Prince Andrew made the questionable decision to give a no-holds-barred interview over the weekend. It was, to put things mildly, a disaster. Now, the Duke of York reportedly wants another chance to set the record straight and “show some remorse.”
BBC Newsnight Interview Is a Nightmare for Prince Andrew
Andrew, of course, is in the media spotlight because of his association with Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted pedophile and sex trafficker who died in prison this August. One of Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Guiffre, claims that she was trafficked to the Prince on 3 occasions when she was just 17 years old.
In an attempt to put the issue to rest, Andrew agreed to an hour-long interview with BBC Newsnight journalist Emily Maitlis. Despite urging from his newly hired spin doctor (who subsequently quit before the interview aired), Andrew truly believed that he could clear his name with the tell-all interview.
That’s not what happened. Instead, it was a total “car crash,” according to the Times of London. Andrew fumbled his answers, delivering bizarre defenses about his inability to sweat (after his noble service to Queen and Country during the Falkland War) and his birthday trip to a Pizza Express in Woking.
The worst part of the interview, from a PR standpoint, was Andrew’s refusal to disavow Epstein or express any remorse for the man’s victims. Even when Maitlis pressed him on the point, the Duke of York insisted that he made several useful business contacts thanks to his relationship to Epstein. He also claimed that he had no idea what the convicted pedophile did in his private life.
Fallout for the Entire Royal Family
In the wake of the interview, multiple sponsors of his charities, including the Pitch@Palace initiative, have dropped Andrew. He cancelled an engagement in Yorkshire, where he was supposed to meet with people affected by recent flooding–an event that should have been an easy PR win for him.
There’s also talk that his daughters are suffering from the fallout. Princess Beatrice is planning a 2020 wedding with fiancé Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, but Royal expert Marlene Koenig predicts that the big day will be tainted by Andrew’s reputation: “Beatrice’s wedding will be collateral damage. I will not be surprised if she has a rather quiet wedding, out of the public eye, with a few photos, no live coverage.”
Prince Charles–Andrew’s older brother–is reportedly furious that the interview pushed his Royal tour of New Zealand with Camilla off the front page. The brothers are allegedly not close, and some Royal watchers anticipate serious consequences for Andrew once Charles takes the throne. While members of the Royal family can’t be “fired,” they can be stripped of titles and privileges.
Andrew Considering a Second Interview?
Given that the interview was such a disaster, you might think that Prince Andrew would keep his head down, and possibly even retire from public life. Instead, Vanity Fair reports that he wants a do-over.
According to an anonymous source inside Buckingham Palace, “He wants the chance to put right the things he didn’t say. Newsnight gave him the chance to show some remorse. He was asked if there was anything else he wanted to say. It was an open goal—he didn’t grasp it, and I think he sees that now.”
Does Andrew deserve a second chance? And more importantly, is there anything he could possibly say to salvage this situation?