As the outcry from the British royal's friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein showed no sign of abating, Prince Andrew on Wednesday said he was cancelling his public engagements. Prince Andrew is the second son of Queen Elizabeth II's. He has been under pressure since a television interview broadcast on Saturday, in which he defended his links to the financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead in prison in August.
A statement by His Royal Highness The Duke of York KG. pic.twitter.com/LfMFwMyhcb— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) November 20, 2019
In the statement, 59-year-old Andrew said that he has now recognised his links to Epstein had become a 'major disruption' to the royal family and the charities and organisations associated with it and which is why he asked the Queen if he may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future. The Queen has given her permission.
Prince Andrew said that he unequivocally regrets his 'ill-judged association' with Jeffrey Epstein. In an interview, Prince Andrew said that Epstein's suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and he deeply sympathises with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure.
As a closing note, Prince Andrew said that he hopes that the victims will be able to rebuild their lives, and that he is willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations if required. Prince Andrew has been under increasing criticism for his relationship with the financier, with a number of sponsors severing ties with the royal after an interview he gave with the BBC.
This isn’t the first time that the royal has faced flak because of his connections to the convict. It has been reported that Andrew had to quit as a trade envoy for the United Kingdom after a picture of himself and Epstein strolling in Central Park had provoked controversy.