Prince Andrew is stepping back from public duties for the "foreseeable future" over his links to billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The Duke of York said he "deeply sympathises" with the victims of the disgraced financier and is "willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required".
His announcement comes days after the prince's widely-criticised TV interview which saw Andrew accused of "utterly lacking in compassion" for the victims of Epstein, who killed himself earlier this year.
In a statement released on his parents' 72nd wedding anniversary, the duke said: "It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former 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 may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission.
"I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein.
"His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure.
"I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency."
Following the duke's statement, Sky's royal correspondent Rhiannon Mills said it was "extraordinary" to have a senior member of the Royal Family stepping back from public duties.
"The interview was meant to shut down the noise around this scandal but instead it has blown up around them," she said.
"You saw a prince unravelling, you saw a prince who came across as arrogant and out of touch.
"They wanted him to come across as a man with guts and bravery, and that simply did not come across in what became an enormous news moment over the weekend."
After Andrew's announcement, the Queen carried out her royal duties on Wednesday evening as she presented Sir David Attenborough with an award for his nature series Blue Planet II at Chatham House in central London.
Pressure has been mounting in recent days over the royal role of Andrew, the Queen's second son, after his high-profile interview with BBC Newsnight, which was broadcast on Saturday.
Andrew was accused of failing to show remorse over his friendship with paedophile Epstein, who was found hanged in prison in August.
Epstein was awaiting trial accused of trafficking girls as young as 14 for sex and had previously served time in prison in 2008 for prostituting underage girls.
In his interview with Newsnight, Andrew claimed it was "convenient " for him to stay at Epstein's house in 2010 and he thought it was "the honourable and right thing to do" after visiting to end their friendship.
He also said he had "no recollection" of meeting Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims she was trafficked by Epstein and forced to have sex with a number of his associates, including Andrew, when she was 17.
When asked whether he had sex with Ms Roberts Giuffre after meeting in a London nightclub in 2001, he said the alleged encounter did not happen.
He said he had been in Pizza Express in Woking that afternoon with his daughter, Princess Beatrice, and was then at home that evening.
He also suggested a photo of him and Ms Roberts Giuffre together at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell may have been doctored.
Ms Roberts Giuffre claimed the duke sweated heavily as they danced at Tramp nightclub - but he insisted he had a medical condition at the time which meant he did not sweat.
A Sky News poll found that just 6% of the public believed Andrew's explanation of his friendship with Epstein.
Lisa Bloom, representing five of Epstein's victims, said of Andrew: "He seems utterly lacking in the compassion and the astonishment that the rest of the world has felt after hearing from Jeffrey Epstein's victims."
Firms including telecoms giant BT and bank Barclays are among a number of multimillion-pound businesses, universities and charities which have since distanced themselves from the royal.
Meanwhile, a woman who claims to have been trafficked and abused by Epstein this week called on Andrew to speak to US law officials.
The unnamed woman did not make allegations against Andrew directly, but said the duke and "any others who are close to Epstein should come forward and give a statement under oath on what information they have".
Following the duke's announcement, royal commentator Alastair Bruce said the "right decision had been taken for the Queen to get on as the duke, himself says, was causing a distraction".
He told Sky News: "What the public opinion is matters greatly to a constitutional monarchy that exists by the will of the people."
Social historian Professor Judith Rowbotham compared the developments to the abdication of Edward VIII, saying: "It could have escalated into a more major crisis if the Duke of York had not done the honourable thing."