Prince Andrew 'steps back' from public life after Epstein interview
He will help 'law enforcement agencies with their investigations'
Prince Andrew has announced he will step back from public life, saying his association with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein is 'a major disruption' to the Royal Family.
The announcement follows the trainwreck British TV interview about his involvement in the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal, which was widely criticised.
WATCH: Prince Andrew's 'trainwreck' interview about Jeffrey Epstein accusations
In a statement released today, the Prince said:
Prince Andrew's Statement: Statement by His Royal Highness The Duke of York KG
It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has 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.
Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission.
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
One royal source told the paper: ‘The statement Buckingham Palace issued said the Queen was aware of the interview but not that she approved it. It's extraordinary how this has unfolded, without any real consultation with the Palace press office or even the Queen's private office.
‘It does seem as if the Duke of York's private office is operating in a silo, which is really quite dangerous because there is a lack of accountability there. Internally, this is being seen as a f--- up.’
A palace spokesperson said the Queen was ‘aware’ on the interview but stopped short of adding any further detail, saying, ‘We cannot comment further.’
Her Majesty the Queen has had a tough few months
Prince Andrew is highlighting his family man credentials
The interview, earlier this week for the BBC, has largely been slated as an unprecedented disaster for the Prince – and by extension, the monarchy.
With the royal house recently rocked by a series of scandals, including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to not attend the royal Christmas celebrations, the Queen is said to be outraged by her son’s latest misstep.
Jason Stein, Andrew’s press secretary, quit his job last month, after reportedly telling the royal that doing such an interview was ‘not a good idea’.
Andrew and his mother face tough times due to his interview
Prince Andrew'sNewsnight interview featured a number of strange admissions, including his excuse to his whereabouts on the day that Virginia Roberts claimed that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked her for sex with him in London.
The Duke of York claimed he could not have had sex with a teenage girl in the London home of his ‘good friend’ British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell because he was at home after attending a children’s party at Pizza Express in Woking, England.
The Newsnight interview that wrecked Andrew's credibility
He was asked why he could remember going for something so mundane as a pizza 18 years on, and he added: ‘Because going to Pizza Express in Woking is a very unusual thing for me to do. I’ve never been . . . I’ve only been to Woking a couple of times and I remember it weirdly distinctly.
'As soon as somebody reminded me of it, I went, “Oh yes I remember that”.'