Prince Andrew will ‘permanently retire from royal life’ following the Epstein scandal

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  • Prince Andrew officially stepped back from royal duties late last year following scrutiny of his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, the late multimillionaire businessman who was imprisoned without bail in July 2019 following accusations of having sex with girls as young as 14 years old.

    Reports circulated that the prince was not co-operating with the FBI in their investigations, leaving him ‘angry’ and ‘bewildered’ by the claims.

    During a ‘car crash’ interview with BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis, the Duke of York said that he had ‘no recollection’ of meeting Virginia Giuffre, a woman who alleges she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17.

    Shortly after it aired, Andrew released a statement explaining that he ‘asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties’, continuing: ‘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.’

    In another statement, he said he ‘unequivocally regret[ed]’ his ‘ill-timed’ association with Epstein.

    However, he appeared to be returning to royal life in February with People reporting that Andrew attending a UK visit from China’s ambassador Liu Xiaoming on behalf of the royal family.

    Now, The Sunday Times reports that royal sources say the Queen ‘can’t see a way back’ for Andrew, and while he was hoping to make a return his presence is ‘toxic’. There are ‘no plans to review’ his position, according to the publication.

    The insider said: ‘Prince Andrew, who stepped back from public life last year ‘for the foreseeable future,’ will not resume official duties.’

    The article continues: ‘The prince hoped his status change would be temporary, but those hopes have disappeared. The royal family has ‘no plans to review’ his position.’

    The palace is yet to comment.

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