Prince Andrew has been ordered to move his private office out of Britain’s Buckingham Palace, amid continuing fallout over his former friendship with the deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, a new report said Friday.
Andrew’s mother, Queen Elizabeth II, authorized his eviction from the palace in London, in what is just “the latest humiliation for the beleaguered” Duke of York, The Times of London revealed.
The report came hours after the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra announced that the group’s board had “decided that the Orchestra should part company with its” royal patron, Andrew, “with immediate effect.”
Barclays also announced Friday that it was withdrawing support from Andrew’s entrepreneurship project, Pitch@Palace, “In light of the current situation.”
And Andrew’s private secretary Amanda Thirsk, who supported the plan to do a disastrous interview with the BBC that ignited a week’s worth of negative headlines about the prince, reportedly will leave her job to run Pitch@Palace.
A slew of other companies and institutions have severed ties with Andrew or his initiative on the heels of the interview including KPMG, Cisco, Standard Chartered, Huddersfield College, and the Melbourne Tech Institute, BT, Outward Bound Trust, London Metropolitan University and AstraZeneca. Other groups are reviewing their connections to the royal prince.
Two days ago, Andrew announced he was withdrawing from his public duties as prince because of the controversy over his connection to Epstein, a wealthy investor who also previously been a friend to Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton.
“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,” Andrew said in a statement Wednesday.
Andrew, 59, has served as a patron for more than 200 charities.
In his statement Wednesday, Andrew said “I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein.”
The prince also said, “I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are continuing a criminal investigation of associates of Epstein.
It has been known for years that Andrew had been a friend to Epstein up to the time, and possibly after, Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to state criminal charges in Florida that included paying an underage girl for sexual services.
Epstein served 13 months in jail in that case, although he spent much of that time free on work release during the day.
Epstein was arrested on child sex trafficking charges in July. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan accused him of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls from 2002 through 2005 at his luxurious residences on the Upper East Side and in Palm Beach, Florida.
He died in a federal jail, the Metropolitan Correctional Center, in August from what authorities have ruled was suicide by hanging. On Tuesday, two guards at that Manhattan jail were criminally charged with allegedly trying to cover up their failure to do mandated checks on Epstein and other inmates in the hours before he was found unresponsive with a noose around his neck in his cell.
Attorney General William Barr told The Associated Press in an interview published Friday that despite his own initial suspicions about Epstein’s death, he has concluded the suicide was the result of “a perfect storm of screw-ups.”
Barr told the AP he had personally reviewed security footage that confirmed that no one entered the area where Epstein was being kept on the night he died.
Despite Epstein’s death, Andrew’s past connection to him remained a focus of media attention. Court records revealed over the summer how one of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Giuffre, claimed that she had sex with Andrew in 2001 in London at the behest of Ghislaine Maxwell, a friend of both Epstein and the prince’s.
Andrew gave an interview with the BBC in an effort to turn the tide of public opinion about him.
It didn’t work.
Andrew’s answers in the interview were widely panned, among them his claim that he could not have sweated on Giuffre at a nightclub while dancing, as she had testified, because he was incapable of sweating due to a condition that resulted from his having served in the Falkland Islands War.
Andrew, who denied having sex with Giuffre, also claimed he spent four nights at Epstein’s home in 2010 during a trip to New York to end their friendship because “it was a convenient place to stay.”