Caught up in controversy. Prince William and his wife, Duchess Kate (née Middleton), are “relieved that Prince Andrew has stepped down,” an insider exclusively told In Touch. “[They] think it was the right thing to do. They were really concerned he’d make a bad situation worse by continuing his royal duties.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were also “mortified” with Prince Andrew after his recent interview, in which he discussed his former association with the late, disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, a source told In Touch exclusively.
“William and Kate can’t believe how foolish Andrew is to have associated himself with such a monster,” the royal insider said. “They said that from the beginning, when news broke about the scandal, and are shocked by the way he conducted himself in the interview and his lack of remorse. They think he’s brought shame upon the family.”
In the wake of his hour-long tell-all with BBC, Prince Andrew, 59, released a statement on Wednesday, November 20, revealing that he would be stepping away from his public responsibilities “for the foreseeable future.”
Insiders close to the royal told In Touch exclusively they expected him to “get kicked out of the palace” and “forced to retire from his duties early,” so it didn’t come as much of a surprise.
“It’s drastic, but it could be worse for him,” the source continued. “He’s lucky he’s the queen’s favorite.”
After facing serious backlash, the Duke of York said he decided to take leave because his correlation with the convicted sex offender has “become a major disruption” to his family’s work. The royal also mentioned how Queen Elizabeth II, 93, gave him permission to withdraw from his position for the time being.
“I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein,” Prince Andrew continued in his statement. “His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathize with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure.”
There has been no shortage of scrutiny after the explosive interview with anchor Emily Maitlis titled “Andrew & the Epstein Scandal,” aired on November 16. In the special, one of Epstein’s accusers Virginia Roberts claimed she was persuaded by Epstein to have sex with Andrew on three occasions. However, the royal denied Roberts’ allegations.
Andrew apparently thought the interview “was a chance to clear his name,” but his decision to speak out obviously backfired. “The palace was in turmoil before the interview aired because of this scandal, but now Andrew has made everything worse,” a royal insider exclusively told In Touch. “He should have known no good would come of this.”
Deal of the DayThis Bestselling Kimono Is on Sale Right Now for Just $18 View Deal
Her Majesty also wishes she “stood her ground” regarding his decision to do the interview because it’s now led into this domino effect. However, she is still going to support her son no matter what. The insider added, “What’s done is done, and there’s no going back.”
For more on this story, pick up the latest issue of In Touch Weekly, on newsstands now!
Have a tip? Send it to us! Email In Touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.