Published On: Fri, Jan 5th, 2024

King Charles stands by Prince Andrew amid Epstein scandal | Royal | News

Royal sources say Charles, 75, has assured Andrew he “will not be ­abandoned”. He also “feels a distinct sense of duty” to his late mother, Queen Elizabeth to ensure his brother is “not cut adrift”.

Andrew has been named 69 times in hundreds of pages of legal documents that contain lurid claims of ­sexual abuse carried out by his former friend, late US financier Jeffrey Epstein, and allegedly his associates.

There have been calls for Scotland Yard to investigate the Duke of York over his friendship with convicted paedophile Epstein. The billionaire killed himself in a New York jail cell in 2019, while awaiting trial on sex
trafficking charges.

Royal sources say Charles would take further action only if Andrew faced criminal charges.

Andrew, 63, has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

The Metropolitan Police said yesterday they would assess any “new and relevant” information from the Epstein documents when brought to officers’ attention. No investigation is currently under way.

One royal source said: “Charles’s position has not changed in terms of allowing Andrew back into the family fold. As King, he decided to order the rest of the family to fall in line and welcome him back and that was the end of the matter.

“He had of course discussed it with others, including Prince William, but his decision was final.

“Charles promised his late mother he would not abandon Andrew once she was gone and that remains the ­situation, unless of course he finds himself engaged in a criminal matter.”

Last year Prince William, 41, ­suggested to his father that, given the weight of the Epstein scandal, Andrew could not be certain more tawdry allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse would not emerge.

A source said: “William was very clear, Andrew cannot be trusted. There are ongoing investigations and new revelations emerging all the time in the cases brought by Epstein’s ­victims and this will haunt [Andrew] and the family forever.

“In [William’s] view, he should have no role with the family at all.”

Yesterday, friends of the Duke said Andrew was “finally waking up” to the fact he will never again be involved in royal duties, but added he was apprehensive about being named in further court documents relating to Epstein and his girlfriend, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, 62.

Maxwell is serving a 20-year jail term in the US for procuring girls for Epstein to abuse.

Andrew was forced to stand down as a working royal in 2019 over his friendship with Epstein and after his disastrous Panorama TV interview

His mother later stripped him of his honorary military roles and he agreed not to use his HRH title.

Charles invited the Duke to his Coronation last May and he was seen last summer driven to church by the Prince and Princess of Wales during the royals’ stay at Balmoral.

Andrew also walked to church at Sandringham with the Royal Family on Christmas Day.

Despite Charles requesting Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson to leave his 30-room Royal Lodge mansion in Windsor for a smaller property, the Duke refuses to move. He has an 80-year lease on the property and can stay as long as he can fund much-needed maintenance – which he has promised to do.

But his position and the King’s judgment was further called into question after Andrew, ex-US
presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump and other high-profile figures were named in the American court papers as associates of Epstein.

There is no suggestion those listed either knew about Epstein’s crimes or took part in any criminal behaviour.

The newly released records formed part of a defamation case against Maxwell by Virginia Giuffre, who had accused Andrew of sex abuse.

The Prince paid Ms Giuffre £12million in 2022 to halt a civil trial in the US, with no admission of guilt.

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