Prince Andrew Will Never Return to Public Life, the Royal Family Has Decided

After Andrew withdrew from public life following criticism of his association with Jeffrey Epstein, the royals have reportedly decided he will never return.

london, england august 04 prince andrew, duke of york looks on during day one of the 16th iaaf world athletics championships london 2017 at the london stadium on august 4, 2017 in london, united kingdom photo by richard heathcotegetty images
(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo)
  • Prince Andrew's association with Jeffrey Epstein came under renewed scrutiny in 2019, after Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre said she was forced into sex with the royal in a September interview with NBC (Andrew denied the allegation).
  • In November, Andrew said in an official statement that he would "step back from public duties for the foreseeable future," to avoid "major disruption" to the work of the royal family.
  • On Sunday, the Times of London reported that Andrew would never return to his official royal duties. 

The royal family has reportedly decided that Prince Andrew will never return to public life, according to the Times of London, after he suspended his official duties in November 2019 following intense criticism of his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Inside sources told the newspaper that the family has "no plans to review" Andrew's status, adding that he's now considered "toxic" to the royals.

In a September 2019 NBC interview, Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre said she was forced to have sex with Andrew at the age of 17, which the royal said he "emphatically denied." In a subsequent BBC interview widely regarded as a disaster, Andrew said he had "no recollection" of meeting Roberts Giuffre, but said that he did not regret his friendship with Epstein because of "useful" opportunities that arose from their connection.

Shortly after the interview, Andrew said in a statement that he would "step back from public duties for the foreseeable future," stating that his "former association with Jeffrey Epstein [had] become a major disruption to [his] family’s work."

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According to the Times, Andrew will never resume those public duties. Most of his charity patronages have already cut ties with him, the newspaper notes, while military officials have reportedly called for him to be "faded out" from his military appointments.

What's more, before the Queen's Trooping the Colour birthday celebration was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the royals had decided Andrew should not be present at the event, with military officials saying his attendance would "unfairly damage the reputation of the Queen and the monarchy." Andrew, royal sources said, is now considered a "busted flush."

In response to the Times' story, Buckingham Palace said that "nothing had changed" since Andrew's statement in November. 

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Emily Dixon
Emily Dixon

Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.