1. Prince Andrew steps down from royal duties “for the foreseeable future”.
Prince Andrew has announced he is stepping down from public duties, after his interview about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein sparked major backlash.
Andrew, Queen Elizabeth’s second son, denies an allegation that he had sex with a 17-year-old girl procured for him by his friend Epstein, who ended his own life in a US prison while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
The scandal has escalated since Andrew’s rambling explanations in a disastrous TV interview that aired on Saturday left many viewers incredulous, and his apparent lack of compassion for Epstein’s victims drew widespread condemnation.
Prince Andrew’s BBC interview was a PR disaster. Post continues below video.
In a statement issued by Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, Andrew said it had become clear to him in recent days that his association with the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has become a “major distraction” to the royal family’s work “and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support”.
The Prince said he had asked his mother, Queen Elizabeth, for permission to step back from royal duties “for the foreseeable future” and she had agreed.
“I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure.
“I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives.
“Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required,” he said.