June 6, 2023

Prince Andrew could have agreed to publicly clear the air over his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein with a 2019 interview that finally hastened his royal downfall to be able to keep away from overshadowing the approaching marriage of his eldest daughter, a brand new documentary has heard.

Andrew gave a 50-minute sit-down interview to the BBC community’s Newsnight present in November 2019 amid mounting stress on the royal to deal with his friendship with the convicted intercourse offender Epstein, who had been discovered useless in his jail cell earlier that summer time. The royal confronted questions on his relationship with Virginia Giuffre who had accused him of sexual misconduct. Andrew denied the allegations and each events reached an out-of-court settlement over a lawsuit introduced by Giuffre.

According to witnesses, whereas arranging to participate within the interview which was held at Buckingham Palace, the prince was joined in planning conferences by his eldest daughter, Princess Beatrice.

Prince Andrew and Princess Beatrice
Prince Andrew photographed along with his eldest daughter at Royal Ascot, June 18, 2019. A brand new documentary asks whether or not the prince undertook his ‘Newsnight’ interview in 2019 to avoid wasting his daughter’s marriage ceremony from being overshadowed.
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

The princess was getting ready to marry her fiancé Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in a May 2020 ceremony at St James’ Palace, the primary royal marriage ceremony to happen in London since Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011.

Emily Maitlis, then the BBC anchor tasked with conducting the interview with Andrew, has just lately mirrored that his daughter’s marriage ceremony could have been a motivating issue for the prince to publicly tackle the Epstein scandal, in order to not let it overshadow her celebration.

Recounting the occasions surrounding the interview, Maitlis instructed Channel 4’s upcoming documentary collection Andrew – The Problem Prince, per the Daily Mail: “It’s the first time the thought crossed my mind that maybe he was doing it for her.”

“‘Your life has been hellish. You’ve had to read these headlines. You’re trying to get married. I’m going to do this to make it better for you.’ I don’t know if that’s true, but it crossed my mind.”

Newsnight producer Sam McAlister, who was instrumental in securing the interview, has voiced feeling a way of confusion as to why Beatrice was concerned in arranging it, significantly given the intense and sexual nature of the claims being lodged in opposition to her father.

“Around the corner comes his daughter, Princess Beatrice. That was really quite a curve ball of curve balls,” she instructed the documentary makers.

“Can you imagine being in Buckingham Palace about to talk to a member of the royal family about sexual offences? That’s pretty tricky. And now I’ve got to do it in front of his daughter?”

McAlister beforehand wrote about Beatrice’s involvement within the course of in her 2022 e-book Scoops which is presently being tailored for display by Netflix.

She described the princess as “polite and engaged” although was “evidently anxious” in regards to the course of. After a gathering by which all of them mentioned the main target of the interview, McAlister famous that Andrew “turned to Princess Beatrice and said that they had a lot to discuss and they should go, straight after, upstairs, to talk about it, over a cup of tea, with mum [Queen Elizabeth II].”

Prince Andrew And Emily Maitlis "Newsnight" Interview
Prince Andrew photographed endeavor his BBC ‘Newsnight’ interview with broadcaster Emily Maitlis at Buckingham Palace, November 2019. Newsnight producer Sam McAlister, who was instrumental in securing the interview, has voiced feeling a way of confusion as to why Beatrice was concerned in arranging it, significantly given the intense and sexual nature of the claims being lodged in opposition to her father.

The ensuing interview was broadcast on November 16, 2019. During their dialogue, Maitlis grilled Andrew over his friendship with Epstein and his affiliate Ghislaine Maxwell and on the claims made by Epstein’s alleged abuse sufferer Giuffre, who alleged that the prince had sexually assaulted her when she was 17.

Andrew denied Giuffre’s account and provided an alibi that he was visiting a pizza restaurant with Beatrice on the evening an assault was alleged to have taken place. He additionally stated that Giuffre’s declare that he sweats excessively was false as a result of he bodily can not sweat after an adrenaline imbalance incurred throughout his service within the Falklands War.

Public response to the interview was swift with the prince being criticized for not sufficiently distancing himself from Epstein or justifying remaining socially related with him as soon as allegations about his behaviour had been made public.

The royal confronted criticism for his obvious try to discredit Giuffre’s claims and for the strangeness of his pizza restaurant and sweating alibis.

As public unease mounted concerning the prince, he introduced simply three days after the interview’s broadcast that he would step down from his public roles to distance himself from the monarchy. A press release from Buckingham Palace learn:

“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.

“Therefore, I’ve requested Her Majesty if I could step again from public duties for the foreseeable future, and he or she has given her permission.”

Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi photographed at Royal Ascot, June 15, 2022. The couple married in a non-public ceremony in July 2020.
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Princess Beatrice’s marriage to Mapelli Mozzi didn’t go as deliberate in London, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic which noticed the world enter lockdowns two months earlier than the deliberate date. Instead, the pair married in a non-public ceremony on the royal chapel within the grounds of Windsor Castle on July 17, 2020. No images of the bride’s father had been launched from the day.

Giuffre filed a civil lawsuit in opposition to Andrew in 2021 which he settled in February the next 12 months after it was introduced that he had been stripped of his army associations and patronages and would now not use the type of “His Royal Highness.”

Despite this, Andrew has maintained sturdy denials of any wrongdoing.

Since then, the prince has remained a royal retiree, making transient public appearances to attend household occasions such because the funeral companies for his dad and mom Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, in addition to being included in royal Christmas and Easter celebrations by his brother, King Charles.

It is anticipated that the prince can be in attendance on the king’s coronation on May 6 at Westminster Abbey.

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek’s royal reporter primarily based in London. You can discover him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and browse his tales on Newsweek’s The Royals Facebook web page.

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