FILE- In this Wednesday, June 6, 2012 file photo, Britain’s Prince Andrew leaves King Edward VII hospital in London after visiting his father Prince Philip. Britain’s Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth II’s second son, has for years been troubled by reports of his extravagant lifestyle and his friendship with several controversial figures, notably U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein, a registered sex offender. Andrew stepped down from his role as a trade envoy in 2011 as questions mounted. (AP Photo/Sang Tan, File)
The Duke of York (Prince Andrew for those of us who live in the freed colonies) has announced he will be taking a break from his royal duties. The move comes just days after his disastrous interview with BBC reporter Emily Maitlis.
The interview was a PR disaster from beginning to end. During the nearly hour-long exchange, the Prince seemed cold, agitated, uncomfortable but never sincere. He fumbled his words and gave bizarre “proof” for his innocence. Despite having “no recollection” of almost anything related to the scandal he did recall where he was on the exact date of a particular accusation because he took young Beatrice to a Pizza Express for a birthday party…in the early 2000s. He also claimed his accuser couldn’t have been telling the truth about him sweating all over her while they danced in a night club because he apparently had a condition that prevented him from sweating at all. He claimed it was the temporary result of an overdose of adrenaline when he was shot at during the Falkland Islands war. He also claimed he flew to New York so he could personally end the friendship with Epstein – bizarre enough in and of itself – but then afterward he stayed in Epstein’s home for another four days.
It seems unthinkable that any royal publicity team would have advised Prince Andrew to go through with such an interview – innocent or not. The fodder it provides all on its own is enough to keep the press curious and digging but add to that the fact that he was not at all convincing and you have a public relations disaster. No advisor worth their salt could have possibly thought it would be a good idea.
Perhaps the Prince is like those serial killers who unadvisedly take the stand in their own defense – they are so sociopathic and narcissistic that they genuinely believe they can convince a jury of their innocence. His Royal Highness seems to be possessed of the same narcissism.
In a statement sent out Wednesday morning, the Duke explained that the whole situation had become a distraction.
“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.
“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 sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure.
“I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency.”
Time will tell if he ever does speak to law enforcement.