The Sunday Mail (Queensland)

Disgraced son the enforcer’s final duty

- RICHARD FERGUSON

Prince Philip spent years as The Queen’s enforcer and he was called in one last time to sort out a major headache for the Royals – his disgraced son Prince Andrew.

Andrew was forced to step down from his royal duties in November 2019 after a car-crash interview about allegation­s he had sex with a slave of notorious paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Royal insiders told the UK Telegraph that the 98-year-old Philip sat his second eldest son down after the BBC interview and plainly told him he has to “take his punishment”.

“It was a tense meeting and Philip told his son he had to take his punishment,” the insider said.

“There was no screaming or shouting but Philip told him in no uncertain terms that he had to step down for the sake of the monarchy.

“Philip doesn’t like trial by the media but he is realistic enough to realise Andrew’s actions were a danger to the very fabric of the royal family.”

The Andrew-Epstein scandal was the lowest point for the monarchy during the 2010s, a decade in which The Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles had worked so hard to restore the Royal Family’s reputation from the troubles of the 1990s.

Prince Andrew has denied he knew anything about Epstein’s child abuse despite their decade-long friendship and spending four days in 2010 at his Manhattan penthouse with the intention of “ending” the relationsh­ip. He has also denied that he sexually assaulted one of Epstein’s former sex slaves Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who is now based in Queensland, three times between 1999 and 2002.

In the bizarre interview, Prince Andrew said he could not remember ever meeting Ms Roberts Giuffre despite having his arm around her waist in a photograph.

The Duke claimed he could not have been with Ms Roberts Giuffre that night because he had taken his daughter to a Pizza Express restaurant.

He also said the former sex slave’s claims he sweated in a nightclub were false because he could not physically sweat due to a wound he got fighting in the Falklands War.

The global outrage at the interview meant that Andrew was quickly forced to stand down from all his public duties, lost access to taxpayers’ money and was dumped by a range of charities and corporate sponsors.

Palace insiders told The Sun that Philip was worried about his second son and felt he had fallen to a disreputab­le life through his excessive partying over the years.

“Philip regrets Andrew doesn’t know how to lead a simple life. He thinks he’s been too extravagan­t,” the royal source said.

While he played a key part in getting Prince Andrew to accept his fate, the Epstein scandal marked the Duke’s changing role in the royal family at the end of his life.

It was his eldest son Prince

Charles and his grandson Prince William who ultimately pushed The Queen to cut off her favourite son.

Royal biographer Penny Junor said the Epstein scandal saw the end of Philip’s time as the Queen’s troublesho­oter and a transition of power to the next generation.

“The Queen is 93 after all … Prince Philip used to be the one she relied on to whip the family into line,” she said.

“Charles is taking on that job.”

 ??  ?? Philip was the one to force Andrew to step away from his royal duties.
Philip was the one to force Andrew to step away from his royal duties.

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