Prince Andrew announced this week that he had asked to step down from royal duties amid the growing scandal of his relationship to the late Jeffrey Epstein. However, a new report claims that the decision didn’t actually come from him.
A source reportedly close to the British royal told The Sun that Prince Andrew was actually “fired” by Queen Elizabeth II and forced out of the public eye.
“The Queen summoned the Duke to Buckingham Palace to tell him her decision,” a source told the outlet, noting that it was a “monumental” decision to pull him from royal duties. “It was a devastating moment for both of them. His reputation is in tatters.”
The source added that it is unlikely Prince Andrew will ever return to his royal duties as he has been reportedly disgraced.
As CBS News reported, Prince Andrew’s withdrawal from royal duties means that he will no longer receive the publicly funded annual allowance he has taken for years, though will still receive a “private allowance” from the queen.
The move comes after a television interview where Prince Andrew struggled to explain his relationship with the late billionaire and convicted sex offender. Prince Andrew was one of a number of rich and powerful people to maintain a close relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, and one of the wealthy financier’s alleged victims claims that she was instructed to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17-years-old.
The woman, Virginia Roberts Guiffre, claimed that she had sex with Prince Andrew at least three times, all at properties owned by Epstein. Prince Andrew denied the allegations but is under growing pressure to speak to U.S. law enforcement. Ingrid Seward, Editor-in-Chief of Majesty magazine and an expert on the royal family, told CBS News that it seems inevitable that Prince Andrew would have to be interviewed by the FBI.
“I think he will have to be interviewed by the FBI and it won’t be laid to rest until we know the truth,” Seward said.
Prince Andrew was widely criticized for his BBC interview this week in which he offered a series of defenses, including claiming that a picture showing himself with Giuffre had been faked as he would have never been seen in a public display of affection. He also made the seemingly bizarre claim that he is medically incapable of sweating, as Giuffre had claimed he had done on a dance floor. That led to a number of pictures being released showing Prince Andrew looking affectionate with other women and appearing to perspire.