The Queen’s second son was given his marching orders and told to clear out on Friday – just days after announcing he was formally stepping away from official duties in the wake of his trainwreck interview with the BBC.
According to Vanity Fair, the disgraced royal is “shell-shocked” and “cannot believe what has happened”.
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During the TV special, Prince Andrew, 59, offered baffling explanations as he denied claims made by Virginia Roberts-Giuffre, who has long insisted she was forced by convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with the royal when she was just 17 years old.
In the wake of the fallout, according to The Times of London, the Duke of York has now been given instructions authorised by the Queen to find new premises for himself and his staff on Friday.
It’s just the latest in a string of humiliations for Andrew, but it was also inevitable following his mother’s decision to cut him from the royal roster.
While the Prince’s explosive statement this week insisted it was his own decision to “step back” from the spotlight, it’s since been widely reported that it was simply an attempt to save face after the Queen – in partnership with Prince Charles – made the tough call.
According to The Sun, a friend of Andrew’s claimed he was “summoned” to Buckingham Palace by his mother after days of backlash over his catastrophic BBC interview.
“It was a devastating moment for both of them. His reputation is in tatters,” the source told the publication.
“It’s unlikely he will ever perform royal duties again. He is disgraced.”
A separate source added that despite putting on a brave face, the Queen was “privately very disappointed” with her favourite son following his disastrous interview.
“She saw the fallout and was very unhappy. She has spent her whole life protecting the monarchy and in just one week her son’s actions threatened to tear it apart.
“Something had to be done to draw a line under all of this.”
Up until recently, the Duke of York had been holding more than 200 patronages and was involved with a number of organisations.
But companies rushed to sever ties with initiatives linked to the prince after the disastrous interview — with Barclays, KPMG and Standard Chartered all yanking their sponsorship.
Left with no other choice, Andrew has now begun the process of formally resigning from his official positions, including the Outward Bound Trust, The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, and the University of Huddersfield.
Now The Sun reports he’s stepped down from his own charity project, the entrepreneur program Pitch@Palace after one of its key backers cut ties with the scandal-plagued royal.
Supporters including Australian universities Bond University in Queensland and Melbourne’s RMIT had already severed ties earlier this week. But the Prince’s resignation from the project came hours after key financial backers, banking giant Standard Chartered and Advertising Week Europe announced it would no longer be part of the initiative.
His resignation came hours after
While it’s not yet been made clear what will happen with the bulk of his staff (or where they’ll run operations from) their numbers will likely be significantly reduced.
And at least one head has already rolled after the explosive events of this week.
Private Secretary Amanda Thirsk, Andrew’s most loyal aide, was fired by the Queen at Buckingham Palace yesterday over her involvement in the royal’s decision to do the disastrous TV interview.
However, it’s understood Andrew is planning to employ her privately.
PRINCESS BEATRICE’S WEDDING
While Sarah Ferguson — Prince Andrew’s ex-wife and most staunch supporter — had recently told reporters that Princess Beatrice’s upcoming nuptials would take place in the United Kingdom, everything is now “up in the air”, according to Vanity Fair.
It’s certainly an awkward situation. When Beatrice’s younger sister, Princess Eugenie, wed Jack Brooksbank at Windsor Castle last year, it was with all the pomp and ceremony befitting a royal wedding – and Prince Andrew, as the proud dad, was front and centre.
With a shadow now hanging over his head, hosting a similar public spectacle for his other daughter would obviously draw focus from the happy couple on their big day.
The publication reports that there is now talk of holding Beatrice’s wedding abroad, most likely in Italy, where her fiance Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi’s family is from.
Prince Andrew has traditionally been paid from both the Sovereign Grant, which is a pot of public money that helps fun the work the royals do on behalf of United Kingdom – and the Privy Purse, which is the Queen’s income from the Duchy of Lancaster.
As he will no longer be partaking in royal work, Prince Andrew’s access to the Sovereign Grant will now be cut off. He’ll have to fund himself from his private income (including a naval pension of around $37,800 a year) and from the Queen’s personal coffers.
But it’s unlikely to disrupt his lifestyle too significantly – according to The Sun, Prince Andrew has a net worth of around £57 million ($A108 million).
— With NY Post.