The protests taking place outside of the palace in late August have been described as “nothing short of disastrous” for the chances of Prince Andrew to return to public duties. Nigel Cawthorne, author of Prince Andrew, Epstein, Maxwell and the Palace, told Express.co.uk: “The protests outside of Buckingham Palace are nothing short of disastrous for the prospects of Prince Andrew to return as a working royal.
“It means that every public appearance of his would run the risk of being upstaged by protesters, drawing the monarchy ever closer into the scandal by association.”
This scenario would be devastating not just for Prince Andrew but could also have serious impact on the survival of the Crown, the expert added.
Mr Cawthorne continued: “The monarchy couldn’t survive such repeated body blows.
“Only if the confusion he himself cast last yeaar during his BBC interview is cleared satisfactorily would this be different.”
Prince Andrew, who wholly denies any wrongdoings, sat down in November last year for a 45-minute interview with Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis.
The Duke of York wanted to set the record straight on his association with Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender.
However, several members of the public and royal commentators accused him of not showing sympathy for the victims of Epstein.
Prince Andrew was criticised also for telling Ms Maitlis he didn’t regret “as a whole” his association with the disgraced financier.
Within a few days since the broadcasting of the interview, the Duke of York saw several patronages and financial supporters of his endeavours announcing a review of their relationship with him.
On November 20, Prince Andrew announced he would step back from public duties for the time being with the approval of his mother the Queen.
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He said in a statement: “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.
“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.”
The protests outside the palace in late August had been organised by Freedom For The Children group and called for the end of child exploitation in the UK and around the world.
Footage shared by this group on social media has racked up millions of views.
While the march didn’t target Prince Andrew, in the video a few people can be seen waving banners emblazoned with the Duke of York.
Some of the placards appeared to condemn his association with Epstein, who was found dead in his prison cell in August last year.