When one is related to the Crown, they need to carry the weight of it, especially if it is the Crown of England. Prince Andrew, Duke of York, the second son of the Queen of England, Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and brother to the crown prince, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, having been born with a golden spoon, had known the taste of royal since birth. He is ninth in line of succession to the British Crown. Prince Andrew has served his time in the Royal Navy where he was a Sea King helicopter pilot as well as captain of the warship Invincible, flying missions of anti-surface warfare, causality evacuation, and Exocet missile decoy in the Falklands war of 1982 against Argentina, being one of the witnesses of the attack on SS Atlantic Conveyor. Hop in to get into the details of the Prince Andrew scandal.
Prince Andrew has made a name for himself as a proud patriot of his country, fighting relentlessly at the war front, but all this glory went to naught as the prince met his downfall when the biggest scandal of the generation unfolded in the March of 2011. Years after their divorce of 1996, Sarah Ferguson, Prince Andrew’s ex-wife, went on to reveal to the media in one of her interviews that her then-husband paid off 15,000 pounds of her debt through a certain Jeffrey Epstein, who happened to be an infamous American convicted sex offender and financer. This news stirred up commotion of an astronomical level. BBC News reported heavy criticism from everyone on the event of the association between the prince and the convict. And to add to this dwindling situation, the photograph of the prince strolling with Epstein in Central Park during one of his visits to New York City, due to his duties of being the UK’s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment then, from December of 2010 resurfaced. Let us find out more about the Prince Andrew scandal.
Soon enough, the issue got out of hands to the point that he had to step down from the position of Trade Envoy in the July of 2011. As reportedly said by Prince Andrew, “my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family’s work”, he expressed discomfort that the charity work that he was doing has also been disrupted, and added that it is was his decision to let go of his position, but the royal insiders say otherwise, the Queen and the Crown Prince seemed to have forced the prince to abdicate his royal duties. What was the aftermath of the Prince Andrew scandal?
The public was engrossed with the happenings of his brazen scandal, and on 30th of December 2014, a Virginia Giuffre, along with her lawyers Paul G. Cassell and Bradley J. Edwards, filed a case against the prince in Florida, stating that he was one of the many prominent people to have been involved in the sexual abuse of the defendant who was allegedly stuck in a sex-trafficking racket run by Epstein when she was a minor.
According to her, then called Virginia Roberts, there were three occasions wherein she was forced to have sex with the duke, one on a trip to London in 2001 when she was a 17-year-old, one in New York, and one later in Little Saint James of U.S. Virgin Islands, all planned by Epstein who paid her 15,000 pounds to commit the act. Further investigation concluded that indeed the duke and she happened to be in the same places about the flight logs and with one photo where both have been photographed together with his arm around her waist along with Epstein and one other associate, namely Ghislaine Maxell, in the back. Despite this, the duke’s supporters claim the photo to be a morph. When questioned about her seemingly calm demeanor in the photograph, Giuffre said that she was too afraid that Epstein could have her “killed or abducted” through his many contacts, so she obliged.
The case is still in proceedings.
Just as the clamour was cooling down, in August of 2019, a Johanna Sjoberg appeared into a defamation case producing evidence of the duke placing his hand on her breast in Epstein’s mansion while posing for a photo, supporting Giuffre’s allegations and in the same month an email exchange between John Brockman and Evgeny Morozov about seeing “that the recipient of Irina’s foot massage was His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew”, in Epstein’s New York residence in 2010 was published by The New Republic.
While the case was still in court, in the same month, Epstein committed suicide in his jail cell. Everything went haywire from the point, and in the November of the year, the prince gave an interview to the BBC Newsnight broadcast, which aired as an episode called Prince Andrew & the Epstein Scandal. In the episode, the duke was addressing the issue and talked about how he met Epstein and said that “the people that I met and the opportunities that I was given to learn either by him or because of him were very useful”, and denied sex with Giuffre claiming to have been attending a party with his daughter Princess Beatrice in at PizzaExpress in Woking during one of the days mentioned which received huge criticism from both media and public. Emily Maitlis of the Newsnight program also claimed that previously the duke’s team had strictly prohibited any questions about his friendship with Epstein.
Following these events, Prince Andrew also stepped down from his duties of being the chancellor of the University of Huddersfield and from [email protected], an initiative by the duke that allows new entrepreneurs to meet the people who can help make their business commence, which now continues only as Pitch.
As of this year, the 61-year-old duke’s lawyers argue that the lawsuit is baseless as per the lack of details in Giuffre’s claims and that her lawyers have to reply to the duke’s motion by the 13th of December latest. The district judge of New York, Lewis Kaplan, in the latest pre-trial hearing, said that he will be sure to hold the trial by the end of 2022 and that justice, whatever it might be, will be served.