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October 25, 2021

Prince Andrew’s Involvement in the Epstein Scandal Led to Him Stepping Back from Royal Duties

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Prince Andrew stepped down from his royal duties due to a scandal involving the American financer and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. He announced his decision two days after a controversial interview was dubbed a "car crash."

Prince Andrew is considered one of the most controversial royal names in the House of Windsor. In 2001, Prince Andrew left the British Royal Navy and was given a particular role, a special representative for trade and investment.

In the beginning, it went very well, as the Queen's son was traveling all over the world to represent Britain and work on important negotiations and representations. It turns out that the Queen's third child and often described by many as Elizabeth's favorite son, crossed the line.

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Prince Andrew, Duke of York leaves the funeral service of Patricia Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma at St Paul's Church in Knightsbridge on June 27, 2017 in London, England. | Source: Gettty Images

PLAYING AT TAXPAYERS EXPENSES

What at first looked like a good deal for the English crown turned out to be a nightmare. The Duke of York was dubbed "Air Miles Andy" and "Part Andy" and harshly criticized for his globe-trotting and lavish lifestyle to the cost of the English taxpayers. 

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At the time, Prince Andrew received a third nickname, the "Playboy Prince." Many articles and royal experts affirmed that he was indeed the Queen's favorite son, and because of that, the most spoiled among the four. 

The Duke of York was plagued with controversies. His friendship with dodgy people from Colonel Gaddafi, Libyan gun smuggler, and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein raised suspicion. His association with the latter tycoon, Epstein, would prove more damaging than them all. 

Prince Andrew, Duke of York visits Mother London on March 13, 2013 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

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THE DUKE OF DISASTER

In 1999, the Duke of York met Epstein through the American financer's girlfriend, the British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell. The following year, Andrew visited his friend in Epstein's private island in the British Virgin Islands using Epstein's private jet. 

The Queen's second son got closer to the American businessman financier and Ghislaine and invited them to Buckingham Palace events and Princess Beatrice's 18th birthday party. Two months before Epstein attended the party, he was convicted of sex trafficking and sexual assault of underage girls.

Two years after the financer admitted to child sex crimes, Andrew visited the mogul's mansion in New York in 2010. In 2011, one of the victims, the 17-year-old Virginia Roberts, broke the silence and opened up about her years with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. 

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Melania Trump, Prince Andrew, Gwendolyn Beck and Jeffrey Epstein at a party at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida, February 12, 2000. | Source: Getty Images

The Duke of York was also accused of sexual misconduct, and Roberts allegedly said she was forced to sleep with a "member of the royal family," Prince Andrew, when she was underage. 

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Prince Andrew strongly denies the accusations made against him. Then, in 2015, the royal member's name was mentioned in American court files as having had sex with the underage Ms. Roberts three times between 1999 and 2002 in London, New York, and on Epstein's private Caribbean island.

The claims were struck from civil court records while the lawsuit against Epstein was still running. In 2019, Epstein was arrested once again under new sex trafficking allegations. Andrew's name appears again, this time in association with the American financer mogul. 

Jeffrey Epstein attends Launch of RADAR MAGAZINE at Hotel QT on May 18, 2005 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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In November 2019, Prince Andrew did a controversial interview with the BBC at Buckingham Palace that was considered by the media as a "disaster."

In what could've been an opportunity to clarify any questions asked to him about his connection with Epstein, the Duke of York left more loose ends. The Prince displayed no sympathy for the victims, even though it would have been the perfect time to do it in person. 

Prince Andrew even described the American financer as "unbecoming," to which the Newsnight presenter promptly refuted: "Unbecoming? He was a sex offender."

Sarah, Duchess Of York With Prince Andrew, Duke Of York, Watching A Fashion Show At The Royal York Hotel In Ontario, Canada, 17th July 1987. | Source: Getty Images

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 The BBC presenter Emily Maitlis asked the Prince if he regretted being friends with Jeffrey Epstein. The interviewed stuttered and 

said

to Maitlis:

“Still not, for the reason being is that the people that I met and the opportunities that I was given to learn… Either by him or because of him were actually very useful.”

When it came to Virginia Roberts, the Prince said he had "no recollections" of meeting her. Despite the photo he posed with Roberts with a hand around her waist and Ghislaine Maxwell right behind them, the Duke of York suggested that the photo was fake. 

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew, Duke of York watch a flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 8, 2019 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

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After the interview was concluded, Prince Andrew reportedly told the Queen that it had gone well. However, it gives a clear indication of his poor lack of scrutiny and judgment. 

Two days after the interview aired, the media dubbed it a "car crash," condemning his unsympathetic tone over his friendship with the sex offender. 

PRINCE ANDREW STEPPED DOWN

Day after the Newsnight interview, Andrew stepped down from his royal duties, and his team released a statement expressing his regret for his ill-judged connection with the American convict.

Prince Andrew, Duke of York attends the Commonwealth Observance Day Service at Westminster Abbey on March 14, 2016 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

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In July 2020, the FBI arrested Ghislaine Maxwell on multiple charges related to sexual crimes. The British socialite went to jail a year after Epstein's death. In 2019, Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his cell by apparent suicide. 

The heat is on for the British Prince, and much of his support has melted away, except for one loyal and solid support of his — Sarah Ferguson, his former wife. 

Six months after the interview aired, Fergie said that the "last six months had been hard on her and the girls." The Duchess of York has defended her ex-husband in many television interviews, newspapers, and social media. 

Prince Andrew, Duke of York, attends the Sunday Service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints, Windsor, following the announcement on Friday April 9th of the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at the age of 99, on April 11, 2021 in Windsor, England. | Source: Getty Images

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A month after Prince Andrew's interview, Virginia Roberts (now named Virginia Giuffre) called his declaration of the whole case "BS":

“I'm calling BS on this because that's what it is. He knows what happened. I know what happened, and there's only one of us telling the truth, and I know that's me."

Prince Andrew, Duke of York leaves the headquarters of Crossrail at Canary Wharf on March 7, 2011 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

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In October 2021, the Metropolitan police dropped any allegation against the Duke of York. The police said they wouldn't take any further action after investigating several documents, claiming that there's insufficient evidence to maintain the case. A source close to the Royal family said that the decision "comes as no surprise"

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.

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