s alleged ‘pimp’ Ghislaine Maxwell is currently unknown but she is said to be ‘loyal’ to Andrew, who she saw earlier this year, and would reportedly refuse to ‘dish the dirt’ on him to the FBI, according to The Sun.

There is growing political pressure on him to speak to police.

Senior Tory Sajid Javid told LBC Andrew has done the ‘right thing’ by exiting public life and should do ‘everything he can’ to help Epstein’s victims, if he can. 

Labour’s shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said that, if the Duke of York has information that could help bring victims of Epstein to justice, he should share it.

Questioned on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme whether Andrew should voluntarily make a sworn statement about Epstein to police in the United States, Ms Rayner said: ‘Prince Andrew should do everything he can to comply and to support making sure justice is done for those victims.

‘And I hope that after his interview he’s reflected on that, and his statement he made after his interview actually is much more in line of what I’d expect from our monarchy and I think the Queen has acted appropriately in accepting him taking a step back from public life.

‘And I hope that they reflect, and Prince Andrew reflects, on the victims in this, making sure that he does everything he can to bring justice to these people. And if he has information that can help with that, he should do that.’

‘Downfall of the ‘favourite’: Greed, arrogance and jealousy proved to be Prince Andrew’s undoing

By Richard Kay and Geoffrey Levy 

He is a man who has enjoyed every pleasure the twentieth and twenty first centuries have to offer while remaining, as a royal prince, several centuries out of date.

A prince who has compensated for being only the second son of a reigning monarch by using the influence of his elevated status with breath-taking entitlement, and with relish.

The tragedy of Prince Andrew is that he could have been a royal life-long hero. After all he piloted a helicopter with great courage during the Falklands War luring Argentine Exocet missiles away from British ships.

Richard Kay and Geoffrey Levy have written that Prince Andrew was brought down by greed, arrogance and jealousy. He is pictured here with Emily Maitlis ahead of his disastrous BBC interview about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein

Richard Kay and Geoffrey Levy have written that Prince Andrew was brought down by greed, arrogance and jealousy. He is pictured here with Emily Maitlis ahead of his disastrous BBC interview about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein

Richard Kay and Geoffrey Levy have written that Prince Andrew was brought down by greed, arrogance and jealousy. He is pictured here with Emily Maitlis ahead of his disastrous BBC interview about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein

And who could forget when he came home how he jumped ashore with a rose clamped in his teeth.

Is this really the same prince Andrew?

Last night, as he stepped back from public life, a close friend told us there was no alternative: ‘The castle walls are crumbling, it’s time for a full retreat.’

Mercifully it is only his castle walls and how ironic that they should fall on the 72nd wedding anniversary of the Queen whose faultless reign is now in its 68th year. She in particular will be wounded by what has happened to the son generally described as her ‘favourite.’

Only on Sunday morning he and the Queen went to church together in Windsor and he was telling his mother just how well he thought the interview with Emily Maitlis had gone.

The eight in line to the throne was heading for disaster since he left the navy in 2001, they said. He is pictured above during his interview for Newsnight

The eight in line to the throne was heading for disaster since he left the navy in 2001, they said. He is pictured above during his interview for Newsnight

The eight in line to the throne was heading for disaster since he left the navy in 2001, they said. He is pictured above during his interview for Newsnight

Prince Andrew’s love of money and the company of shady billionaires has been no secret. But who would have thought that naivety in the real world would allow him to forget during that interview to utter the words everyone wanted to hear: I am sorry.

None of the crises that have assailed the royal family in recent times have been as embarrassing as this. No one is suggesting of course that his personal stupidity is seriously endangering the stability of the monarchy, for these days he is only eighth in the line of succession. But Andrew has been heading in the direction of such a personal catastrophe ever since he left the Royal Navy in 2001.

From the moment Lord (Peter) Mandelson arranged for the jobless Duke of York to become a trade ambassador for Britain – he replaced the dull but reliable Duke of Kent – it became apparent that he had little compunction in blurring the line between his official role and his private ambitions.

The eight in line to the throne was heading for disaster since he left the navy in 2001, they said. He is pictured above during his interview for Newsnight

The eight in line to the throne was heading for disaster since he left the navy in 2001, they said. He is pictured above during his interview for Newsnight

The eight in line to the throne was heading for disaster since he left the navy in 2001, they said. He is pictured above during his interview for Newsnight

To the influential rich in many parts of the world, being able to introduce Andrew as a friend guaranteed their own acceptance.

One is entitled to wonder just how Jeffrey Epstein made use of his friendship with the Queen’s son.

Whatever Andrew said in that interview about the ‘honour’ of personally flying to New York to end his friendship with him after he came out of jail, the sex offender would have known all along just why Andrew paid him so much close attention – his money.

Former Epstein friends such as President Bill Clinton had sensibly removed themselves from Epstein’s company. So had Leslie Wexner, the U.S. clothing billionaire who had been Epstein’s mentor and principal patron. To Britain’s shame Andrew clung on.

Love of money certainly seems to be at the root of the prince’s fall.

In the ten years he served the nation as a trade envoy, diplomats noticed that he was using the role as a means of ‘ploughing his own furrow.’ As one distinguished former diplomat told us, everyone was ‘reluctant to point this out for fear of putting their own careers on the line’.

As for the prince’s personal diplomacy, even Wikileaks revealed that a U.S. ambassador described Prince Andrew in the trade role as ‘cocky’ and ‘rude’.

But it was the company Andrew kept that was the most troubling aspect of his decade an unpaid ambassador for Britain.

His friendship with the family of the murderous Libyan dictator Colonel Gadaffi strayed well over the official line expected at a time when the aged dictator was forming alliances with the West including Britain.

One of his new friends was Saif, the colonel’s son who was studying and being honoured with a phony degree at the London School of Economics.

‘He and Saif became incredibly close,’ recalled a mutual friend. ‘Both enjoyed having a good time and they had fun together. Andrew could open doors with his royal status and Saif could open other doors with his family’s money.’

On his many trips to Libya and on visits to other capitals and states around the world, Prince Andrew never let his royal status drop. He travelled with a team of six, including equerries, private secretaries and protection officers, as well as a valet bringing his own six-foot-long ironing board to ensure the prince’s trousers were pressed as he liked them.

To some close observers this studied arrogance could well have been a conscious reaction to being diminished in the royal hierarchy by his elder brother Prince Charles. For the first 22 years of his life until Prince William was born, he had been the heir in line to the throne after Charles.

But as the years passed as William and then Harry began having children he slipped down the royal pecking order. To make things worse Charles, increasingly taking a more executive role in royal affairs, had begun his ‘slimming’ of the monarchy.

As long ago as the Queen’s diamond jubilee in 2012 Andrew was angrily telling friends that he and others in the family were being pushed to the margins of royal life. The ‘others’ included his daughters Beatrice and Eugenie.

He saw it as an insult that they were being dissuaded from carrying out royal duties even though – as he always fervently pointed out – they were the only ‘blood princesses’ of their generation.

While maintaining a considerable number of patronages – from all of which he has now stood back – he expanded his other life among the super rich.

Some will say, especially now, that Prince Andrew was never cut out for royal life anyway. People still talk about the glee with which, as a 16-year old on a visit to Los Angeles, he sprayed photographers and other journalists with white paint from a spray gun he was being shown. ‘I enjoyed that,’ he said before the British consul began shelling out money in damages to valuable equipment.

Certainly his life has always been full of surprises. None more so than the trajectory of his marriage. Who but Prince Andrew would have the ex-wife who humiliated him and from whom he was divorced 23 years ago, still living under his roof?

When it emerged that while travelling on holiday with their two daughters, her lover John Bryan was photographed kissing her toes you would have thought he would have nothing more to do with her.

Yet Fergie has not only lived with him for many years but their £13 million chalet in the Swiss ski resort of Verbier was bought in both their names.

As for the Queen, at a time in life, like any great grandmother, she should be gazing down on her family with pleasure and satisfaction she finds herself facing yet another major family crisis – one that is different from anything she has faced before.

Andrew has always been the son who pointedly bowed and kissed her hand whenever he goes to see her at Buckingham Palace and he is the son who, in her eyes, saved the treasures of Windsor Castle when 100ft flames were licking across it in 1992.

Luckily Andrew was in the castle when the fire broke out, on leave from the Navy, and organised staff into a human chain rescuing priceless paintings, furniture and artefacts. To her Andrew could do no wrong.

Rarely chastised as a child, he grew up, says one courtier, ‘with a pompous level of self-importance based on being second in line to the throne. He felt it when he was pushed down in the line of succession.’

The Queen has always tried to help in this respect by making sure he has a ‘role’, not always, as we know, with success.

Diplomacy has never been one of his strong points. When Pan Am flight 103 and its passengers were blown up and fell on the Scottish town of Lockerbie a few days before Christmas 1988, the Queen’s then deputy private secretary Robert Fellowes urged her to go there.

But fearing she would be a distraction from the desperate recovery work, she decided Andrew should go instead. He was not a good choice. He upset local people, where 11 residents were killed on the ground, by declaring it was ‘much worse for the Americans’ ( 259 passengers and crew were on the US airliner). And he added it had been ‘only matter of time’; before a plane fell out of the sky.

Andrew is still the only one of her children to have accommodation and an office at Buckingham Palace. At weekends at Windsor she often joins him for a pre-lunch drinks at Royal Lodge, the home he inherited from the Queen Mother and where he spent £8.5 million on refurbishment.

It’s just a short drive from the piece of land on which his marital home Sunninghill Park used to stand. A Kazakh billionaire paid £15 million for it, £3 million more than the asking price.

As for his office at the palace in the foreseeable future he won’t be using it all that much.

He does at least have his daughter Beatrice’s wedding to look forward to some time in the New Year. Poor Beatrice. The timing couldn’t have been worse.

 

‘I don’t recall him staying with me’: Britain’s ex-consul general in New York casts doubt on Prince Andrew’s claim he stayed with him not Epstein on fateful ‘sex allegation’ trip – in evidence presented to Palace just hours before duke stepped down

When you’re accused of having sex with a teenager trafficked to the home of a billionaire paedophile with whom you spend extended periods, it pays to have a rock-solid alibi.

So on Saturday, when Prince Andrew was asked about claims that, in April 2001, he slept with a 17-year-old girl called Virginia Roberts at the New York lair of prolific child-abuser Jeffrey Epstein, he came out all guns blazing.

‘I think the date we have for that shows that I was in Boston or I was in New York the previous day, and I was at a dinner for the Outward Bound Trust in New York and then I flew up to Boston the following day,’ he told the BBC‘s Emily Maitlis.

While the Prince confessed that he ‘probably did’ look in on Epstein at some stage during the trip, he vigorously denied staying overnight at the financier’s seven-storey townhouse, which was decorated with pieces of erotic artwork, including a pair of prosthetic breasts mounted on a bathroom wall.

Britain's Prince Andrew attends The Regimental Band of the Coldstream Guards concert at Washington Square Park October 14, 2001 in New York City. At least one witness has also come forward to say she saw Roberts and Prince Andrew together at Epstein’s house one afternoon during the visit

Britain's Prince Andrew attends The Regimental Band of the Coldstream Guards concert at Washington Square Park October 14, 2001 in New York City. At least one witness has also come forward to say she saw Roberts and Prince Andrew together at Epstein’s house one afternoon during the visit

Britain’s Prince Andrew attends The Regimental Band of the Coldstream Guards concert at Washington Square Park October 14, 2001 in New York City. At least one witness has also come forward to say she saw Roberts and Prince Andrew together at Epstein’s house one afternoon during the visit

Pictured is a video grab of Prince Andrew waving goodbye to a brunette he let out the door. It is during the Duke's three day visit to New York that Mrs Roberts claims he had sex with her in an upstairs bedroom of Epstein's mansion

Pictured is a video grab of Prince Andrew waving goodbye to a brunette he let out the door. It is during the Duke's three day visit to New York that Mrs Roberts claims he had sex with her in an upstairs bedroom of Epstein's mansion

Pictured is a video grab of Prince Andrew waving goodbye to a brunette he let out the door. It is during the Duke’s three day visit to New York that Mrs Roberts claims he had sex with her in an upstairs bedroom of Epstein’s mansion 

Prince Andrew can be seen responding to Emily Maitlis during his Newsnight interview that aired on Sunday night. The prince vigorously denied staying overnight at the home of billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein during a visit to New York in April, 2001

Prince Andrew can be seen responding to Emily Maitlis during his Newsnight interview that aired on Sunday night. The prince vigorously denied staying overnight at the home of billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein during a visit to New York in April, 2001

Prince Andrew can be seen responding to Emily Maitlis during his Newsnight interview that aired on Sunday night. The prince vigorously denied staying overnight at the home of billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein during a visit to New York in April, 2001

Prince Andrew said that he stayed at the Old British Consulate Office in Manhattan but Consul General, Sir Thomas Harris, who served in New York from 1999 to 2004, tells the Mail that despite Andrew’s televised claims, the retired diplomat has ‘no recollection’ of the prince staying at his official residence during the trip

Prince Andrew said that he stayed at the Old British Consulate Office in Manhattan but Consul General, Sir Thomas Harris, who served in New York from 1999 to 2004, tells the Mail that despite Andrew’s televised claims, the retired diplomat has ‘no recollection’ of the prince staying at his official residence during the trip

Prince Andrew said that he stayed at the Old British Consulate Office in Manhattan but Consul General, Sir Thomas Harris, who served in New York from 1999 to 2004, tells the Mail that despite Andrew’s televised claims, the retired diplomat has ‘no recollection’ of the prince staying at his official residence during the trip

‘Because of what I was doing, I was staying with the consul-general, which is further down the street [from Epstein’s home],’ he declared in the BBC interview. ‘So I wasn’t staying there [at Epstein’s home]. I may have visited but no, definitely didn’t, definitely, definitely, no, no, no activity.’

All well and good… were it not for an awkward fact. The prince’s recollection of events seems at odds with that of the consul-general in question, Sir Thomas Harris.

One of the most high-flying and respected British diplomats of his generation, Sir Thomas, who served in New York from 1999 to 2004, tells the Mail that despite Andrew’s televised claims, the retired diplomat has ‘no recollection’ of the prince staying at his official residence during the trip. ‘It doesn’t sound as if he stayed with me,’ he said yesterday. ‘I don’t recall him staying with me.’

Sir Thomas, 74, admitted he no longer had a copy of his 2001 diary, so was unable to be certain about comings and goings that occurred at his official residence, an apartment just off Central Park, 18 years ago.

However, he pointed out that overnight stays by Prince Andrew and other senior royals at a consul-general’s residence tend to be formally registered in the Court Circular, as are associated dinner parties. No such stays were chronicled in the Court Circular for the crucial dates of April 9-11 2001, when the duke was carrying out formal engagements in the US.

‘Normally, I would give him a dinner party in the evening,’ he said, noting that the absence of records of such an event ‘makes me suspect he wasn’t with me that night’.

‘If he stayed with me, we would normally arrange for businesses to come in. My understanding is that it would be in the Court Circular. I was led to believe that was the normal form. If you go through the Court Circular, you will come across the other visits he paid to New York. That was the typical pattern.’

Sir Thomas said he could, for example, vividly remember Prince Andrew visiting in October 2001, shortly after the 9/11 terror attacks. That visit was indeed registered in the Court Circular at the time, along with other trips in October 2000 and September 2002, during which it was noted that the diplomat ‘received’ the Queen’s son.

However, he insisted: ‘I have no recollection of him staying at the address in April. I don’t have a note of the dates of all the visits – the Palace will. It doesn’t ring any bell whatsoever.’

Columnist Cindy Adams, right, and Sir Thomas Harris can be seen attending the East Coast BAFTAs in 2004. Sir Thomas, 74, admitted he no longer had a copy of his 2001 diary, so was unable to be certain about comings and goings that occurred at his official residence, an apartment just off Central Park, 18 years ago

Columnist Cindy Adams, right, and Sir Thomas Harris can be seen attending the East Coast BAFTAs in 2004. Sir Thomas, 74, admitted he no longer had a copy of his 2001 diary, so was unable to be certain about comings and goings that occurred at his official residence, an apartment just off Central Park, 18 years ago

Columnist Cindy Adams, right, and Sir Thomas Harris can be seen attending the East Coast BAFTAs in 2004. Sir Thomas, 74, admitted he no longer had a copy of his 2001 diary, so was unable to be certain about comings and goings that occurred at his official residence, an apartment just off Central Park, 18 years ago

All very mysterious – not to mention somewhat awkward, given that Andrew has staked a hefty portion of what remains of his reputation on having a perfect memory of events that occurred during the Easter 2001 trip.

The three days he spent on official business in New York and Boston are, after all, at the heart of the increasingly tawdry scandal surrounding the duke’s relationship with Epstein. It is during this very short period that Mrs Roberts claims that one of their three alleged sexual encounters occurred, in an upstairs room at Epstein’s mansion. What we do know, from official records, is that Andrew did indeed fly to New York from London on the morning of Monday, April 9, meaning he’d have arrived around lunchtime.

His first formal engagement wasn’t until the following morning, when he toured a school and took a lunch meeting at the offices of The New York Times. That evening he flew to Boston, where he stayed at the official residence of the city’s consul-general, George Fergusson.

On Wednesday, April 11, the duke attended several events in Boston organised by the Outward Bound Trust, of which he’s a trustee. He flew back to New York that afternoon. He then disappeared from view, and didn’t carry out another official engagement until April 19, when he popped up in Korea.

What the Court Circular failed to record, of course, is where exactly Andrew stayed on the nights of April 9 and 11, 2011 – or what he got up to during the many gaps in his schedule.

Intriguingly, however, the trip was the subject of an extended article in the Mail on Sunday newspaper the following week, during which the prince’s office is quoted as saying that ‘he spent one night in New York as a guest of the consul-general and the second ‘privately’.

The duke denies meeting Virginia (together in 2001) and suggested this photo could be fake in his extraordinary and explosive BBC interview

The duke denies meeting Virginia (together in 2001) and suggested this photo could be fake in his extraordinary and explosive BBC interview

Pictured: Andrew walking in New York with Epstein following his conviction for sex offences

Pictured: Andrew walking in New York with Epstein following his conviction for sex offences

The duke denies meeting Virginia (left, together in 2001) and suggested this photo could be fake in his extraordinary and explosive BBC interview (pictured, right, Andrew and Epstein in New York after Epstein had finished his prison sentence for sex offences)

A month later, in May 2001, the Mail on Sunday carried a second article about Andrew’s burgeoning friendship with Epstein, claiming that the night he spent ‘privately’ had actually been at the paedophile’s vast home.

It continued: ‘For the past two years, his home-away-from-home in Manhattan has been a gaudily-decorated mansion acquired some years ago through a company apparently controlled by Epstein. Only last month, the prince let himself in there for a night during an unannounced break from a visit to do good works for America’s Outward Bound programme.’

Today, both these contemporaneous reports make intriguing reading. For they are completely at odds with what Prince Andrew so confidently told Newsnight had occurred during the New York trip, when he insisted that he spent both nights at the official residence.

And other serious questions are already being asked about his description of the visit. For example, yesterday’s Daily Telegraph quoted an official who travelled with the duke admitting there were ‘possible gaps’ in his itinerary when a visit to Epstein’s house could have taken place.

What we are able to prove beyond reasonable doubt is that Virgina Roberts certainly was in New York at the same time as the duke.

Flight logs of Epstein’s private jet, nicknamed the ‘Lolita Express’ show that on April 9, she flew from Florida to Teterboro, a private airport 12 miles from Manhattan. She stayed there until the 11th, when the jet took her to St Thomas, the airport Epstein used near his private Caribbean island.

At least one witness has also come forward to say she saw Roberts and Prince Andrew together at Epstein’s house one afternoon during the visit. She is Johanna Sjoberg, a young girl who was also abused by Epstein. In 2007, after Epstein’s conviction for child sex offences, she gave a newspaper interview saying she had witnessed an extraordinary encounter between the duo in the living room of the paedophile’s mansion, during which she said the duke had groped her breast. She said Prince Andrew was there with and Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s girlfriend and alleged accomplice, along with ‘a couple of other girls my age’.

She added: ‘Andrew was very charming. I didn’t know exactly who he was, but felt that I knew him. She [Ghislaine] came down with a present for him – a latex puppet of him from Spitting Image.

‘The room was very large, considering it was Manhattan. It was on East 71, with four floors. It was beautiful, like a museum.

‘We had a picture taken. Virginia, another girl there, sat on a chair and had the puppet on her lap. Andrew sat on another chair, I sat on his lap – and he put his hand on my breast. Ghislaine put the puppet’s hand on Virginia’s breast, then Andrew put his hand on mine. It was a great joke. Everybody laughed.’

At the time of the interview, the palace declined to comment. Four years later, in 2011, Roberts herself told a reporter about the event.

‘Andrew was sitting there in a big leather armchair behind which there was a desk covered with photos of girls and young women including one of me,’ she recalled.

‘I was almost nude in the picture. I don’t think Andrew could have missed seeing it. Ghislaine had just given him a present… his Spitting Image puppet. He was smiling ear to ear. He looked like a kid whose parents were taking him to Disney World.’

After being made to sit on the duke’s knee with Sjoberg, Roberts alleged that she was instructed to sleep with him, adding: ‘Ghislaine said, ‘You should take him upstairs for a massage’. I took him upstairs to the Dungeon. He undressed and lay face down on the table. I started with his feet, then his calves the way Jeffrey liked it.’

This time there was no extra payment for the session, she added. ‘Because I wasn’t on the road, I just got my usual hourly rate, which at that time was $200.’

Roberts and Sjoberg repeated the claims under oath in legal depositions that became public in 2015 and this August respectively.

Intriguingly, they claim that the incident took place during the daytime, a highly important detail which renders Prince Andrew’s supposed alibi redundant.

For even if the Duke had been staying overnight at the British consul-general’s residence, the property was a mere seven-minute walk from Epstein’s mansion, making it entirely possible for him to have popped over one afternoon. Indeed, Sir Thomas acknowledges that even if the prince had visited his apartment briefly on arrival in New York, he would have been free to come and go as he pleased when not on official business.

‘If there was free time he had an hour or so in the afternoon if he decided to go off with his detective to have a walk around Central Park,’ he said. ‘I know what you’re getting at and I’m not going to deny there may have been occasions when he went out to have a walk in the park or to do something else, but it wasn’t normal form.

‘I wasn’t supposed to be keeping tabs on every distinguished visitor to New York. If he came to do other things privately I wouldn’t have been involved.’

Buckingham Palace insisted last night that Prince Andrew did not stay with Epstein on either April 9 or 11. In a statement, it said: ‘The Duke’s words from his interview speak for themselves and HRH stands by his recollections.’

The palace issued exactly the same response yesterday to the BBC, when it came across evidence casting doubt on another one of Andrew’s key ‘recollections’.

In the TV interview, the prince claimed to have first met Epstein in 1999. But the BBC found a 2011 letter to the media from his then private secretary, Alistair Watson, insisting that the duke had known Epstein ‘since being introduced to him in the early 1990s’. Obviously, it’s impossible for both versions of events to have been true.

We must also assume, since he’s not retracted them, that HRH also ‘stands by’ other important alibis on which he staked his innocence.

For example, he alleged during the BBC interview that testimony by Roberts describing him as ‘sweaty’ must be untrue, since he has a medical condition which means he cannot sweat.

But news outlets unearthed a photograph of him appearing to sweat profusely as he left the nightclub Chinawhite in 2001.

Andrew also claimed that he and his ex-wife arranged their diaries at the time to ensure at least one of them was always in the UK and able to look after their daughters.

He argued that this made it impossible for him to have encountered Mrs Roberts on a night when she claims he slept with her in London. However, the Mail has found several examples of occasions during that period when the prince and the duchess were both overseas.

With so many alibis seemingly in tatters, and others crumbling, it was perhaps unsurprising that the prince should choose to announce his withdrawal from public duties last night. Whether that will end forensic scrutiny of his friendship with Epstein, not to mention his links to the paedophile’s teenage sex slaves, is another matter.

Prince Andrew’s ‘sacking’ is the biggest royal crisis since Edward VIII abdicated in 1936

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Edward and the former Mrs Simpson, pictured in 1949

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Edward and the former Mrs Simpson, pictured in 1949

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Edward and the former Mrs Simpson, pictured in 1949

Prince Andrew’s withdrawal from public life was last night described as ‘absolutely unprecedented’ and as Royal experts said it had rocked the monarchy as much as anything since the abdication of King Edward VIII in 1936. 

Social historian Professor Judith Rowbotham said there were ‘plenty of parallels’ with the former king, who abdicated the throne in December 1936 to marry his divorcee mistress, the American socialite Wallis Simpson.

‘I suppose the nearest would be the Duke of Windsor in some way,’ Professor Rowbotham said, using the title Edward was given following his abdication.

‘I’m far from surprised because the Duke of York was ill-advised to undertake the interview.’

But the research professor at the University of Plymouth said Andrew made a wise choice by not drawing the matter out for any longer.

‘I don’t think it’s a monarchy in crisis. Even with a slimmed down monarchy, you have a large royal family, humanly-speaking somebody is always going to do something that gets well and truly disapproved of,’ she said.

‘It could have escalated into a more major crisis if the Duke of York had not done the honourable thing.’

Professor Rowbotham suggested the difficulties the royal family, including the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, had faced in 2019 were not as bad as the Queen’s annus horribilis of 1992.

‘Back in 1992, it was an annus horribilis. This has been a ‘few weeks horribilis’,’ she suggested.

She added that Andrew’s decision would be one of personal sadness for the monarch.

‘I think it will be a great sadness for the Queen,’ she said.  

This isn’t a short-term solution. It’s early retirement: Queen’s biographer ROBERT HARDMAN predicts a bleak future for Prince Andrew

By Robert Hardman for the Daily Mail 

As Tuesday night’s televised election debate unfolded, there was mounting dismay at Buckingham Palace – and on the other side of the world.

At issue was not the responses to the question of whether the monarchy was fit for purpose, though it was telling that Jeremy Corbyn‘s answer – ‘needs a bit of improvement’ – got a much warmer studio reaction than Boris Johnson‘s line about the monarchy being ‘beyond reproach’.

What really set off alarms across the Royal Household – and in Auckland, where the Prince of Wales was continuing his tour of New Zealand – was the simple fact that the monarchy was surfacing as a general election issue at all.

Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew attend Ladies Day at Royal Ascot in June

Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew attend Ladies Day at Royal Ascot in June

Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew attend Ladies Day at Royal Ascot in June

Throughout the Queen’s reign, it has been a cast-iron rule that the Royal Family keep their heads down during election campaigns.

They can go about their business but they must avoid making headlines until the polls have closed and a winner can be summoned to the Palace.

That is how democracy works under a constitutional monarchy.

It is the reason why the Queen apologised to the then prime minister, John Major, when the breakdown of the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of York gatecrashed the general election campaign in 1992 – the year the Queen called her ‘annus horribilis’.

Some Labour campaigners still cite all that deflected media coverage as a factor in Neil Kinnock’s narrow defeat. That, however, was nothing compared to the detonation after Saturday night’s BBC2 Newsnight interview in which the Duke of York attempted to explain his friendship with a convicted paedophile – and precipitated one of the gravest royal crises of the Queen’s reign.

As a result, the election has now been relegated to the ‘…and in other news’ section of most bulletins. Tuesday’s Johnson v Corbyn ITV debate simply brought matters to a head.

The headlines had been dreadful for days. The corrosive effect of sponsors – including the royal accountants, KPMG – abandoning the duke’s cherished Pitch@Palace business initiative was just the start.

Far more wounding was the news that certain royal patronages were considering cutting their royal links.

It is patronages that underpin the royal role of those members of the Royal Family who are not in the direct line of succession. For the duke, they were his entire raison d’etre.

I understand that there was particular dismay when it emerged that the list of wavering charities included the Outward Bound Trust.

This was a much-loved patronage of the Duke of Edinburgh, a stalwart of the organisation since 1953, the year of the Coronation.

On Prince Philip’s watch, the trust has expanded to more than 30 countries.

The Duke of York became involved 20 years ago as chair of the trustees and succeeded his father as patron eight months ago. His daughter, Princess Beatrice, sits on the board. For a charity so close to royal hearts to consider severing its royal links was profoundly worrying.

As Tuesday night's televised election debate unfolded, there was mounting dismay at Buckingham Palace, writes Robert Hardman

As Tuesday night's televised election debate unfolded, there was mounting dismay at Buckingham Palace, writes Robert Hardman

As Tuesday night’s televised election debate unfolded, there was mounting dismay at Buckingham Palace, writes Robert Hardman

Tuesday’s election debate, then, was the final straw.

Although the Duke of York’s statement suggests that his retreat from the public stage has been his own idea, the decision had already been reached in telephone discussions between the Queen and the Prince of Wales. 

It has been reported that the 93-year-old monarch had ‘approved’ of the Newsnight interview – the duke said as much to the Newsnight team.

It has also been reported that the Queen had been assured by him afterwards that the interview had been a great success.

The reality, I understand, is somewhat different.

Palace officials have made clear that while the Queen was made ‘aware’ of the impending interview, she did not approve it. By then, it was too late.

As for Prince Charles, he knew nothing about it. ‘Don’t imagine that she is fooled by any of this,’ says one insider.

It has been reported that the 93-year-old monarch had 'approved' of Andrew's Newsnight interview – the duke said as much to the Newsnight team

It has been reported that the 93-year-old monarch had 'approved' of Andrew's Newsnight interview – the duke said as much to the Newsnight team

It has been reported that the 93-year-old monarch had ‘approved’ of Andrew’s Newsnight interview – the duke said as much to the Newsnight team

During the fallout which has followed, the monarch and the heir to the throne have been in close two-way communication about the potential damage to the institution.

I also understand that the Duke of Cambridge has been more than a mere spectator. ‘Don’t forget he has a long-term stake in this too,’ says one friend of the family.

It will have been immensely painful for the Queen to thrash this all out with the Duke of York during the meeting in her study at Buckingham Palace yesterday. But neither she nor he had any choice.

In as much as a member of the Royal Family can resign, that was the only course left open to him.

The duke will still be welcome at anything constituting a ‘family’ occasion – including appearances on the Palace balcony.

We can expect to see him with other members of the family walking to church on Christmas Day. However, there can be no further solo engagements. Nor will he be expected at next month’s Palace reception for Nato heads of state.

Regular interaction with his 230 charities and military units will now cease. These patronages are now ‘mothballed’.

He is not abandoning them. Nor will these charities feel obliged to abandon him or remove him from the letterhead. Despite the noise of recent days, many of these organisations remain loyal and supportive of a patron who has been a diligent supporter of their work over many years.

On the basis that everyone is innocent until proved guilty, some will simply leave things as they are and see how events unfold.

What is clear, however, is that this is not a short-term solution while things ‘die down’. Until there is some sort of legal resolution, this is early retirement.

Palace officials understand the importance of getting a grip – and of being seen to get a grip – on the helm after the most turbulent royal year in more than two decades. Quite apart from family dramas – notably the obvious unhappiness of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in adapting to their new royal roles – the Queen has been embroiled in a serious constitutional crisis in recent months.

The ease with which the Queen was prevailed upon to grant an illegal prorogation of Parliament while at Balmoral in September left the monarchy looking ineffectual. 

Though the monarch was, of course, constitutionally obliged to abide by Boris Johnson’s formal request, some legal experts have suggested that, in years gone by, the Royal Household would have put up more of a fight and asked more questions.

I understand that No 10 has had no involvement in the Queen’s decision to grant ‘permission’ for the duke to step aside from public duties. And after the events of recent months, the Queen will be in no hurry to seek the Prime Minister’s advice on the matter, either. ‘This decision has been entirely internal,’ says one source.

However, once the election is over and the future occupancy of No 10 has been resolved, the Queen will feel obliged, once again, to apologise for the fact that a member of the family has shunted an election off the front pages.

That it was the same member of the family as last time, 27 years ago, will not be lost on anyone.

 

 

This isn’t a short-term solution. It’s early retirement: Queen’s biographer ROBERT HARDMAN predicts a bleak future for Prince Andrew

By Robert Hardman for the Daily Mail 

As Tuesday night’s televised election debate unfolded, there was mounting dismay at Buckingham Palace – and on the other side of the world.

At issue was not the responses to the question of whether the monarchy was fit for purpose, though it was telling that Jeremy Corbyn‘s answer – ‘needs a bit of improvement’ – got a much warmer studio reaction than Boris Johnson‘s line about the monarchy being ‘beyond reproach’.

What really set off alarms across the Royal Household – and in Auckland, where the Prince of Wales was continuing his tour of New Zealand – was the simple fact that the monarchy was surfacing as a general election issue at all.

Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew attend Ladies Day at Royal Ascot in June

Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew attend Ladies Day at Royal Ascot in June

Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew attend Ladies Day at Royal Ascot in June

Throughout the Queen’s reign, it has been a cast-iron rule that the Royal Family keep their heads down during election campaigns.

They can go about their business but they must avoid making headlines until the polls have closed and a winner can be summoned to the Palace.

That is how democracy works under a constitutional monarchy. It is the reason why the Queen apologised to the then prime minister, John Major, when the breakdown of the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of York gatecrashed the general election campaign in 1992 – the year the Queen called her ‘annus horribilis’.

Some Labour campaigners still cite all that deflected media coverage as a factor in Neil Kinnock’s narrow defeat. That, however, was nothing compared to the detonation after Saturday night’s BBC2 Newsnight interview in which the Duke of York attempted to explain his friendship with a convicted paedophile – and precipitated one of the gravest royal crises of the Queen’s reign.

As a result, the election has now been relegated to the ‘…and in other news’ section of most bulletins. Tuesday’s Johnson v Corbyn ITV debate simply brought matters to a head.

The headlines had been dreadful for days. The corrosive effect of sponsors – including the royal accountants, KPMG – abandoning the duke’s cherished Pitch@Palace business initiative was just the start.

Far more wounding was the news that certain royal patronages were considering cutting their royal links.

It is patronages that underpin the royal role of those members of the Royal Family who are not in the direct line of succession. For the duke, they were his entire raison d’etre.

I understand that there was particular dismay when it emerged that the list of wavering charities included the Outward Bound Trust.

This was a much-loved patronage of the Duke of Edinburgh, a stalwart of the organisation since 1953, the year of the Coronation. On Prince Philip’s watch, the trust has expanded to more than 30 countries.

The Duke of York became involved 20 years ago as chair of the trustees and succeeded his father as patron eight months ago. His daughter, Princess Beatrice, sits on the board. For a charity so close to royal hearts to consider severing its royal links was profoundly worrying.

As Tuesday night's televised election debate unfolded, there was mounting dismay at Buckingham Palace, writes Robert Hardman

As Tuesday night's televised election debate unfolded, there was mounting dismay at Buckingham Palace, writes Robert Hardman

As Tuesday night’s televised election debate unfolded, there was mounting dismay at Buckingham Palace, writes Robert Hardman

Tuesday’s election debate, then, was the final straw. Although the Duke of York’s statement suggests that his retreat from the public stage has been his own idea, the decision had already been reached in telephone discussions between the Queen and the Prince of Wales. 

It has been reported that the 93-year-old monarch had ‘approved’ of the Newsnight interview – the duke said as much to the Newsnight team.

It has also been reported that the Queen had been assured by him afterwards that the interview had been a great success. The reality, I understand, is somewhat different.

It has been reported that the 93-year-old monarch had 'approved' of Andrew's Newsnight interview – the duke said as much to the Newsnight team

It has been reported that the 93-year-old monarch had 'approved' of Andrew's Newsnight interview – the duke said as much to the Newsnight team

It has been reported that the 93-year-old monarch had ‘approved’ of Andrew’s Newsnight interview – the duke said as much to the Newsnight team

Palace officials have made clear that while the Queen was made ‘aware’ of the impending interview, she did not approve it. By then, it was too late.

WHAT NEXT FOR OUSTED PRINCE ANDREW?

HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York, is the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s second son and third child.

He was married to Sarah, Duchess of York, before they divorced in the 1990s, and is the father of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. 

Andrew, 59, is eighth in line to the throne. He was born second in line in 1960.  

He is expected to retain his official residence at Buckingham Palace. His private home is Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park. 

Despite yesterday’s developments, the duke is still a senior member of the royal family and will be given police protection by taxpayers. 

His private life will continue to be financed privately by the Queen as it currently is. He also receives a Royal Navy pension.

The duke’s office at Buckingham Palace is also paid for by the monarch from her private Duchy of Lancaster income, which is also used for any expenses he incurred from official duties.

Official royal travel came from taxpayers via the Sovereign Grant. 

He will keep his title of HRH the Duke of York. 

His statement referred to stepping back for the ‘foreseeable future’. But experts said it is difficult to see how he could rebuild his reputation and return to royal duties.  

The Yorks had been looking forward to another wedding in the family. Beatrice is set to marry property tycoon Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi next year.

It is not known whether Beatrice will opt for a high-profile occasion like her sister Eugenie, or whether the current situation will impact her decision.

As for Prince Charles, he knew nothing about it. ‘Don’t imagine that she is fooled by any of this,’ says one insider.

During the fallout which has followed, the monarch and the heir to the throne have been in close two-way communication about the potential damage to the institution.

I also understand that the Duke of Cambridge has been more than a mere spectator. 

‘Don’t forget he has a long-term stake in this too,’ says one friend of the family.

It will have been immensely painful for the Queen to thrash this all out with the Duke of York during the meeting in her study at Buckingham Palace yesterday. But neither she nor he had any choice.

In as much as a member of the Royal Family can resign, that was the only course left open to him.

The duke will still be welcome at anything constituting a ‘family’ occasion – including appearances on the Palace balcony.

We can expect to see him with other members of the family walking to church on Christmas Day. 

However, there can be no further solo engagements. 

Nor will he be expected at next month’s Palace reception for Nato heads of state.

Regular interaction with his 230 charities and military units will now cease. These patronages are now ‘mothballed’.

He is not abandoning them. Nor will these charities feel obliged to abandon him or remove him from the letterhead. 

Despite the noise of recent days, many of these organisations remain loyal and supportive of a patron who has been a diligent supporter of their work over many years.

On the basis that everyone is innocent until proved guilty, some will simply leave things as they are and see how events unfold.

What is clear, however, is that this is not a short-term solution while things ‘die down’. 

Until there is some sort of legal resolution, this is early retirement.

Palace officials understand the importance of getting a grip – and of being seen to get a grip – on the helm after the most turbulent royal year in more than two decades. 

Quite apart from family dramas – notably the obvious unhappiness of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in adapting to their new royal roles – the Queen has been embroiled in a serious constitutional crisis in recent months.

The ease with which the Queen was prevailed upon to grant an illegal prorogation of Parliament while at Balmoral in September left the monarchy looking ineffectual. 

Though the monarch was, of course, constitutionally obliged to abide by Boris Johnson’s formal request, some legal experts have suggested that, in years gone by, the Royal Household would have put up more of a fight and asked more questions.

I understand that No 10 has had no involvement in the Queen’s decision to grant ‘permission’ for the duke to step aside from public duties. 

And after the events of recent months, the Queen will be in no hurry to seek the Prime Minister’s advice on the matter, either. ‘This decision has been entirely internal,’ says one source.

However, once the election is over and the future occupancy of No 10 has been resolved, the Queen will feel obliged, once again, to apologise for the fact that a member of the family has shunted an election off the front pages.

That it was the same member of the family as last time, 27 years ago, will not be lost on anyone.

All 200 of Prince Andrew’s charities ‘to seek new patrons’ as he withdraws from public life – after one-by-one they distanced themselves from him over Jeffrey Epstein scandal

By Danyal Hussein for MailOnline 

Prince Andrew’s withdrawal from public life over the Jeffrey Epstein scandal means that all 200 of his charities will need to seek new patrons. 

The Queen ordered the Duke of York to step down in an attempt to contain the fall-out from his disastrous TV interview about his friendship with the paedophile billionaire.

It comes as ten of the 35 worldwide sponsors of Andrew’s beloved Pitch@Palace charity pulled the plug on their support and funding.  

After his sacking, palace sources confirmed charities he was affiliated with would no longer receive his patronage. 

The Duke of York is a patron of the English National Ballet (pictured at the 2011 summer party) but his withdrawal from public life means that all of his 200 charities will need new patrons

The Duke of York is a patron of the English National Ballet (pictured at the 2011 summer party) but his withdrawal from public life means that all of his 200 charities will need new patrons

The Duke of York is a patron of the English National Ballet (pictured at the 2011 summer party) but his withdrawal from public life means that all of his 200 charities will need new patrons

They refused to reveal how long his exile will last, telling the Times that charities finding other patrons ‘was a matter for them’.

However, they did add that he would attend events like Trooping the Colour and Remembrance Sunday as a member of the royal family.  

Andrew’s now-infamous interview triggered days of catastrophic headlines and caused a string of businesses and charities to desert him.

Following lengthy discussions with the Prince of Wales, who is touring New Zealand, the Queen summoned Andrew to Buckingham Palace and told him to step down yesterday.

Earlier, the English National Ballet also told MailOnline that it was reviewing Prince Andrew’s role as patron, before his withdrawal from public life was announced.  

The Duke of York’s disastrous BBC interview and toxic friendship with Jeffrey Epstein has caused ‘real concern’ for the board of trustees and among staff that his official role could undermine their work with youngsters, it has been claimed. 

These are the 35 businesses that support his start -up project: Pitch@Palace but ten have now quit. 5 businesses: Advertising Week Europe, KPMG, Aon, Standard Chartered and Gravity Road and five academic institutions:  Bond University in Queensland, Melbourne's RMIT,  University of Wollongong, Murdoch University in Perth and Fondation Rideau Hall in Canada. The Stelios Foundation and the Chinese Li Ka Shing Foundation are the only two to stand by him

These are the 35 businesses that support his start -up project: Pitch@Palace but ten have now quit. 5 businesses: Advertising Week Europe, KPMG, Aon, Standard Chartered and Gravity Road and five academic institutions:  Bond University in Queensland, Melbourne's RMIT,  University of Wollongong, Murdoch University in Perth and Fondation Rideau Hall in Canada. The Stelios Foundation and the Chinese Li Ka Shing Foundation are the only two to stand by him

These are the 35 businesses that support his start -up project: Pitch@Palace but ten have now quit. 5 businesses: Advertising Week Europe, KPMG, Aon, Standard Chartered and Gravity Road and five academic institutions:  Bond University in Queensland, Melbourne’s RMIT,  University of Wollongong, Murdoch University in Perth and Fondation Rideau Hall in Canada. The Stelios Foundation and the Chinese Li Ka Shing Foundation are the only two to stand by him

The 35 businesses that sponsor Andrew’s charity – and the companies now pulling out after BBC disaster

Cutting ties

KPMG

Standard Chartered

Aon 

Gravity Road 

Advertising Week Europe

Bond University 

Melbourne’s RMIT University

Fondation Rideau Hall 

University of Wollongong 

Murdoch University 

Standing by Andrew

Stelios Foundation 

Li Ka Shing Foundation 

Considering position

AstraZeneca 

Barclays 

Yet to respond

Bosch

Air Asia

Bank of China

JD.com 

Tencent

Business Horizon International Group

InMotion

Arm

China Construction bank

Hult business school

Royal Academy of Engineering  

Halkin Ventures

IMB Bank

Woodside

Tamkeen 

The Chosunilbo

Khalifa Fund 

Fieldhouse 

IX

A source told The Times: ‘Everyone is hoping that it can be resolved without requiring collective discussion. But at some point it will require that discussion if he does not stand down. The trouble is he has a thick skin and I am sure he would be reluctant to’.

English National Ballet refused to comment on the alleged plot but a spokesman told MailOnline: ‘The matter of English National Ballet’s patronage is being discussed by its trustees. We have no further comment at this time’.  

Andrew is the patron of 189 charities and organisations including 28 golf clubs and societies – who will all need new patrons now. 

Five big businesses: Advertising Week Europe, KPMG, Aon, Standard Chartered and Gravity Road say they will no longer be involved. Five universities and education groups in Australia, Canada and the UK are also cancelling.

The Telegraph has claimed that other supporters have asked for reassurance that the Duke of York will quit completely to save the charity for young entrepreneurs from collapse.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the meeting and said this ‘would be a matter for the respective organisations.

It came as Andrew finally broke cover 72 hours after his BBC catastrophe as he was banished from royal duties.

The Duke of York should have been meeting flood-hit communities in the north of England yesterday but instead he was diverted to Buckingham Palace as the backlash after his Newsnight special kept getting worse. 

Before he was sacked, sources close to the Queen denied she had summoned her son from Windsor for crisis talks amid the furore over his interview about convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

They insisted it was ‘business as usual’ for the beleaguered royal and they angrily hit back at media coverage of the debacle, saying the public ‘traducing’ of the prince was turning into a ‘personality-motivated witch-hunt’.

But his visit to the flood-hit towns of Fishlake and Stainforth in South Yorkshire was called off as big businesses abandoned him because of his toxic links to Epstein and allegations he had sex with the paedophile’s ‘slave’ Virginia Roberts when she was 17.

Public confidence in him is also on the rocks after a poll found just one in 20 people who watched the Newsnight special were convinced by his bizarre alibis including being in Pizza Express on the night Virginia claims they had sex in London.   

It has emerged that the Duke’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, who remains close to Andrew, was the ‘driving force’ behind the Royal’s decision to conduct his disastrous TV interview that blew up in his face.

As the prince was put on desk duties, it has emerged: 

Andrew was forced to cancel a visit to the flood-hit towns of Fishlake and Stainforth, near Doncaster, South Yorkshire, yesterday. A source said his trip – which was not publicised in advance – was scrapped as a result of the fall-out from his BBC Newsnight interview.

But Buckingham Palace, while confirming that he had intended to quietly visit the area, denied this, saying it was due to electioneering in the region.

Andrew, pictured driving a Bentley followed by his security team in a Land Rover Discovery, as his trip to flood-hit South Yorkshire was scrapped. The Palace blamed electioneering up there but insiders contradicted this by claiming it was because of his BBC disaster

Andrew, pictured driving a Bentley followed by his security team in a Land Rover Discovery, as his trip to flood-hit South Yorkshire was scrapped. The Palace blamed electioneering up there but insiders contradicted this by claiming it was because of his BBC disaster

Andrew, pictured driving a Bentley followed by his security team in a Land Rover Discovery, as his trip to flood-hit South Yorkshire was scrapped. The Palace blamed electioneering up there but insiders contradicted this by claiming it was because of his BBC disaster 

‘The Duke was due to attend to offer his support and thanks to the emergency services but with an election campaign and a politician also visiting it was not appropriate for the visit to continue,’ an official said.

Flood victim Pam Webb said she thought a visit by Andrew would not have been a good move as it would have detracted from the crisis. 

She said: ‘We would welcome a royal visit, but maybe not by him at this time. Efforts have to be focused on the flooding and what’s happened here.’

Instead Andrew was spotted leaving his Windsor mansion, Royal Lodge, to drive himself into London in his £150,000 Bentley, on Tuesday morning. He parked up in the palace forecourt and remained there during the day.

Sources close to the prince expressed their anger at the interview’s coverage, particularly reports over how firms were now pulling their support from his initiatives such as Pitch@Palace, a scheme for entrepreneurs. 

One royal insider said: ‘If you want to hammer a man while he is down then go for it, but Pitch has done, and is continuing to do, an immense amount of good work.’

The source said both of the prince’s initiatives, Pitch@Palace and digital awards scheme iDEA, had independent operating structures and had been built to ‘weather any storms’.

But they also insisted that there were no plans for Andrew to step down as their figurehead. 

‘This is a witch-hunt and is, as far as anyone can see, one that is personality-motivated,’ they said. 

‘If he had done something criminal then that would be one thing, but he hasn’t. This is completely unfair and unbalanced.’ 

One source also reiterated that Andrew would be willing to co-operate with the US authorities investigating Epstein’s crimes. 

‘He made clear in the interview that of course if anyone wants to ask him a question then of course he is going to answer it. It is ridiculous to think he wouldn’t… but they haven’t asked him yet,’ they said.

Richard Kay and Geoffrey Levy have written that Prince Andrew was brought down by greed, arrogance and jealousy. He is pictured here with Emily Maitlis ahead of his disastrous BBC interview about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein

Richard Kay and Geoffrey Levy have written that Prince Andrew was brought down by greed, arrogance and jealousy. He is pictured here with Emily Maitlis ahead of his disastrous BBC interview about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein

Richard Kay and Geoffrey Levy have written that Prince Andrew was brought down by greed, arrogance and jealousy. He is pictured here with Emily Maitlis ahead of his disastrous BBC interview about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein

The source also reiterated that Andrew would be willing to co-operate with the US authorities investigating Epstein’s crimes. 

‘He made clear in the interview that of course if anyone wants to ask him a question then of course he is going to answer it. It is ridiculous to think he wouldn’t… but they haven’t asked him yet,’ they said.

Five multi-million pound businesses have cut ties with Prince Andrew’s Dragons’ Den-inspired charity and three more are now considering dumping the crisis-hit royal after his car crash BBC interview, MailOnline revealed.

Advertising Week Europe, which has supported the Pitch@Palace project and was hailed as an official supporter by the prince, is the latest company to pull its backing for the beleaguered duke.

Bosses will not be inviting Andrew or his team to its four-day summit in London – one of the world’s largest gatherings of advertising executives and experts being held in the capital next March.

A spokesman said: ‘While our support for entrepreneurs remains just as strong, we can confirm that Pitch@Palace will not be held as part of Advertising Week Europe 2020’.

Andrew’s former supporters are in full retreat with the future of his charity for young entrepreneurs now looking precarious because of the Epstein scandal and damaging claims he had sex with his 17-year-old ‘slave’ Virginia Roberts three times. 

Pitch@Palace has been forced to delete the webpage hailing its 35 key backers – and five big businesses: Advertising Week Europe, KPMG, Aon, Standard Chartered and Gravity Road say they will no longer be working with the charity. 

It is now known how much this will cost the charity, but KPMG was paying them £100,000-a-year.  

Two of Australia’s most prestigious universities, Bond University in Queensland and Melbourne’s RMIT University, also severed their ties with the controversial royal’s charity as are Murdoch University and the University of Wollongong.

There are also major doubts about whether the 189 leading charities and groups Andrew supports away from Pitch@Palace will all stand by him. London Metropolitan University is considering whether to sack him as a patron and the University of Huddersfield says it is ‘listening’ to students left raging over the decision to back him as their Chancellor.  

Standard Chartered revealed to MailOnline that its bosses have decided they will not be renewing its sponsorship when it ends in February. 

Pitch@Palace has lost five key sponsors and three more including AstraZeneca are formally considering whether to quit after his BBC disaster.  

KPMG, one of London’s big four accounting firms, was the first company to end its £100,000-a-year sponsorship last night in the face of ‘adverse publicity’. Insurance giant Aon then asked for its name to be removed.

There are also major doubts over Andrew’s links to 189 charities in the UK and abroad.

Andrew is a patron of the Outward Bound Trust [OBT] after he inherited the role from his father Prince Philip and the charity is holding a special meeting to discuss the issue later this week. The prince’s daughter Beatrice is a trustee but will be excluded from taking part.  

The University of Huddersfield is the only organisation to vocally back their Chancellor – but this has sparked insurrection among students who are lobbying Andrew to resign with a ‘Not my Chancellor’ campaign on campus and a major vote later this week. 

And London Metropolitan University told MailOnline this afternoon they will review whether to keep Andrew as a patron at its next Board of Governors meeting on Tuesday, November 26. 

KPMG, one of London’s big four accounting firms, was the first to admit it was protecting its reputation by ending its £100,000 a year sponsorship.

Insurance giant Aon asked for its name be removed from the scheme’s website and drugs maker AstraZeneca said it was reviewing its relationship.  

Children’s charities and schools linked to Prince Andrew are also in disarray as they distanced themselves from the under-fire royal. 

A string of major companies and charities are also examining their links with Andrew after his extraordinary TV interview on Saturday. 

Children North East and The Children’s Foundation, both charities Andrew lists on his official website, refused to tell MailOnline if he will keep his official role supporting them in light of the Epstein scandal.

The Council of British International Schools [COBIS] praised the duke’s work with them since 2011 but also refused to say if their link with the prince remains. 

Jeffrey Epstein’s sex slave Virginia Roberts has filmed a BBC interview she will use to shatter Prince Andrew’s denials they ever had sex when she was 17 as the royal’s woes got worse.

The 35-year-old, who calls the Duke of York her ‘abuser’, spoke to Panorama before he spoke publicly for the first time to say they never met or had sex – even suggesting the world-famous picture of them together in London in 2001 could have been faked.

A source close to Ms Roberts says she ‘made no bones about her thoughts on the Duke’s denial’ during her sit-down with Panorama, in which she is said to demand he ‘comes clean’.

But she is said to be irate that her own interview has not been shown amid suggestions it was held back to ensure Andrew’s sit-down with Emily Maitlis wasn’t jeopardised – but BBC insiders claim it will form a wider Epstein investigation that is not yet ready to broadcast.

US-born Ms Roberts, who now uses her married surname Giuffre, spoke to Panorama in the US three weeks ago – but may have to be interviewed again to respond to the duke’s bizarre alibis including being in Pizza Express on the night she claims they had sex in London. 

Andrew also denied he allegations he ‘sweated profusely’ during intercourse by claiming he couldn’t perspire for more than 20 years after an adrenaline-rush while being shot at in the Falklands War. 

The Duke of Hazard: Embarrassing stunts, shocking misjudgments, and very shady friends… the photos that show Prince Andrew has never been far from a crisis

Prince Andrew, who has stepped down from public life for the foreseeable future over his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, has led a controversial life for decades.

From an astonishing relationship with a former actress, to sharing a luxury yacht with topless women, his reputation as a royal has often teetered on the brink.

Here, we take a look at some of the lows of a Duke who’s never been far from causing a crisis…

Prince Andrew at a party with Koo Stark in 1999

Prince Andrew at a party with Koo Stark in 1999

Prince Andrew at a party with Koo Stark in 1999

PAINTING THE PRESS: Andrew sprays reporters with a paint gun from the window of an abandoned house in Los Angeles in April 1984. The Queen later ‘read him the riot act’

PAINTING THE PRESS: Andrew sprays reporters with a paint gun from the window of an abandoned house in Los Angeles in April 1984. The Queen later ‘read him the riot act’

PAINTING THE PRESS: Andrew sprays reporters with a paint gun from the window of an abandoned house in Los Angeles in April 1984. The Queen later ‘read him the riot act’

THE CLOWN PRINCE: Andrew plays his Joker with host Stuart Hall during the It’s A Royal Knockout in June 1987. The event was later described as undignified

THE CLOWN PRINCE: Andrew plays his Joker with host Stuart Hall during the It’s A Royal Knockout in June 1987. The event was later described as undignified

THE CLOWN PRINCE: Andrew plays his Joker with host Stuart Hall during the It’s A Royal Knockout in June 1987. The event was later described as undignified

INVITATION TO EVIL: Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell after Andrew invited them to a Sandringham shoot in 2000

INVITATION TO EVIL: Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell after Andrew invited them to a Sandringham shoot in 2000

INVITATION TO EVIL: Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell after Andrew invited them to a Sandringham shoot in 2000

PARTYING WITH THE SUPER-RICH: Prince Andrew again consorts with his billionaire pal Jeffrey Epstein (back right), this time in February 2000 at the Mar-a-Lago resort of Donald Trump and wife Melania. They are also pictured

PARTYING WITH THE SUPER-RICH: Prince Andrew again consorts with his billionaire pal Jeffrey Epstein (back right), this time in February 2000 at the Mar-a-Lago resort of Donald Trump and wife Melania. They are also pictured

PARTYING WITH THE SUPER-RICH: Prince Andrew again consorts with his billionaire pal Jeffrey Epstein (back right), this time in February 2000 at the Mar-a-Lago resort of Donald Trump and wife Melania. They are also pictured

BUST OF BUDDIES: Andrew looks goggle-eyed after getting an eyeful of supermodel Heidi Klum’s chest in November 2000

BUST OF BUDDIES: Andrew looks goggle-eyed after getting an eyeful of supermodel Heidi Klum’s chest in November 2000

BUST OF BUDDIES: Andrew looks goggle-eyed after getting an eyeful of supermodel Heidi Klum’s chest in November 2000

ALL HANDS ON DECK: The Prince holds hands with American supermodel Normandie White in Thailand in 2001

ALL HANDS ON DECK: The Prince holds hands with American supermodel Normandie White in Thailand in 2001

ALL HANDS ON DECK: The Prince holds hands with American supermodel Normandie White in Thailand in 2001

ALL HANDS ON DECK: sunbathing with a topless woman on a yacht on the same break in 2001

ALL HANDS ON DECK: sunbathing with a topless woman on a yacht on the same break in 2001

ALL HANDS ON DECK: sunbathing with a topless woman on a yacht on the same break in 2001

THAT INFAMOUS PICTURE: Andrew appears to hold Epstein victim Virginia Roberts, then 17, by the waist as the sex offender’s lover Ghislaine looks on in 2001

THAT INFAMOUS PICTURE: Andrew appears to hold Epstein victim Virginia Roberts, then 17, by the waist as the sex offender’s lover Ghislaine looks on in 2001

THAT INFAMOUS PICTURE: Andrew appears to hold Epstein victim Virginia Roberts, then 17, by the waist as the sex offender’s lover Ghislaine looks on in 2001

A FAMILY BALL: The Yorks dress up in their glad rags to mark Beatrice’s 18th in 2006

A FAMILY BALL: The Yorks dress up in their glad rags to mark Beatrice’s 18th in 2006

A FAMILY BALL: The Yorks dress up in their glad rags to mark Beatrice’s 18th in 2006

GIVING THE ROYAL WAVE: Andrew waves goodbye to a brunette he let out of the door of his friend Epstein’s New York home in December 2010

GIVING THE ROYAL WAVE: Andrew waves goodbye to a brunette he let out of the door of his friend Epstein’s New York home in December 2010

GIVING THE ROYAL WAVE: Andrew waves goodbye to a brunette he let out of the door of his friend Epstein’s New York home in December 2010

GIVING THE ROYAL WAVE: Andrew walking with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein in Central Park, New York, a day before he was pictured waving to a brunette from Epstein's door

GIVING THE ROYAL WAVE: Andrew walking with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein in Central Park, New York, a day before he was pictured waving to a brunette from Epstein's door

GIVING THE ROYAL WAVE: Andrew walking with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein in Central Park, New York, a day before he was pictured waving to a brunette from Epstein’s door

TRADE WITH TYRANTS: Andrew was forced to step down as UK trade envoy for his links with Azerbaijan’s despot President Ilham Aliyev, here in Baku in 2011

TRADE WITH TYRANTS: Andrew was forced to step down as UK trade envoy for his links with Azerbaijan’s despot President Ilham Aliyev, here in Baku in 2011

TRADE WITH TYRANTS: Andrew was forced to step down as UK trade envoy for his links with Azerbaijan’s despot President Ilham Aliyev, here in Baku in 2011

AIR-BRAINED SCHEME: ‘Airmiles Andy’ came in for more criticism in 2014 when he arrived in India for a tour of Mumbai’s slums on a private jet. He also stayed in a £10,000-a-night suite and had the use of a butler

AIR-BRAINED SCHEME: ‘Airmiles Andy’ came in for more criticism in 2014 when he arrived in India for a tour of Mumbai’s slums on a private jet. He also stayed in a £10,000-a-night suite and had the use of a butler

AIR-BRAINED SCHEME: ‘Airmiles Andy’ came in for more criticism in 2014 when he arrived in India for a tour of Mumbai’s slums on a private jet. He also stayed in a £10,000-a-night suite and had the use of a butler

cc 

 

Stepping out, not stepping down: Princess Beatrice celebrates fiancé’s birthday at Mayfair club hours after her father Prince Andrew withdrew from public life

By Danyal Hussein and Hayley Richardson for MailOnline 

Princess Beatrice tried to keep a low profile last night as she visited a private member’s club in Mayfair just hours after her father Prince Andrew announced his withdrawal from public life.

It is the first time Beatrice, 31, has been spotted since her father’s ‘car crash’ BBC interview, and she tried to avoid the cameras as she visited Annabel’s member’s club in London to celebrate fiance Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi’s birthday.

The Princess seemed to be in high spirits, wagging a finger at her partner playfully before entering the club through the backdoor. 

It comes after the Queen sacked her ‘favourite son’ Prince Andrew from Royal duties following public outcry over his relationship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Princess Beatrice spotted for the first time since her father Prince Andrews's highly controversial Newsnight interview with her fiance Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi

Princess Beatrice spotted for the first time since her father Prince Andrews's highly controversial Newsnight interview with her fiance Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi

Princess Beatrice spotted for the first time since her father Prince Andrews’s highly controversial Newsnight interview with her fiance Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi

She seemed keen to avoid the cameras as she visited a private member's club through the backdoor

She seemed keen to avoid the cameras as she visited a private member's club through the backdoor

It is the first time she has been seen since her father's interview with the BBC

It is the first time she has been seen since her father's interview with the BBC

She seemed keen to avoid the cameras as she visited a private member’s club in Mayfair through the backdoor

Prince Andrew leaves Buckingham Palace after spending the afternoon there behind a desk on Tuesday - the first time he had been seen since his BBC interview

Prince Andrew leaves Buckingham Palace after spending the afternoon there behind a desk on Tuesday - the first time he had been seen since his BBC interview

Prince Andrew leaves Buckingham Palace after spending the afternoon there behind a desk on Tuesday – the first time he had been seen since his BBC interview

Beatrice’s sister, Princess Eugenie, also stepped out for the first time since their father’s interview. 

She flashed a strained smile as she left a charity dinner in London last night.

The royal, 29, who is married to Jack Brooksbank, had attended an event held by the Elephant Family, a small, dynamic non-profit organisation on a mission to save Asian elephants from extinction, of which she is patron.

The princess looked casually chic in a black long-sleeve polo neck mini-dress, which she teamed with a burgundy tunic and black knee-high boots.

She wore her hair in loose curls around her shoulders and carried a black leather handbag as she headed home from the dinner.

Princess Eugenie looked chic in a black long-sleeve polo neck mini-dress, as she stepped out for a charity dinner in London last night, the first time she had been spotted since her father's BBC interview

Princess Eugenie looked chic in a black long-sleeve polo neck mini-dress, as she stepped out for a charity dinner in London last night, the first time she had been spotted since her father's BBC interview

Princess Eugenie looked chic in a black long-sleeve polo neck mini-dress, as she stepped out for a charity dinner in London last night, the first time she had been spotted since her father’s BBC interview

Eugenie sported a natural make-up look, opting for a pale pink lipstick and a slick of black eyeliner and mascara. 

Prince Andrew’s youngest daughter has so far ignored the criticism levelled at her him for his ‘car crash’ BBC interview with Emily Maitlis and has not passed comment on his involvement with billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Hours after it aired she shared an adorable throwback picture of herself riding a pony.

She captioned the post: ‘I guess someone wasn’t too happy that day to be riding… Maybe it was my 90s oversized grown-up coat!’

Meanwhile her mother – Prince Andrew’s ex-wife – Sarah Ferguson wrote on her Instagram that she was ‘deeply supportive and proud’ of her former husband, branding him a ‘giant of a principled man, that dares to put his shoulder to the wind and stands firm with his sense of honour and truth’.

Last night the Duke of York issued a statement revealing the Queen has given her permission for him to ‘step back from public duties for the foreseeable future’ amid criticism over his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.

He said it had become clear to him that his friendship with the billionaire paedophile had caused ‘major disruption’ to the Royal Family’s work.

Prince Andrew's youngest daughter, pictured on her wedding day last year, has so far ignored the criticism levelled at her him for his 'car crash' BBC interview with Emily Maitlis and has not passed comment on his involvement with billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein

Prince Andrew's youngest daughter, pictured on her wedding day last year, has so far ignored the criticism levelled at her him for his 'car crash' BBC interview with Emily Maitlis and has not passed comment on his involvement with billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein

Prince Andrew’s youngest daughter, pictured on her wedding day last year, has so far ignored the criticism levelled at her him for his ‘car crash’ BBC interview with Emily Maitlis and has not passed comment on his involvement with billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein

He also said that he is willing to help ‘any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations’ into the sex offender, who killed himself in prison while facing sex trafficking charges.

In the BBC interview, the prince spoke about his links with Epstein – who was found dead aged 66 earlier this year in a prison cell while being held on sex trafficking charges – and denied he ever had sex with the financier’s ‘sex slave’ Virginia Roberts.

Prince Andrew maintained he does not recall meeting Miss Roberts and did not spend time with her at Tramp Nightclub in London on March 10 in 2001, after which she claims the pair first had sex. 

Princess Eugenie took to Instagram and shared an amusing throwback photograph of her younger self pulling an animated face while riding a pony (pictured) hours after Prince Andrew's 'car crash' BBC interview

Princess Eugenie took to Instagram and shared an amusing throwback photograph of her younger self pulling an animated face while riding a pony (pictured) hours after Prince Andrew's 'car crash' BBC interview

Princess Eugenie took to Instagram and shared an amusing throwback photograph of her younger self pulling an animated face while riding a pony (pictured) hours after Prince Andrew’s ‘car crash’ BBC interview

The duke denied he slept with her on three separate occasions, saying the encounter in 2001 did not happen as he had taken his daughter Princess Beatrice to Pizza Express in Woking for a party, and they spent the rest of the day together.

A photograph apparently showing Andrew with his arm around then 17-year-old Roberts, now Giuffre, that evening and with Epstein’s friend Ghislaine Maxwell standing in the background, has been widely published. Supporters of Andrew, however, have disputed its authenticity. 

He also dismissed claims he was sweating profusely during their encounter because he had a ‘peculiar medical condition’ meaning he cannot sweat, caused by his experiences in the Falklands War.

The Duke of York (pictured during his interview with Emily Maitlis on the BBC's Newsnight) is facing a furious backlash over his relationship with Epstein

The Duke of York (pictured during his interview with Emily Maitlis on the BBC's Newsnight) is facing a furious backlash over his relationship with Epstein

The Duke of York (pictured during his interview with Emily Maitlis on the BBC’s Newsnight) is facing a furious backlash over his relationship with Epstein

More controversially, however, he said he did not regret his friendship with Epstein because of ‘the opportunities I was given to learn’ from him about trade and business.

He also revealed he believed he been acting ‘honourably’ in flying to New York to tell Epstein personally that he could no longer have anything to do with him, although admitted that ‘in hindsight’ this had been a mistake.

Princess Eugenie celebrated her first anniversary to husband Jack Brooksbank with an Instagram video highlight reel last month.

The couple invited 850 royals, aristocrats, VIPs and friends – 150 more than Harry and Meghan who married five months earlier – to their lavish ceremony in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on October 12, 2018.

The tenth in line to the throne captioned the post: ‘This was the greatest day of my life… Forever and always! Happy one year anniversary, my Jack!’

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