It seems that Prince Andrew has long had trouble reading the room after his longtime friendship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein left a cloud of suspicion over him. Even though he now understands he has to let the legal process play out with Epstein’s former accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell, the Queen’s favorite son (as suggested on this past season of The Crown) hopes that one day his royal life will return to normal.
The exile of Prince Andrew from his role as a senior royal has been even more dramatic than anticipated — the ongoing pandemic kept him out of the public eye and quarantining at Royal Lodge Windsor with ex-wife Sarah Ferguson. Perhaps that contemplative time allowed him to understand how big of a mess he’s in.
Sources are telling the U.K.’s Mirror that he’s “sensitive to the public mood” and that means staying home and out of the spotlight until the legal case is completed. At some point, he will have to sit down with U.S. officials and tell the truth, because the public isn’t otherwise interested in having him return to royal life.
“The Duke’s future role is only likely to be seriously considered once the legal process has been resolved and the Duke’s side of the story properly explained,” says the insider. “Until then, the Duke is sensitive to the public mood and to the fact that the institution must come first.”
That doesn’t mean he isn’t thinking about wiggling his way back to royal life when he puts this controversy behind him. With the Queen firmly establishing specific royals in the “Firm of Eight” — Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Charles, Duchess Camilla of Cornwall, Prince Edward, Countess Sophie of Wessex, Princess Anne and the Queen herself — it’s no doubt Prince Andrew would one day like to be back in the mix.
Frankly, it’s a tall order even if he isn’t charged in the Epstein case — the British citizens won’t soon forget his embarrassing interview with the BBC in 2019. Prince Andrew has consistently denied Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s allegations of being forced by Epstein to have sex with the royal three times between 1999 and 2002 — and photographic evidence does put Andrew at the scene of the crime in 2001. The swift backlash from the interview put him in exile, possibly forever, from royal life, even as Prince Andrew continues to hope it is just a temporary situation.
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