Prince Andrew steps down from royal duties

Queen Elizabeth's son has officially withdrawn from public duties "for the foreseeable future".

Prince Andrew has been under fire in the media of late, after he gave a distastrous TV interview in the UK relating to the status of his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein. 

The Duke of York has reportedly asked the Queen if he can step back from his public duties and has said he will cooperate fully with any investigations currently being held, should he be required to.

Prince Andrew said in a statement released by Buckingham Palace: "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 organisations and charities that I am proud to support.

"Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission.

“I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. 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.

I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives."

According to the Daily Mail, Sarah Ferguson - Andrew's ex-wife - is said to have encouraged the TV interview, which ultimately led to the Prince facing increased scrutiny.

A source reportedly told the publication Sarah had the best intentions for the interview, despite it going awry: “Given how damaging this scandal has been in the past six months, Sarah felt Andrew needed to get ahead of the matter to give his public image a better chance of recovery.”

"When the possibility of this interview arose, Sarah felt that it could be the best way of clearing his name while presenting the public with a look at the real Andrew."

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