The Queen and other senior royals have told Prince Andrew they ‘back and believe’ him ‘100 per cent’ after his calamitous interview with the BBC.
The Duke of York is said to have received his mother’s private support over the Newsnight interview on Saturday, but she will not be publicly commenting on it, a Palace insider told the London Evening Standard.
It follows Andrew facing a barrage of criticism after speaking out about his friend Jeffrey Epstein and claims he had sex with his ‘slave’ Virginia Roberts three times.
Andrew has also been reassured that his duties will not be slashed back after he was urged to ‘take a break’ for the sake of others including his brother Prince Charles, whose trip to New Zealand was overshadowed as it started today.
Today, the Queen appeared sombre as she was photographed riding in the grounds of Windsor Castle accompanied by her Head Groom Terry Pendry.
The Queen cut a sombre figure as she took to her horse for a morning ride around the grounds of Windsor Castle today with her Head Groom Terry Pendry
Prince Andrew, pictured during his interview with Emily Maitlis, is thought to have told the Queen that the broadcast was a success – despite near universal horror at his appearance
She looked serious as she left the Royal Chapel in the castle’s grounds yesterday, where Andrew reportedly told her the Newsnight special was a ‘great success’.
A senior royal source said: ‘His Royal Highness has the backing of the Queen and his close family, they believe in him totally and think he has shown strength for telling the truth and admitting errors he has made’.
‘The Queen was on board, it seems’: Emily Maitlis says Andrew suggested his mother agreed to interview in advance
Emily Maitlis with Prince Andrew in Buckingham Palace last week
The Queen gave her approval for the Duke of York’s ‘disastrous’ interview about the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal, Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis has said.
As calls grew for Andrew to show sympathy for the victims of the convicted sex offender he once knew, he remained defiant about his decision to appear on television.
The BBC has reported sources close to the duke as saying he stands by his decision to set the record straight about his relationship with the disgraced financier – and counter allegations he slept with one of Epstein’s groomed teenagers.
Conflicting reports in the newspapers, also based on sources, claim Andrew told the Queen his television appearance on BBC’s Newsnight programme was a success, while another says he expressed to friends regret at not mentioning sympathy for the women trafficked for sex by Epstein.
The interview has been widely criticised with commentators questioning his responses and condemning his unsympathetic tone and lack of remorse for the friendship with the sex offender.
Maitlis, whose interview with Andrew was screened on Saturday, writing in the Times newspaper describes the final stages of securing the royal on the current affairs programme.
She writes: ‘We have finished laying out our pitch. An awkward moment of silence falls. And the duke tells us he must ‘seek approval from higher up’.
‘It dawns on us then that he means the Queen herself. At 8am the next day we have a message telling us to call his office. The Queen, it seems, is on board.’
The insider told the Evening Standard: ‘There is no question of him being ordered to reduce his duties. He wants to get on with his job. He has told the truth, in detail’.
As the fallout from Andrew’s extraordinary TV interview continues, it has emerged:
- 2.5million people watched BBC interview already branded the most damaging ever carried out by a royal;
- Friends suggest he wishes he had expressed more sympathy for Epstein’s victims in TV interview – but he is said to insist that it BBC sit-down was ‘right thing to do’;
- Prince Charles has arrived in New Zealand with his tour undermined; He has been urged to consider downgrading the Duke of York’s status as a working royal when he takes to the throne;
- Emily Maitlis says that the Duke asked the Queen’s permission to take part in the interview;
- Experts claim Andrew must avoid public duties until at least next year – and charities may not want to be associated with him;
- Lawyers representing Epstein’s victims say Duke of York must now help police with investigation- while experts say he ‘would not be entitled to any form of immunity’ if the FBI grilled him as a witness;
Andrew reportedly defiantly told his mother the Queen that his appearance on the BBC Two Newsnight special was largely a ‘great success’.
But a friend told the Mail he ‘regretted’ not expressing sympathy for Jeffrey Epstein’s victims in his disastrous TV interview.
A source told The Times that he hoped the interview would end ‘the sniping and the commentary’ – but it has actually started a firestorm.
Emily Maitlis has claimed the Queen gave her blessing for Prince Andrew to take part in the discussion about his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, during which he denied ever having sex with Epstein’s ‘sex slave’ Virginia Roberts.
Despite many calling his performance a ‘PR disaster’, the prince is thought to have spoken to the Queen at a church service on Sunday, describing the interview as a ‘great success’.
But Prince Charles’ former PR chief Dickie Arbiter described as: ‘Not so much a car crash but an articulated lorry crash’.
Mr Arbiter said he must ‘take a break’ from royal duties, adding: ‘What charity wants a VIP guest with this hanging over him?’
This morning the monarch, 93, was spotted on horseback in a dark trench and floral headscarf, accompanied by Head Groom Terry Pendry.
This morning the monarch, 93, was spotted on horseback in a dark trench and floral head scarf, accompanied by Head Groom Terry Pendry
The Queen struck an elegant ensemble as she headed The Royal Chapel of All Saints at Windsor Great Park in a turquoise ensemble yesterday. It is claimed that Prince Andrew joined her at the service and assured her that his BBC interview went well
Making the most of the dry weather, the Queen – sporting brown boots – trotted around the leafy grounds with Terry, who wore a traditional uniform for the outing.
Sri Lankan No 10 advisor claims embattled Duke used ‘n***** in the woodpile’ slur
Rohan Silva, a top British Asian aide from No 10
Prince Andrew was today accused of using the phrase ‘n***er in the woodpile’ and a colonial-era slur about ‘playing the white man’ during Buckingham Palace meetings with a top British Asian aide from No 10.
Rohan Silva, who worked for David Cameron, has blasted the Duke of York and said he was left ‘reeling at the prince’s use of language’.
Mr Silva, who is a tech expert who also writes for the Evening Standard, told the newspaper that he met Andrew in 2012 and asked him if he felt the Government ‘could be doing a better job’ on boosting trade with the world.
Andrew then allegedly responded: ‘Well, If you’ll pardon the expression, that really is the n***** in the woodpile’, upsetting Mr Silva, who is of Sri Lankan descent.
A year earlier, Mr Silva said he met the Duke of York and on that occasion the Duke allegedly told him: ‘You’ll never get anywhere by playing the white man’ – an offensive term commonly used in Victorian Britain during the colonial period.
Buckingham Palace sources have told the Standard there is no way Andrew ever used the phrase or any similar racist language on any occasion.
The Queen is a seasoned equestrian and has a passion for the races, having earned a staggering £7,768,448 in winnings from her horses over the last 31 years.
Her Majesty has won 534 races from 3,205 runs over her career as a racehorse owner, across both the flat and jump races in the UK and Ireland.
The Royal Family are well-known for their love of horses and the Queen has demonstrated her own passion for it, securing her first win as an owner when Choir Boy won the Royal Hunt Cup in 1953.
The most profitable year came in 2016, a record year in terms of winnings, with her horses earning £560,274 across the flat and jump seasons dating back to 1988, when records began, with Carlton House her top-earning horse across this period with £772,815 in winnings.
Yesterday the Queen appeared stoic during her weekly drive to worship, donning a blue straw hat with feather details and a patterned pale green and blue jacquard jacket with a button-down feature and brooch as she rode alone in the back passenger seat of the royal car.
She looked straight ahead and, showing her penchant for pearls, completed the look with a pearl drop earring, which perfectly complemented her patterned jacket.
Emily Maitlis, whose interview with Andrew was screened on Saturday, revealed that it was the monarch herself who gave the final go-ahead for a TV interview following a year of negotiations with the BBC.
The Duke, 59, faced a flurry of questions about his links to the paedophile, who was found dead aged 66 earlier this year in a New York prison cell while being held on sex trafficking charges.
He completely refuted any wrongdoing in the chat but he was widely condemned for showing a lack of remorse over his friendship with Epstein.
Prince Andrew is pictured with Epstein in Central Park in New York in February 2011. The Duke has been dragged deeper into the Epstein scandal following his apparent suicide in a New York jail
Prince Andrew told friends he ‘regretted’ not ex-pressing sympathy for Jeffrey Epstein’s victims in his disastrous TV interview. The Duke of York insisted he had ‘great sympathy’ for anyone abused by his late paedophile friend, and had been in the dark about the ‘extent of his wrongdoing’
Writing in The Times, Maitlis recalled: ‘We have finished laying out our pitch. An awkward moment of silence falls. And the duke tells us he must ‘seek approval from higher up’.
‘It dawns on us then that he means the Queen herself. At 8am the next day we have a message telling us to call his office. The Queen, it seems, is on board.’
A source close to Prince Andrew later claimed he would not ‘do anything without discussing it with Her Majesty first’, while a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said ‘the Queen is aware of the interview’.
Veteran royal reporter Jennie Bond told ITV’s Lorraine that Prince Andrew came across as ‘extremely undignified’ in his interview, ‘displayed such appalling judgement’ and that it was a ‘glaring omission’ not to discuss the victims.
The Queen and Prince Andrew together at Balmoral in Aberdeenshire on September 15
It comes as a lawyer for three of Epstein’s victims said the interview could increase interest in Andrew’s relationship with Epstein, while other senior lawyers suggested that the Duke of York was not immune from prosecution or even extradition to the US to face allegations that he had sex with an underage girl.
Though there was no sign of Andrew as the Queen travelled to church yesterday, sources reported that the Duke of York made his way into the service to speak to his mother.
A friend told the Sun: ‘The Duke went to church with the Queen and was heard telling her it’s all been a great success.
‘He thinks he’s done the right thing and has put the criticism to rest.’
The source added that Andrew has walked to the church and had ‘prayed’ with the monarch.
The prince has always rejected the claim by Epstein’s most high-profile victim, Virginia Roberts – now Virginia Giuffre (pictured) – that he had sex with her three times, twice when she was just 17 and once around her 18th birthday
Always one to look prim and proper, the Queen sported an immaculate make-up look, pairing a deep red lipstick with light foundation while keeping her hair in signature curls
Showing her penchant for pearls, the Queen completed the look with a pearl drop earring, which perfectly complemented her patterned jacket
Meanwhile, a source told The Times that Amanda Thirsk, Andrew’s private secretary thought the Duke’s interview was ‘incredibly raw’.
Veteran royal reporter Jennie Bond says Prince Andrew’s interview has made him an ‘undignified, laughing stock’
Jennie Bond told today’s Lorraine that Prince Andrew has come across as ‘extremely undignified’ in his interview, ‘displayed such appalling judgement’ and that it was a ‘glaring omission’ not to discuss the victims.
Asked if it was a car crash interview former BBC Royal Correspondent Jennie said: ‘It was and the headlines this morning are testament to that I’m afraid.
She added: ‘It was a very uncomfortable watch. He was ill prepared for it. His excuse for that photograph, saying simply I have no recollection of it being taken… photograph of a woman he has his hand around her waist and yet he says he never met her as far as he knows. It just didn’t add up did it. The result? Horrific headlines this morning.’
She continued: ‘I don’t think self-awareness is something Prince Andrew has ever suffered from greatly.
‘It was a glaring omission [not to discuss the victims].’
She concluded: ‘He’s come across as extremely undignified and now he’s a laughing stock.’
Ms Thirsk is believed to be the person who persuaded Andrew to go ahead with the interview.
The source added: ‘She thinks people will appreciate that he was open and honest, and answered every question.
At least it is all out there for people to judge. The sniping and the commentary can now stop.’
However, the interview could instead lead to even more legal scrutiny on the Duke.
Spencer Kuvin, a lawyer in the US who acted for three of Epstein’s victims, said that no one fears Andrew.
He added that the interview could just strengthen the resolve of Epstein’s victims against the Duke.
And senior lawyers have revealed that Andrew is not immune from prosecution or extradition to the US.
Anna Rothwell, a lawyer at Corker Binning, a leading criminal law firm in London, told the Times that Andrew was ‘vulnerable to extradition’ and his decision to give an interview was ‘unwise’.
She said: ‘He is not entitled to any form of immunity by virtue of his position as a member of the royal family.’
Dai Davies, the former royal protection officer, told the Mirror that Andrew displayed ‘classic signs’ of someone not telling the truth in the interview.
He also called for a police investigation into the royal’s friendship with Epstein.
Explosive exchanges with BBC Newsnight that saw Prince Andrew flounder in hour-long ‘juggernaut crash’
It comes after the Prince’s ‘car crash’ BBC interview. Sources close to the Duke of York said he wanted to address the issues head-on and did so with ‘honesty and humility’, despite a enormous online backlash slamming the eighth in line to the throne for a series of increasingly egregious remarks
On ‘unbecoming’ Epstein and their friendship with him and Ghislaine Maxwell
Prince Andrew [PA]: ‘Do I regret the fact that he has quite obviously conducted himself in a manner unbecoming? Yes.’
Emily Maitlis [EM]: ‘Unbecoming? He was a sex offender.’
EM: ‘Do you regret the whole friendship with Epstein?’
PA: ‘Now…still not and the reason being is that the people I met and the opportunities that I was given to learn either by him or because of him were actually very useful.’
PA: ‘It would be a considerable stretch to say that he [Epstein] was a very, very close friend. But he had the most extraordinary ability to bring extraordinary people together and that’s the bit that I remember.’
PA: ‘I stayed with him and that’s the bit that…I kick myself for on a daily basis because it was not something that was becoming of a member of the Royal Family and we try and uphold the highest standards and practices and I let the side down, simple as that.’
EM: ‘Am I right in thinking you threw a birthday party for Epstein’s girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, at Sandringham?’
PA: ‘No, it was a shooting weekend.’
EM: ‘A shooting weekend?’
PA: ‘Just a straightforward, a straightforward shooting weekend.’
On staying with Epstein in New York after his conviction for prostituting a child
EM, referring to the prince’s stay at Epstein’s New York home in 2010 after he was released from prison: ‘You were staying at the house…of a convicted sex offender.’
PA: ‘It was a convenient place to stay… I’ve gone through this in my mind so many times. At the end of the day, with a benefit of all the hindsight that one can have, it was definitely the wrong thing to do. But at the time I felt it was the honourable and right thing to do and I admit fully my judgement was probably coloured by my tendency to be too honourable but that’s just the way it is.’
EM: ‘It might seem a funny way to break off a friendship – a four-day house party of sorts with a dinner.’
PA: ‘That’s a very stark way of putting it. Yes you’re absolutely right. But actually the truth of it is that I actually only saw him for about… the dinner party, the walk in the park and probably passing in the passage.’
On his Pizza Express alibi
EM: ‘Why would you remember a Pizza Express birthday and being at home?’
PA: ‘Because going to Pizza Express in Woking is an unusual thing for me to do, a very unusual thing for me to do.’
On not being able to sweat and not liking to hug
EM: ‘She [Virginia Roberts] was very specific about that night. She described dancing with you. You profusely sweating.’
PA: ‘There’s a slight problem with the sweating because I have a peculiar medical condition which is that I don’t sweat or I didn’t sweat at the time.’
PA: ‘I am not one to, as it were, hug, and public displays of affection are not something that I do.’
His denial that he met or had sex with any of Epstein’s ‘slaves’
EM: ‘For the record, is there any way you could have had sex with that young woman or any young woman trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein in any of his residences?’
PA: ‘No and without putting too fine a point on it, if you’re a man it is a positive act to have sex with somebody…it’s very difficult to try and forget a positive action and I do not remember anything.’
EM: ‘Would you be willing to testify or give a statement under oath if you were asked?’
PA: ‘If push came to shove and the legal advice was to do so, then I would be duty bound to do so.’
Prince ‘I-didn’t-party-or-do-PDAs’ Andrew is pictured doing plenty of both at wild parties on the French Riviera in 2007 (and he looks a wee bit sweaty too)
The Duke of York’s claims he ‘never really partied’ and avoided ‘public displays of affection’ have been seriously undermined as new footage of him letting loose with a bevy of beautiful young women in Saint-Tropez is exclusively revealed by MailOnline today.
Prince Andrew is shown at a wild party thrown by wine tycoon Claude Ott on the French Riviera in July 2008, just weeks after his disgraced friend Jeffrey Epstein was prosecuted for trafficking an underage girl and forcing her into prostitution.
The Prince insisted in his car crash BBC interview with Emily Maitlis on Saturday night that he wasn’t a ‘party prince’, did not sweat because he was shot at in the Falklands and was ‘not one to hug’ women as he dismissed damaging claims he slept with his friend Epstein’s sex slave Virginia Roberts.
But in the new film the Prince appears worse for wear, his hair dishevelled with a hint of sweat and jacket abandoned. Dressed in all white, with his shirt untucked, he is seen heading to the dance floor with two women as techno blares out before he settles down talking to several glamorous female guests, getting in close to chat because of the loud music.
A year earlier, in July 2007, photographs from another bash further trash his claims of avoiding partying and PDA because he is seen sweating and embracing a number of women including socialite Chris Von Aspen, who he holds by the waist before she later licks his face in Saint-Tropez.
At a different party on the same trip Andrew, who earned the nickname ‘Randy Andy’, is seen gripping Canadian socialite Pascale Bourbeau with one hand close to her bottom.
And at the start of the decade, the royal is seen chatting to German supermodel Heidi Klum at a Hookers and Pimps-themed Halloween party held in New York in October 2000, which was also attended by Epstein’s alleged co-conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell, who had her arm round him for part of the night.
Photos show Prince Andrew enjoying the attentions of several women. In this photo, taken on the French Riviera in July 2007 the Prince looks wild-eyed as he parties with American socialite Chris Von Aspen, who licks him
Prince Andrew enjoying himself with American socialite Chris Von Aspen at a party in Saint-Tropez, France, in July 2007. That night he was pictured getting wild with Von Aspen, who at the time was dating Prince Albert of Monaco’s right-hand man
Prince Andrew is seen smiling with American socialite Chris Von Aspen, who cups his face as they pose for photographs. The two seemed enamored with each other in the photographs
Prince Andrew is seen accompanied by Canadian socialite Pascale Bourbeau at a party in Saint-Tropez, France, in July 2007
Prince Andrew is seen chatting to German supermodel Heidi Klum at a Hookers and Pimps-themed Halloween party held in New York in October 2000
At the same party Ghislaine Maxwell – Epstein’s alleged co-conspirator – had her arm around the prince at the same Hookers and Pimps-themed Halloween party
The Duke of York’s claims he ‘never really partied’ in the BBC interview on Saturday night (left) are undermined by footage exclusively published by MailOnline today
The photograph that WON’T go away: Anatomy of the infamous image of Prince Andrew with Jeffrey Epstein’s teenage ‘sex slave’ Virginia Roberts… that Duke of York insists he ‘can’t recall being taken’
The photograph of Prince Andrew with his hands around Virginia Roberts’ waist has long been seen as key to establishing the truth in this sordid saga.
Both sides view it as a key piece of evidence. To Miss Roberts, the March 2001 image proved beyond doubt that her claims of intimacy are true; others have suggested an equally dark secret which could prove the prince is telling the truth.
On the night it was taken, Miss Roberts , then 17, said she went on to have sex with Andrew after being brought to Britain by his billionaire friend and convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
This is the photograph from 2001 which has dogged the Prince for years. But in the bombshell Newsnight interview, he deployed a salvo of objections to hint that it may have been faked – including his choice of outfit and the location of the picture inside a London property owned by Ghislaine Maxwell
The height of the Andrew, who is understood to be around 6ft tall, and Roberts, around 5ft 8 in, has been highly disputed. Experts have pointed out the practice of picture manipulation was in its infancy when the picture was taken
She maintains it was snapped in society hostess Ghislaine Maxwell’s central London mews house after a night out in Mayfair. However, the prince, who has always denied having sex with her, insisted that he had ‘no recollection’ of meeting her or posing for the photo.
He also echoed previously unnamed royal sources who have queried the photo’s veracity, even hinting that the hand around her waist may not be his. He suggested he would never have hugged anyone in public and raised questions about his own attire.
The Duke told interviewer Emily Maitlis: ‘I have absolutely no memory of that photograph ever being taken. From the investigations that we’ve done, you can’t prove whether or not that photograph is faked or not because it is a photograph of a photograph of a photograph.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Emily Maitlis last night, he said he has ‘never seen Epstein with a camera in my life’. He added: ‘If the original was ever produced, then perhaps we might be able to solve it but I can’t’
Pictured is 44 Kinnerton Street, the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell where the photo was said to have been taken. It appears to show Andrew and Roberts smiling on the first floor of the flat but the Prince claims he wasn’t there
‘So it’s very difficult to be able to prove it but I don’t remember that photograph ever being taken.’ He also stated: ‘I’ve never seen Epstein with a camera in my life.’
Miss Maitlis suggested his former friend had borrowed Miss Roberts’ camera, leaving the prince to respond: ‘Listen, I don’t remember. I don’t remember that photograph ever being taken.’
The photo supposedly shows the first floor of the property, with the window appearing to match one at the front of the house. But the prince denied he had been on the first floor.
Miss Maitlis asked: ‘There’s a photo inside Ghislaine Maxwell’s house, Ghislaine herself in the background. Why would people not believe that you were there with her that night?’ He replied: ‘They might well wish to believe it but the photograph is taken upstairs and I don’t think I ever went upstairs… because the dining room and everything was on the ground floor… I’m at a loss to explain this particular photograph.
‘I don’t remember going upstairs because that photograph was taken upstairs and I am not entirely convinced that… we can’t be certain as to whether or not that’s my hand on her whatever it is, side.’
The prince even questioned his own casual clothing in the photo. He said: ‘I don’t believe it’s a picture of me in London because when I would go out in London, I wear a suit and a tie.’
Instead he is dressed in dark trousers and a light blue shirt, with cufflinks adorning his sleeves. Other photos show this was his favoured look at the time and he was pictured in almost exactly the same clothing as he left London’s Chinawhite club a few months earlier.
In the Newsnight interview, he also argued he would not have placed his arm around the teenager, saying: ‘I am not one to, as it were, hug and public displays of affection are not something I do.’ But that claim also seems to be contradicted by a number of photos over the years.
Prince Andrew is asked if he could have had sex with ‘any young woman trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein in any of his residences’ and issues a rambling response: ‘If you’re a man it is a positive act to have sex with somebody’
When Miss Maitlis asked: ‘You think that photo has been faked? Andrew responded: ‘Nobody can prove whether or not that photograph has been doctored but I don’t recollect that photograph being taken. So that’s the best explanation I can give you and I’m afraid to say that I don’t believe that photograph was taken in the way that has been suggested.’
‘If the original was ever produced, then perhaps we might be able to solve it but I can’t.’ The picture was first published by The Mail on Sunday in 2011 after the newspaper found Miss Roberts living in a small bungalow in New South Wales. She is said to have given the original, along with 19 other images, to FBI investigators in 2011.
In recent months, Andrew’s friends have tried to discredit the photograph. A source told the London Evening Standard: ‘Look at his fingers in the photo. The duke has quite chubby fingers – they don’t look right and nor does the height of the duke and the girl.’
The Duke said he was ‘at a loss’ trying to explain the resurfaced photo as the picture was taken on the first floor of the west London property and he allegedly did not have a reason to go there. His claims that he would not put his arm around a teenager have been contradicted by a number of photos over the years
Roberts returns to the mansion where she was held captive and says ‘Prince Andrew should go to jail’ while pointing at the historic photo on 60 Minutes Australia, on November 7
However, while Andrew is said to be around 6ft tall, Virginia is understood to be around 5ft 8in – which is reflected in the picture. Other pictures of his hands do not highlight any obvious discrepancies. Experts have pointed out the practice of manipulating images was in its infancy when the picture was taken.
Miss Roberts’ lawyers have insisted the photograph is real and its authenticity never questioned by the FBI.