The royal family has reportedly decided Prince Andrew will retire from public life indefinitely over his controversial friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The Sunday Times is reporting that the Queen's second child will not represent his mother, or the royal family, again at public or private engagements.
The Duke of York stepped back from royal duties in November after his interview with BBC journalist Emily Maitlis was deemed a PR disaster. Now, The Sunday Times reports, Prince Andrew has been forced to retire at 60 as the palace has 'no plans' to review their initial decision that he should withdraw from public life.
At the time he released a statement saying he was stepping back 'for the foreseeable future' as 'circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family’s work'.
A few months later in February it was confirmed that flags would not be flown on his 60th birthday, as is tradition for senior members of the royal family, and the Duke had also chosen to defer a Naval birthday promotion until he returned to public duty.
But The Sunday Times' royal reporter Roya Nikkhah says Andrew's hopes of a temporary break from his duties have now been dashed.
The Palace has responded by saying nothing has changed since Prince Andrew's statement in November.
In his interview with Maitlis, the prince said he 'kicks' himself for continuing to stay in contact with Epstein after he was first convicted of sex offences.
'That's the bit that… as it were, I kick myself for on a daily basis because it was not something that was becoming of a member of the royal family and we try and uphold the highest standards and practices and I let the side down, simple as that.'
Andrew also insisted he had 'no recollection' of meeting Virginia Giuffre, the woman who claims they had sex on three separate occasions when she was 17.
Epstein was arrested on criminal charges for sex trafficking minors in Florida and New York on 6th July 2019. He was charged two days later with sex trafficking and conspiracy to traffic minors for sex. He was found hanged in jail while awaiting trial in August.
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