Does Prince Andrew Really Not Sweat?

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Does Prince Andrew Really Not Sweat?Mark Kerrison - Getty Images

During Prince Andrew's Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis (which was recently recreated in the Netflix film Scoop), he offered many excuses for his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, and denials of Virginia Giuffre (née Robert)'s allegations of sexual assault.

But one is particularly bizarre. When the conversation turns to the subject of Giuffre, Prince Andrew says and claims that he couldn't have danced with her at a nightclub, not only because that particular evening he was at a Pizza Express in Woking, but also because he doesn't sweat.

"She was very specific about that night; she described dancing with you," Maitlis said of Giuffre. "And you profusely sweating and that she went on to have bath possibly."

Prince Andrew replies, "There's a slight problem with the sweating because I have a peculiar medical condition which is that I don't sweat or I didn't sweat at the time and that was… was it… yes, I didn't sweat at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenaline in the Falkland's War when I was shot at and I simply… it was almost impossible for me to sweat. And it's only because I have done a number of things in the recent past that I am starting to be able to do that again. So I'm afraid to say that there's a medical condition that says that I didn't do it so therefore…"

Is it true that Prince Andrew doesn't sweat?

As physician Dr. James Hamblin wrote in The Atlantic at the time, "In case the dubiousness of this claim is not already evident from its context, nested in a sea of dubious claims: This is a dubious claim."

Hamblin continues, "There are people who cannot sweat, or who sweat very little... Such a propensity to appear cool and collected while everyone else is flushed and damp has been attributed to the enviably high-status throughout history, but the medical condition of not producing sweat, anhidrosis, is extremely undesirable. The function is vitally important as a way to cool the body and prevent heat stroke. Covering the skin in liquid makes it able to transmit heat into the adjacent air much more rapidly than when it’s dry, as is noticeable to anyone who’s gotten out of a pool and found no towel."

Anhidrosis is not a temporary condition, and as Hamblin concludes, "a temporary inability to sweat would defy medical precedent. A long-standing detachment from the consequences of one’s actions would not."

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