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    Britain's Prince Andrew attends the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy at the Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019.

    Story Surrounding Prince Andrew Begs the Question of Why There's Monarchy at All – Commentator

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    A lawyer representing some of Jeffrey Epstein's victims on Thursday called on the Duke of York to put himself forward to be interviewed by US investigators in the midst of the growing scandal. The lawyer, Gloria Allred, questioned Prince Andrew's pledge that he would assist with probes into the convicted sex offender "if required".

    According to John Steppling, a political commentator, Prince Andrew's interview was a disaster, making people doubt the necessity of monarchy in the United Kingdom.

    Sputnik: Could we see Prince Andrew agree to contact US investigators as the pressure of the Epstein scandal continues to rise? Could we see an extradition situation take place?

    John Steppling: I would doubt that he's going to make himself available. I mean, he did this interview, which perhaps seemed like a good idea at the time, but was a train wreck, you know, it was terrible from the point of view of the royal family. But everything that one asks about this story begs the question of why there is a monarchy at all - what useful role does he serve anyway? Here we have Andrew and it's a very peculiar case and we could talk at great length about the Epstein case, because it's complex, but will Prince Andrew make himself available? I seriously doubt it.

    Sputnik: What's the significance of him stepping down from royal duties at the Queen's request? 

    John Steppling: Well, it essentially means he's going to be nearly invisible moving forward, but stepping down from what? From having this extraordinary personal trust fund and these monies that all members of the royal family draw upon? I can't get past the anachronistic and kind of ethically challenged question of why there is a monarch. I suppose it's punishment enough that a grown man is being publicly scolded by the Queen - if it weren't somehow so morally repulsive.

    The whole thing would be quite humorous, but sadly it's not. It's humiliating for Andrew, it's humiliating for the royal family and who cares, you know? There are certainly far more pressing issues around and it is just time for this whole monstrous sort of apparatus institution to be abolished and to be done away with that. That's the punch line to all of this, I think.

    Sputnik: We’ve focused on the possibilities of him cooperating with US investigators, but say, for example, he doesn’t – what then? What effect could this have on not just Prince Andrew, but the case as well?

    John Steppling: Well, I mean the case is quite interesting because the Epstein case has been a case of damage control on several fronts, starting with his obvious murder in custody. Those two police officers were fired for "not paying attention", in quotation marks. So clearly the Epstein case threatens a lot of people and there are people who are implicated and associated with it who are already tarnished by that association; where the case goes, I kind of think there are a lot of forces that would like this case to go away somehow, but there's a lot of titillation involved in this. People like to read about anything having to do with, you know, illicit erotic activities - especially with celebrities. So it has traction because of that, but the real core importance of it, the important people who protected him, I doubt we'll ever know that. Not for another few decades anyway.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    scandal, Prince Andrew, Jeffrey Epstein
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