Prince Andrew Doesn't Get That He's Radioactive Now

Prince Andrew withdrew from public life after a car-crash BBC interview, but has since made a series of high-profile blunders.

Royals do not generally get cancelled, but the Duke of York has been metaphorically dethroned—twice—over his relationship with the convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Andrew lost his role as a U.K. government trade envoy in 2011, following criticism of his trip to see Epstein in New York after the disgraced financier had been released from prison.

Over the years that followed, civil lawsuits in the U.S. brought more details of the allegations against the prince into the spotlight.

Three months after Epstein died in his jail cell on August 10, 2019, the prince attempted to tell his side of the story to the BBC—but the interview with Emily Maitlis left his reputation in tatters.

Queen Elizabeth II's second son was forced to step back from public life after he told Maitlis that the account of Virginia Giuffre, who accuses him of sexual assault, could not be accurate because she described him sweating.

He said: "There's a slight problem with the sweating because I have a peculiar medical condition, which is that I don't sweat or I didn't sweat at the time and that was… was it… yes, I didn't sweat at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenaline in the Falklands War when I was shot at and I simply… it was almost impossible for me to sweat."

Andrew denies all the sexual assault allegations.

During the BBC interview, the prince also attempted to defend his decision to stay at Epstein's New York mansion after the financier's criminal conviction for soliciting a minor, saying he wanted to end the friendship in person.

He told Maitlis: "At the end of the day, with a benefit of all the hindsight that one can have, it was definitely the wrong thing to do.

"But at the time I felt it was the honorable and right thing to do and I admit fully that my judgment was probably colored by my tendency to be too honorable, but that's just the way it is."

Prince Andrew as Trade Envoy
Prince Andrew leaves the headquarters of Crossrail in London on March 7, 2011. At the time, his role as trade envoy for the U.K. government was questioned because of his links to Jeffrey Epstein. He later stepped down. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Four days after the BBC interview, he announced his withdrawal from public life for the "foreseeable future." Despite this, Prince Andrew allowed himself to be drawn into a war of words with the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York last summer.

His lawyers responded to claims that he had refused to co-operate with the FBI investigation into Epstein by claiming he was the one who had been treated badly.

A statement from his law firm Blackfords read: "Far from our client acting above the law, as has been implied by press briefings in the U.S., he is being treated by a lower standard than might reasonably be expected for any other citizen."

In the autumn, anonymous sources speaking in the British press claimed the prince was planning a comeback.

Newsweek confirmed these accounts, with a source close to Andrew's legal team saying: "He's very sensitive to the public mood and acutely conscious that the public are the prime consideration. All this still needs to be discussed with his family and then with other stakeholders—the government and palace officials.

"It is his intention to return to public duties but none of this can seriously progress until the legal process in the U.S. has been resolved and the duke's side of the story has been properly explained."

The crowning moment in his post-interview myopia, however, came after the death of his father Prince Philip in April this year.

In the aftermath, the Duke of York was back in the public eye, interviewed on camera about the impact that the death of the queen's husband was having on the royal family.

Within days, however, it emerged that he was attempting to turn an inch into a mile by demanding to wear an admiral's uniform to Philip's funeral.

Andrew is a vice-admiral but had been expecting a promotion on his 60th birthday, as is traditional for senior royals. However, his landmark birthday came in February 2020, after his retreat from public life, and the honor was not conferred.

Seemingly, he felt the promotion was still owed him even though he had been exiled in his grace-and-favor home, Royal Lodge, in the privacy of Windsor Great Park.

A source told Newsweek at the time: "The Duke of York is very keenly aware of Saturday's funeral being a moment for the Duke of Edinburgh, HM [Her Majesty the Queen] and the nation. He has neither wish nor intention to distract from that.

"Speculation on what he may or may not wear is just that, speculation, and no matters of this nature have yet been decided upon.

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

Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein
Melania Trump, Prince Andrew, Gwendolyn Beck and Jeffrey Epstein at a party at the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, on February 12, 2000. Davidoff Studios/Getty Images

In the end, the queen decided that no royals would wear uniform, breaking a decades-old tradition to spare the blushes of her son—as well as her grandson Prince Harry, who stepped back from royal duties last year and so lost his honorary military titles.

On Thursday, Andrew's representatives for the third day running told Newsweek there would be no comment on the bombshell claims made by Giuffre in the civil lawsuit filed in New York.

However, on Wednesday, Giuffre's lawyer David Boies had a stark message for the man often described as the queen's favorite son.

He told British broadcaster ITV: "This case is not going away. Virginia Giuffre is not going to go away, and I'm not going to go away.

"This case is going to go forward, whatever obstacles that they try to put in front of us, we will overcome, once this case goes to court."

For now, mainstream media outlets have, by way of a denial of the allegations, been left quoting the interview that cost Prince Andrew his position.

Asked whether he had had sex with Giuffre, Andrew told the BBC in November 2019: "No, and without putting too fine a point on it, if you're a man it is a positive act to have sex with somebody.

"You have to take some sort of positive action and so therefore, if you try to forget, it's very difficult to try and forget a positive action and I do not remember anything.

"I can't, I've wracked my brain and thinking oh… when the first allegations, when the allegations came out originally I went, 'well, that's a bit strange, I don't remember this' and then I've been through it and through it and through it over and over and over again and no, nothing. It just never happened."