Prince Andrew’s friendship with the late Jeffrey Epstein is continuing to have ramifications for the Royal Family. In the wake of the scandal, Prince Andrew has stepped away from all royal duties, a decision that was apparently spurred on by Andrew’s nephew, Prince William.
According to People Magazine, Prince William was heavily involved in the discussion about how the family should handle Prince Andrew’s relationship with Epstein. People reports that the Queen consulted her eldest son, Prince Charles, and her grandson Prince William about what steps should be taken, with the trio deciding that the Duke of York should officially remove himself from the charities and businesses he’s involved in as a member of the monarchy. “Senior members of the family were involved—the Prince of Wales and other members of the family as the Queen consulted and kept them informed,” says the source.
The New York Post reported that a source close to the royals told the Times of London “William is becoming more and more involved in decisions about the institution [monarchy] and he’s not a huge fan of his uncle Andrew.” Another source added that, “William thinks the right thing happened.”
The Royal Family announced the removal of Prince Andrew from royal duties on November 20, with the official statement coming from the Duke of York himself, who presented the decision as his idea.
“It has become clear to me over the past few days that my association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organizations and charities that I am proud to support,” reads the statement. “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 sympathize with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure.”
A statement by His Royal Highness The Duke of York KG. pic.twitter.com/LfMFwMyhcb
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) November 20, 2019
Prince Andrew’s announcement came after he gave a disastrous interview with the BBC, where the Duke of York maintained his innocence and said that he had no recollection of meeting any of the women—girls, at the time—who are cited in the sex trafficking charges under which Epstein was arrested in July of this year. The charges allege that Epstein sexually abused underaged girls himself as well as solicited minors as young as 14-years-old for rendezvous with his high-profile friends. Those who have been tied to the scandal range from Prince Andrew to Bill Clinton to Donald Trump.
Epstein was awaiting trial in New York when he was found dead in his jail cell in August. The reach of his sex trafficking ring and his involvement with prominent businessmen and celebrities is continuing to unravel in the wake of his death. While Epstein’s victims have now lost their chance to see the late billionaire be punished for his crimes with jail time, they are continuing to speak out about those who were involved with Epstein, with Prince Andrew’s name continuing to come up.