Exclusive: Most Brits believe Prince Andrew can never return to public life, poll shows

The royal stepped down from public duties in 2020 and has since made limited high-profile appearances.

The majority of Brits believe Prince Andrew can never return to public life following the Jeffrey Epstein scandal that saw him step down from his public role in the royal family, a new survey has shown.

The exclusive Savanta poll for Yahoo News UK shows 68% of British people surveyed believe Andrew can never return to public life, while just 18% believe he can one day return to public life and 15% said they don't know.

The royal stepped down from public duties in 2020 following a TV interview over his friendship with convicted paedophile Epstein, who died in prison in 2019. The interview was widely perceived to be damaging for the prince, and prompted renewed calls from the US FBI that he testify about his friendship with the disgraced financier.

In a statement at the time, Prince Andrew said: "It has become clear to me over the past few days that my association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support.

"Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I can step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission," he added in the statement sent from Buckingham Palace.

JANUARY 13th 2022: Prince Andrew The Duke of York is stripped of his military titles and royal charity affiliations by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II amid sex abuse lawsuit. - JANUARY 12th 2022: The sexual assault lawsuit filed against Prince Andrew The Duke of York by lawyers for Virginia Giuffre will proceed after the judge denied a motion to dismiss the case. - SEPTEMBER 21st 2021: Prince Andrew The Duke of York has been served with a sexual assault lawsuit in a filing with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, New York, USA by lawyers for Virginia Giuffre who claims she was forced to have sex with him at the London, England, UK home of a friend of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. - JUNE 8th 2020: The United States Department of Justice demands that Great Britain hand over Prince Andrew to be formally questioned in the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking scandal. - NOVEMBER 21st 2019: Prince Andrew The Duke of York steps down from all official royal public duties amid the escalation of his associations in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-03/STAR MAX/IPx 2015 5/10/15 Prince Andrew The Duke of York attends the National Service of Thanksgiving held on May 10, 2015 at Westminster Abbey in London, England, UK.
Prince Andrew s reportedly mulling a return to public life. (zz/KGC-03/STAR MAX/IPx)

The Duke of York had taken part in the interview to address claims he had sex with a girl who was trafficked by Epstein - he denied all claims related to the topic but the interview raised further questions and he was later the subject of a civil lawsuit brought by the woman in question - Virginia Giuffre.

Giuffre, now 39, claimed Prince Andrew sexually assaulted her on three different occasions when she was trafficked by Epstein. He denied the claims and settled with her in 2022 - the year he was stripped of his charitable patronages and military affiliations by his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth.

Since 2022, Andrew has remained away from public duties but Yahoo News UK's royal executive editor Omid Scobie wrote in February that the duke was mulling a comeback - something his acquaintances suggested was unlikely.

And with King Charles and Prince William keen to avoid further embarrassment to the family, it appears he has little backing for such an attempt to re-enter public life.

“He has support privately but publicly, he is alone,” a royal source told Scobie.

Britain's King Charles III , Camilla, the Queen Consort, Princess Anne, and Prince Andrew, from left, standing together during the state funeral service of Queen Elizabeth II in central London, England, Monday Sept. 19, 2022.(AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
King Charles (pictured with Camilla, the Queen Consort, Princess Anne, and Prince Andrew,) will be cutting Prince Andrew's royal allowance from April.(AP Photo)

Andrew was also reportedly upset by the suggestion he should vacate his longstanding Royal Lodge home on the Windsor estate in favour of the smaller Frogmore Cottage after Harry and Meghan were told to vacate the property.

Additionally, Andrew is set to see his annual allowance from the monarch slashed from April - a possible motivating factor behind his rumoured consideration of a "tell-all" TV appearance that would allow him to put his side of the story across, with the Mirror reporting earlier this month that the duke “feels there is little else to lose”.

He was also reported to be considering releasing his own Prince Harry-style autobiography, to "set the record straight", although his friends have insisted he will not be penning a book, The Telegraph reported.

Savanta asked 2,193 respondents between 3-5 March.