It was the announcement that became inevitable following the fallout from his disastrous television interview: Prince Andrew is standing down from royal duties. After meeting with the Queen yesterday afternoon, the Prince put out a statement saying that he will be stepping back for the “foreseeable future” after his “former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family’s work.”
The unprecedented move means that the Duke of York will no longer be classed as a working royal unless the decision is reversed. Here’s more detail on what this means for him and his family:
What duties is Andrew giving up?
Prince Andrew is stopping all official appearances on behalf of the Queen and the charities and organizations of which he is royal patron immediately. This means that he won't be carrying out visits that are listed in the Court Circular (the royal family’s working diary). He won’t be doing any official overseas travel or taking part in any public appearances where he is officially representing the family or the U.K.
He will, however, continue working on his project Pitch@Palace privately and outside of Buckingham Palace. Exactly how this will work in practice—including whether it will continue to have Palace as part of its name—is not yet clear. It is also unclear whether sponsors will still want to support it. Andrew started Pitch@Palace in 2014 to provide a networking platform for entrepreneurs to make connections and find backing for their ideas.
Can we expect to see him in public at all?
While he is stepping down from royal duties, Andrew is not being banished from the family itself. We can still expect to see him publicly at family gatherings and events such as Christmas Day at Sandringham, the Queen’s official birthday, Trooping the Colour, in June, and Remembrance events in November.
Will he still receive funding and where from?
The Queen uses the net profits from the Duchy of Lancaster to fund the offices of Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, and Princess Anne. This is considered to be her private income, not public funds, and amounted to £21.7 million in the last U.K. financial year. Andrew’s office and team based at Buckingham Palace won’t be immediately disbanded, but in due course changes may very well be made. Like all working royals, the prince’s official travel was paid for out of the Sovereign Grant, which is British public funds. He will no longer be drawing from this as he isn’t going to be traveling in an official capacity.
While Andrew no longer has a royal job, he will not be struggling financially any time soon. Details are scarce on the personal wealth of members of the royal family, but even without the income that she gets as Sovereign, the Queen has substantial private funds.
Will he speak to the authorities about Epstein?
In the last paragraph of his statement about standing down, Andrew said he was “willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.” Following Epstein’s death by suicide in August, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said that the case will move forward against anyone who was complicit with Epstein. No one else has been charged at this time, but “the victims deserve justice, and we will ensure they get it,” said Barr.
Lisa Bloom, who is representing five women who say they were abused by Epstein, told Sky News about Andrew: "It's important that he says he's going to cooperate with law enforcement.” She said he should also answer questions from the accusers’ attorneys “especially the attorney for Virginia Roberts Giuffre who has very significant claims against him.” The U.K.’s Daily Telegraph reported this morning that U.S. authorities may issue the Prince with a subpoena requesting he gives testimony under oath.
Will he ever return to royal work?
The prince’s statement says that he is stopping royal duties for the “foreseeable future.” However, at this stage it’s very hard to see a set of circumstances that will see him return to frontline royal life.
Even in the event that Andrew manages to exonerate himself from all controversy, the future of the royal family was always going to see his role become more marginal as time went on. With Prince Charles apparently hoping for a more streamlined monarchy, future key players are likely to be limited to those higher up in the line of succession.
What does this mean for Beatrice and Eugenie?
Beatrice and Eugenie have both been photographed since their father’s disastrous interview. The Yorks are understood to be a close family, with Andrew and Fergie bringing up their children together despite their divorce. Because the York sisters are not working royals and they both have jobs outside the royal family, their father’s announcement won’t change anything for them in terms of their official roles in the family.
Eugenie wed Jack Brooksbank in a lavish St George’s Chapel ceremony in Windsor last October including a carriage ride through the streets of Windsor. Beatrice is thought to be planning a much more low-key wedding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi following their engagement in September.
You Might Also Like