By Michael Jarvis,
Britain’s Prince Andrew is most probably deeply regretting having agreed to an interview with the BBC in which he discussed his friendship with deceased disgraced American billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.
The British prince announced on Friday that he was voluntarily stepping back from royal duties for the foreseeable future in the wake of intense public scrutiny over his disclosures in the interview.
The 59-year-old Prince Andrew might equally also be regretting the answers he gave under clinical questioning by the BBC’s Emily Maitlis in what was a rare interview with a member of Britain’s Royal family.
He might also be regretting his friendship with Jeffery Epstein.
With that relationship now being picked over in great detail especially following the probing BBC interview, Prince Andrew’s links to Epstein are now said to be of interest to US authorities as they further investigate a sex-trafficking ring said to have been run by the dead financier.
Epstein, 66, died in a US prison in August, allegedly by suicide, while awaiting trial for sex-trafficking.
He had previously been jailed in 2008 for 'solicitation of prostitution involving a minor'.
Statements made by Prince Andrew, who carries the title of Duke of York, during the BBC interview have raised more questions than answers he had provided.
He has denied have sexual relations with one of the women - Virginia Giuffre who was 17 at the time - who claims she was trafficked by Epstein and forced to be intimate with Prince Andrew.
She claims the encounters took place in London, New York and on a private Caribbean island in St Thomas, United States Virgin Islands, owned by Epstein.
Comments by Prince Andrew that he did not regret his relationship with the disgraced financier have been severely criticised.
He had said the friendship opened doors for him in his role as a UK trade envoy.
About the revelations of Epstein's lifestyle, the Duke said he’d ‘let the side down’, seen a reference to the Royal Family.
The controversial interview was said to have been approved by the Queen, his mother.
Prince Andrew has now said that he had obtained the Queen’s permission to withdraw from royal duties ‘for the foreseeable future’ as the matter had become ‘a major disruption’ to the Royal Family.
His decision was taken following discussions with the Queen and his brother Prince Charles, first-in-line heir to the throne.
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