$500,000 for duke with few duties
PRINCE Andrew will still receive almost $500,000 a year for doing nothing after he stepped down from royal duties over his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
In one of the biggest royal scandals in decades, Andrew dropped a bombshell early yesterday when he announced he was taking a break from royal duties for the “foreseeable future”.
And he has signalled he will give evidence to the FBI about their ongoing investigation into Epstein’s evil world.
Buckingham Palace confirmed to News Corp Australia that the Duke of York’s allowance of £249,000 per year would continue.
“The Duke of York is funded privately by the Queen,” a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said yesterday.
“The only taxpayer money is for travel.”
Andrew’s decision to step down from public life means taxpayers will not be footing the bill for him directly anymore.
However, much of the Queen’s wealth, generationally, has been inherited based on previous taxpayer funds.
Andrew’s last full-time job was in the Navy, but he left the service 18 years ago.
He still manages to maintain properties in England and a $25 million chalet in Switzerland.
There are questions about how he managed to fund his lifestyle.
The Duke of York, 59, made the shock announcement he was stepping down as sponsors including major communications company BT and Barclays Bank started walking away from his charitable causes. It was a major decision and has been signed off by the Queen following a disastrous BBC interview at the weekend.
Andrew said in a statement that he had listened to the criticism levelled at him this week.
“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,” he said.
“Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission.”
Andrew, who was criticised for failing to offer sympathy to Epstein’s victims in his interview, said he regretted his friendship with the high flying financier who killed himself in jail on August 10.
“I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein,” he said.
“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.
“Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”
Epstein was facing child sex trafficking charges before his death and was accused of procuring young girls for his friends. Andrew has denied claims that he slept with Virginia Roberts Giuffre when she was 17, who he was pictured with in a notorious photograph where he had his arm around her waist.
His explanations that he could not have been with her included taking his daughter to a Pizza Express restaurant, that he didn’t sweat and that
he was not affectionate in public.
However, photographs of the prince being close to several women and attending a nightclub that Ms Roberts Giuffre, who now lives in Cairns, had claimed they danced in have undermined his defences.
Andrew had said that he did not regret his friendship with Epstein during the BBC interview but has since had a change of heart.
KPMG and Asian-focused bank Standard Chartered ended their sponsorships of his [email protected] events, while London Metropolitan University and Huddersfield University were also reconsidering their associations.
Andrew had undertaken more than 200 engagements this year.