Things have gone from bad to scandalous to downright atrocious for the Duke of York, because his involvement with Jeffrey Epstein years ago came to light but also because of his disastrous interview with the BBC last week where Prince Andrew said he never suspected the convicted sex offender of any wrongdoing and now Princess Beatrice has been thrown into the mix. The eldest daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson was reportedly “in tears” following her father’s much-maligned sit-down—because she helped make it happen.
According to the Mail on Sunday, it was Beatrice and Fergie who encouraged Prince Andrew to do the interview to help end speculation surrounding his involvement with Epstein and hopefully clear the air before Beatrice’s wedding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. The thinking was likely that if the public heard what Andrew had to say about the scandal, it would diffuse the criticism and speculation surrounding their friendship and how much Prince Andrew knew about Epstein’s illegal activities.
According to the Mail, plans for the interview were in full swing but with Fergie out of town Beatrice ending up taking a more active role. She, her father and Andrew’s then-private secretary Amanda Thirsk, met with Newsnight staffers at Buckingham Palace three days before the interview was to take place to discuss how they would cover it. “Sarah was abroad so Beatrice sat in on the discussions,” an insider told the Mail on Sunday. “Initially, Beatrice was skeptical that a television interview, which would inevitably delve into her father’s private life, was such a good idea. She was asking lots of pertinent questions and had her doubts. But by the end of the meeting she was convinced by the Newsnight team and Amanda Thirsk that they had no choice–that it was the only way to put all the rumours behind them.”
Since the interview aired, it seems Beatrice feels terrible and is “mortified” that she didn’t trust her instincts and voice her doubts. She was apparently spotted at her fiance’s 36th birthday party last week “sombre and makeup-free” and not in a celebratory mood given the fallout from her dad’s interview.
“Even though she’s their daughter, both Sarah and Andrew rely on Beatrice’s judgment a lot when it comes to dealing with the public as she’s got an old head on young shoulders,” said the source. “You can’t really blame Beatrice because I think the odds were stacked against her on this one. Andrew, Fergie and Amanda decided they had to do it.” Short of acting as puppeteers, the decision to go through with the interview was likely on the Queen’s “favourite son.”
It was last Thursday that Andrew announced he was stepping down from his royal duties after he showed a lack of sympathy for Epstein’s young female victims. The result of that was British politicians, and indeed the media at large, debating the future of the monarchy—already a sticky subject.
The Duke expressed his hopes that Beatrice and her sister, Princess Eugenie, will replace him as patrons of his various charitable organizations but a number of those charities have already distanced themselves from the Duke, whose future remains uncertain.
There is also speculation that Beatrice and Edo will spend the next few months overseas in America and since Beatrice is currently a VP at software company Afiniti in New York (so, technically, she isn’t a working royal), nor is she supported by the Sovereign Grant, a taxpayer-funded pool of money that covers royal salaries, which means taking some time away from the media frenzy is entirely possible.