- Prince Andrew's association with Jeffrey Epstein came under renewed scrutiny in 2019, after Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre said she was forced into sex with the royal in a September interview with NBC (Andrew denied the allegation).
- In November, Andrew said in an official statement that he would "step back from public duties for the foreseeable future," to avoid "major disruption" to the work of the royal family.
- On Sunday, the Times of London reported that Andrew would never return to his official royal duties.
The royal family has reportedly decided that Prince Andrew will never return to public life, according to the Times of London, after he suspended his official duties in November 2019 following intense criticism of his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Inside sources told the newspaper that the family has "no plans to review" Andrew's status, adding that he's now considered "toxic" to the royals.
In a September 2019 NBC interview, Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre said she was forced to have sex with Andrew at the age of 17, which the royal said he "emphatically denied." In a subsequent BBC interview widely regarded as a disaster, Andrew said he had "no recollection" of meeting Roberts Giuffre, but said that he did not regret his friendship with Epstein because of "useful" opportunities that arose from their connection.
Shortly after the interview, Andrew said in a statement that he would "step back from public duties for the foreseeable future," stating that his "former association with Jeffrey Epstein [had] become a major disruption to [his] family’s work."
A statement by His Royal Highness The Duke of York KG. pic.twitter.com/LfMFwMyhcb— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) November 20, 2019
According to the Times, Andrew will never resume those public duties. Most of his charity patronages have already cut ties with him, the newspaper notes, while military officials have reportedly called for him to be "faded out" from his military appointments.
What's more, before the Queen's Trooping the Colour birthday celebration was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the royals had decided Andrew should not be present at the event, with military officials saying his attendance would "unfairly damage the reputation of the Queen and the monarchy." Andrew, royal sources said, is now considered a "busted flush."
In response to the Times' story, Buckingham Palace said that "nothing had changed" since Andrew's statement in November.
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