After a scandal that sent much of the royal family into a tailspin, the Duke of York was booted from Buckingham Palace by his brother King Charles III—first his office closed in December 2022 and in January 2023, he spent his last night sleeping in his luxurious palace suite. So what did Prince Andrew do that got him booted from the British monarchy’s headquarters?
Andrew has been keeping a relatively low profile since resigning from the Royal family, embroiled in a global scandal that linked him to the world’s most famous sex offenders. Here’s why Prince Andrew lost his royal titles and why Charles kicked him out.
What did Prince Andrew do?
What did Prince Andrew do? In 2019, Andrew stepped back from royal duties over his ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, though he’s repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
He faced mounting scrutiny due to his alleged relationship with Epstein. The sex offender was found dead in his cell at the Metropolitan Correction Center, NY before he was due to face court on federal sex-trafficking charges. The Friday morning before his death, thousands of documents from a civil suit had been released, providing lurid accounts accusing Epstein of sexually abusing many underage girls.
Epstein’s “suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathize with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure,” the prince said in 2019. “I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”
Renewed interest in these allegations linking Andrew and Epstein was sparked after Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a victim of Epstein’s sex trafficking ring, claimed she was sexually assaulted multiple times by Prince Andrew in London and on a private Caribbean Island owned by Epstein. Giuffre filed a lawsuit against Andrew in the state of New York, which he settled out of court for a reported $16 million.
“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,” Andrew said in a statement at the same time. “I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein.” The prince also said, “I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations if required.”
During an interview with the BBC in November 2019, Prince Andrew said he “regretted” his connection to Epstein but had no memory of ever meeting Giuffre. “I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever,” he said and has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. He stepped back from royal life shortly after the BBC interview aired, asking his mother, the late Queen Elizabeth II for permission to withdraw from public duties.
In 2022, Andrew was stripped of his military titles after a judge ruled a sexual abuse civil lawsuit against him could proceed, which he settled. “With The Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen. The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen,” the palace said in a statement.
How did King Charles react to Prince Andrew’s Jeffrey Epstein scandal?
How did King Charles react to Prince Andrew’s Jeffrey Epstein scandal? In December 2022, after the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth and subsequent ascension to the throne by his brother Charles, the newly minted King reportedly “threw out” Andrew, his second-youngest sibling, from Buckingham Palace. In A source told The Sun: “The King has made it clear that Buckingham Palace is no place for Prince Andrew,” a source told the tabloid. “First, his office closed last year and now his sleeping quarters.”
Andrew moved into the suite in the 1980s where palace maids were reportedly asked to rearrange his collection of teddy bears daily. “As soon as I got the job, I was told about the teddies and it was drilled into me how he wanted them,” former Palace maid, Charlotte Briggs, told The Sun in 2022. “I even had a day’s training. Everything had to be just right. It was so peculiar. It was so odd. After all, he was a grown man who had served in the Falklands. But he absolutely loved the teddies and was very clear about how he wanted them arranged.”
According to a source quoted in The Sun, “Andrew loved having a suite at Buckingham Palace where he was not only set up for marital life with Sarah Ferguson but used it as a bachelor’s pad after his divorce. He brought back a string of new girlfriends to his home in the Palace— even model Caprice.” The tabloid added that if the disgraced Duke wants to remain in London, he’ll have to move to the other royal residence, St. James Palace, which “doesn’t have the same allure for a single man,” the source observed.
Andrew and Caprice dated for two months in 2000, having met the Dancing on Ice star at a dinner party and invited her back to his now former Palace suite. “He took her to Buckingham Palace twice, and on one occasion she sat on the Queen’s throne,” a source told The Sun in March 2020. “She spotted a bowl she liked and asked Andrew if she could steal it and post it to her mom. She claims that he let her, and her mom loved it!”
Apparently, the Royal Family are allowed to host visitors, but it’s understood they are expected to first notify the Palace guards. A royal source said, per The Sun: “I’ve never heard of anything like this before. “Andrew has an apartment at the Palace, and clearly feels at home there. He’s entertained friends within his own space but showing pals around the entire Palace is quite extraordinary.”
Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch
For more about the British royal family, check out Sally Bedell Smith’s 2012 biography, Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch. The New York Times bestseller, which includes the “real story” behind several storylines featured in Netflix’s The Crown, follows Queen Elizabeth II’s life from her childhood as the “heiress presumptive” to her father, King George VI; to the moment he met her husband, Prince Philip, when she was 13 years old; to her ascension to the throne at 25 years old in 1952. Elizabeth the Queen, which also includes interviews with Buckingham Palace sources and never-before-revealed documents, provides a deep dive into the Queen’s legacy as one of the most famous monarchs in recent history.
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