Prince Andrew steps down from royal duties: what does this mean now for the Queen's son? - Emmanuel's Blog

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Tuesday, December 3

Prince Andrew steps down from royal duties: what does this mean now for the Queen's son?

The Duke of York, 59, announced he is stepping down from royal duties last month, following his Newsnight interview, surrounding his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. In a statement released by Buckingham Palace, Prince Andrew 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." He added: "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 with their investigations, if required."


Will he continue to appear in public?

Sources close to the Duke say he is stepping back from royal duties, but remains a senior member of the royal family and will continue to attend core royal events, including Trooping the Colour, Royal Ascot and Remembrance Sunday, particularly given his role as Colonel-in-Chief of the Grenadier guards, among other military titles. He will not be carrying out public engagements relating to his patronages.

How did his decision come about?

The Duke announced his decision after consulting both the Queen and his brother the Prince of Wales, amid growing criticism following the BBC Newsnight interview he gave about his friendship with the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. A royal source mentioned that it was a "personal decision by the Duke," adding: "He discussed with the Queen and the Prince of Wales and other members of the family, but it was a personal decision."



How will the Duke be funded?

He will no longer be supported by the publicly-funded Sovereign Grant, which until now has covered his official travel costs. He will continue to fund himself and his private office from an allowance from the Queen's private Duchy of Lancaster income. He will retain his official residence at Buckingham Palace and his private home at Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park. He will continue to have publicly-funded police protection officers.

What will happen to his patronages?

The Queen's second son is eighth-in-line to the throne and is patron of more than 200 charities and organisations, but following his departure from public life, his status as a patron is effectively being "mothballed". He's temporarily stepping back and it will be down to those bodies to decide whether they want him to continue to represent them. The English National Ballet and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra are among the patronages who have parted company with the Duke. 

What does he mean by "the foreseeable future"?

Royal sources say the Duke will not return to public duties until Epstein's victims get the closure they want and deserve or Andrew is fully cleared of any wrongdoing. The FBI is continuing to investigate the case and Andrew has said he is willing to help with their enquiries if required.  


What will happen to Pitch @ The Palace?

The acclaimed scheme, which connects budding entrepreneurs to investors, has been the Duke's biggest success story in recent years and Buckingham Palace has confirmed that he will continue to work on it as a "private initiative". But it's not yet clear how he will operate in the role without funding from the Sovereign Grant and without the support of major backers.
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: "He will continue to work on Pitch but will look at how to do that outside of his official duties and entirely separate from the palace." Aides have acknowledged that there will now be a "transition period" where everything is worked out.

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