Prince Andrew ‘unlikely to serve his country again’, days as royal over after Epstein scandal: Sources
Sources have reportedly told that the Duke of York’s chances of returning to official duties are slim even if he spoke to the US officials over his alleged connection to Epstein
Prince Andrew who had sought the Queen’s permission to withdraw from his official duties in 2019 for the “foreseeable future” after receiving backlash for his alleged ties with the sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, may “never” be able to “serve his country again,” sources have told Daily Mail amid reports of him planning a "reframing" of his role in the royal family.
Sources have reportedly told that the Duke of York’s chances of returning to official duties look bleak even if he spoke to the US officials over his alleged connection to Epstein, who died by committing suicide in prison. The statements, however, contradict the PR attempt in the recent past to clear his name. His resignation from the royal duties was prompted by the disastrous interview with BBC detailing his friendship with the US financier. One source reportedly said, “This is as much about judgment shown over the issue, as the allegations themselves. Even if the duke were to resolve matters satisfactorily over [Epstein], there is still an issue about [his] lack of understanding over the seriousness of the situation and not accepting that the relationship was wrong.”
Furthermore, the reports claim that there is “no word from him about how and when this might happen, despite US prosecutors making clear it is a priority for them.” But, the sources have revealed that they aren’t sure if he will ever be presented with an opportunity to return.
During his interview on BBC’s ‘Newsnight, Prince Andrew opened up about his friendship with Epstein for the first time. He claimed that the two met in the early 1990s. He is also said to have been particularly close to Epstein’s girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, who was arrested in connection to crimes associated with the US financier. However, he has denied having even met one of Epstein’s victims Virginia Giuffre, who has accused Prince Andrew of having sex with her when she was only 17. He was subjected to major criticism when a picture of his and Giuffre started circulating in the media.
Sometime last month, a few reports suggested that he was “focusing on the way ahead” and looking to “reframe” his royal role. It also hinted that he may return to his duties by next year, But, one royal insider described the reports as “kite-flying” to Daily Mail, only to see how others reacted to it. “ The reality... is that there is no negotiation of a new role, and there never will be, as there could never be a version of representation that could work,” said one inside source. While another added to it saying, “This just isn’t even on the agenda or being discussed in any way.”
Meanwhile, one source close to Prince Andrew reportedly didn’t deny that he was looking forward to resuming his royal duties. “The duke’s future role can only be seriously considered once the legal process in the US has been resolved and the duke’s side of the story properly explained. Until then, the duke is sensitive to the public mood and to the fact that the institution [of the monarchy] must come first,” they explained.