Prince Andrew announced he will step down from his royal duties amid the fallout from his alleged involvement in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.
The Duke of York said in a released statement that he asked Queen Elizabeth II if he could step down “for the foreseeable future,” which she accepted.
“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 organizations and charities that I am proud to support,” the prince said.
A statement by His Royal Highness The Duke of York KG. pic.twitter.com/LfMFwMyhcb
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) November 20, 2019
Andrew wrote that he continues to “unequivocally regret my ill-judged association” with Epstein and offered to cooperate with any law enforcement with their investigations into the deceased sex offender.
“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,” he wrote. “I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives.”
Andrew has denied allegations by Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre that she was forced to have sex with him. He expressed regret in a BBC interview last week that he stayed at Epstein’s house after Epstein was convicted of sex offenses in 2008.
Epstein was found dead in his cell in August after he was arrested on sex trafficking charges, and a medical examiner ruled the incident a suicide. Epstein had connections to high-profile officials like Prince Andrew, President Trump and former President Clinton, causing conspiracy theories around his death to spread.