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Prince Charles ‘encouraged Queen to make brother Andrew give up royal duties’ following BBC Epstein interview

The Duke of York stepped back from his public role in 2019 following the Newsnight interview

Sophie Gallagher@scfgallagher
Monday 19 April 2021 16:17
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Prince Charles was responsible for “encouraging the Queen” to make Prince Andrew step back from his royal duties following his much-criticised BBC Newsnight interview in 2019, claims a royal expert.

The Duke of York was interviewed by Emily Maitlis over his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. He denied any wrongdoing.

He later stepped back from his public role saying that the controversy had become a “major disruption” to the work of the royal family.

Royal biographer Penny Junor has said that the Prince of Wales was the one who helped the Queen make a decision about Andrew’s future.

Ms Junor writes in The Times: “It was he who in 2019, in the wake of his brother’s disastrous interview with Emily Maitlis about Jeffrey Epstein, encouraged the Queen to insist that Andrew give up public duties.” 

In 2019, Prince Andrew said he would be stepping back from his public-facing role following the interview.

He said: “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.”

Prince Andrew has not returned to his role since – a fact which became a source of debate prior to the funeral, following claims that the Duke wanted to wear his military uniform at the service.

In a statement, a source close to the duke, said: “The Duke of York is very keenly aware of Saturday’s funeral being a moment for the Duke of Edinburgh, HM and the nation.

“He has neither wish nor intention to distract from that.

“The Duke of York will do what is appropriate to the circumstances – he remains stepped back from royal duties.”

Ms Junor also talked about the central royal role that Prince Charles has adopted in the family following his father’s retirement in 2017, and then death, on 9 April at the age of 99.

Ms Junor said: “As the new paterfamilias, it also falls to him to hold the family together, to make the tough decisions, to discipline where necessary and to steer The Firm in the right direction, as his father did so adeptly.

“Charles has already taken over much of his mother’s workload and for years has stepped in to spare her the exhaustion of long-haul travel and lengthy foreign tours. He is ready to take on the Queen’s job in its entirety when the time comes.”

A representative for the Duke of York declined to comment on the claims Charles was behind the decision to step down when approached byThe Independent.

The Independent has contacted the Prince of Wales for comment.

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