Queen Elizabeth is continuing to deal with family drama behind the scenes.
The 93-year-old monarch and her eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, have had talks including an “emergency meeting” at her Sandringham estate over Prince Andrew‘s connections to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, reports The Sun.
“Both had hoped the Duke of York could perhaps be rehabilitated back into public life in time but that is now looking increasingly unlikely,” a source told the publication.
Prince Charles is at Sandringham where he is taking meetings about estate business, PEOPLE has confirmed.
Despite Andrew’s decision to step back from royal life in the wake of his bombshell BBC interview about his ties to Epstein in November, the scandal has gained momentum this week after a U.S. attorney said the 59-year-old royal has provided “zero cooperation” with authorities and the FBI in the ongoing investigation.
In the statement announcing the bombshell news, the father of Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie stated: “Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”
In the disastrous interview, Prince Andrew discussed his years-long friendship with Epstein and the sexual abuse allegations of Virginia Roberts (now Virginia Giuffre). Giuffre’s accusations, which the prince denies, mentioned coercion to have sex with the royal three times between 1999 and 2002 in London, New York and on a private Caribbean island owned by Epstein, starting when she was just 17 years old.
The Queen’s second son was widely criticized for not showing empathy for the victims of Epstein — who died by suicide in jail in New York City in August while awaiting trial on multiple sex charges — and for his decision to stay with at the financier’s New York home in December 2010. That came just months after Epstein had served 13 months of an 18 month sentence for procuring a minor for prostitution.
Despite his exit from royal life, Prince Andrew has continued to spend time with his mother. They were all smiles during a church outing on Jan. 19.
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Earlier this month, Queen Elizabeth summoned Prince Charles and Prince William to Sandringham, where she typically spends Christmas and the month following the holiday, to discuss Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s shocking decision to step back from royal life. After the 90-minute summit, the monarch announced that after a period of transition that ends this spring, Meghan and Harry will lose their “Royal Highness” titles, repay renovation costs to their Frogmore Cottage home and split their time between North America and the U.K.