Prince Andrew to step back from public appearances

Prince Andrew has announced that he will be stepping back from public duties amid the ongoing scandal engulfing The Duke of York.

His friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein has led many to ask questions of the Prince and his wider role as part of the Royal family.

Jeffrey Epstein was arrested again in July of this year and was denied bail ahead of his trial. Epstein died in his prison cell on 10th August and his death was ruled as suicide. If he had lived to stand trial, Epstein could have faced up to 45 years in prison. It was after this that allegations began to surface against Prince Andrew.

The second son of Her Majesty is accused of sexual misconduct with 17-year-old Virginia Roberts in April of 2001. The Prince has denied these claims and tried to clear the air in a tell-all interview on BBC Newsnight this Saturday, however despite sitting down with presenter Emily Maitlis, the public were left with more questions than answers.

In the 60 minute interview with Maitlis, Prince Andrew denied any memory of meeting, dining, dancing and having sexual relations with Roberts in a nightclub in 2001.

Tramp nightclub is in Mayfair
(credit: geograph.org.uk)

In a statement released by The Duke of York on Wednesday, he chose not to go into detail but stated his reason for stepping back from public view.

He said: “It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein have become a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support.”

More than 20 companies, including Barclays, KPMG and the English National Ballet, had all distanced themselves from the Prince.

He still strenuously denies any involvement with Jeffrey Epstein. The Prince also claims to have no knowledge of the trafficking of young girls to Europe and Epstein’s private island on the US Virgin Islands.

The conversation around Prince Andrew and Epstein began gaining traction after a Channel 4 Dispatches entitled ‘The Prince and the Paedophile‘. It documented the interviews of Epstein’s victims as well as hearing from Virginia Roberts who spoke of her nights with the Prince.

 

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