Prince Philip ordered under-fire Prince Andrew to “step down for the sake of the monarchy” during a showdown at the royal estate of Sandringham amid the fallout from the spiraling Jeffrey Epstein crisis, reported The Daily Telegraph.
“It was a tense meeting and the Duke of Edinburgh told his son he had to take his punishment,” the publication quotes a royal insider as saying.
“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 that Andrew’s actions were a danger to the very fabric of the royal family,” continued the source, adding:
“Philip regrets Andrew doesn't know how to lead a simple life. He thinks he's been too extravagant.”
The publication cited the insider as saying it was agreed the royals would have another meeting with Prince Charles after his return from a tour of New Zealand and the Solomon Islands.
According to the outlet, on Monday, 2 December, Prince Andrew drove himself to the 20,000 acre estate and met Prince Charles and the Duke of Edinburgh for a light lunch which reportedly took place shortly before the BBC interview with Prince Andrew's accuser Virginia Roberts aired on Monday.
“It was all very civilised but Charles calmly read him the riot act and told him there was no way back for him in the near future,” said the source.
Prince Charles was also said to be concerned with the prospect of his brother going to the US to clear his name, amid fears that such a move could “remove the mystery” surrounding the royal family.
Regarding the Duke of York’s response to the punishment he was being meted out, the source said:
“Andrew thought he was being treated harshly as nothing has yet been proved against him, but he accepted the decision. He really had little choice.”
Earlier, Buckingham Palace released a statement on 20 November announcing that the Duke of York was “stepping back from public duties for the foreseeable future” with the Queen’s permission.
New Twist in Epstein Scandal
In fresh developments pertaining to the pedophile Epstein investigation a new witness has surfaced, claiming she was “feet away” from Prince Andrew and alleged sex trafficking victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre, aged 17 at the time, as they danced in a club on the night they reportedly had sex.
Lisa Bloom, a US lawyer for victims of the convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, says the as-yet-unnamed woman “vividly remembers” seeing the pair at Tramp nightclub in Mayfair in March 2001 and was willing to speak to Scotland Yard and the FBI.
The US lawyer was quoted as saying the witness approached her after Prince Andrew’s BBC Newsnight interview where he denied the validity of a photo showing him with Virginia Giuffre and intended to dispute the Royal’s claim.
Prince Andrew has insisted he was at home with his daughters following dinner at Pizza Express in Woking on the night that Virginia Roberts Giuffre, then 17, claims she was forced to have sex with him by his paedophile friend Jeffrey Epstein.
As the Epstein scandal has been gathering steam, the royal family and Prince Andrew have strongly denied involvement in any wrongdoing or of having had knowledge of crimes committed by Jeffrey Epstein.
Prince Andrew also denied ever having a sexual relationship with his accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
Convicted sex abuser Jeffrey Epstein had been under investigation for nearly two decades at the time of his suspicious death in custody earlier this year.
His death in jail was ruled a suicide by a coroner but generated increased suspicion as the influential American paedophile was reportedly linked to many famous and powerful people.