Prince Andrew ‘starting to accept’ says commentator
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Prince Andrew has been warned by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s unofficial biographer Omid Scobie to forget about making a comeback into public life. Ahead of King Charles III’s Coronation in May, reports suggest the Duke of York is looking for a way back into the Royal Family fold and a return to a more frontline role after having lost several honorary titles and his “HRH” status.
Andrew has had to face allegations involving Virginia Giuffre, who claimed she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein. He settled her lawsuit in the US civil courts against him last year, accepting no liability, and has continued to vehemently deny any wrongdoing.
In November 2019, the duke appeared on a BBC Newsnight special where he spoke about his relationship with Epstein and allegations that had been made against him over his own conduct. Andrew has not publicly commented on this since.
But leading royal author Mr Scobie has said Andrew should forget about making a comeback into public life.
The Yahoo! News Royal Executive Editor wrote in his latest column for the website: “Just like the several other times he attempted to squeeze himself back into public life, he’s once again forgetting the same key weakness – a lack of empathy.
“It’s ultimately what turned so many off after his car crash of a Newsnight interview aired in 2019. Though the primetime special was filled with ridiculed responses, it was his lack of empathy for the victims of his paedophile acquaintance Epstein that incensed viewers the most.
“‘This will always be his problem,’ says an associate of the prince. ‘He has a sensitivity chip missing… When everyone criticised him for not showing sympathy, he didn’t see the problem.
“‘Even today, I don’t think he’s particularly horrified. He certainly doesn’t express that privately. I’d say the public can already sense that.’
“In fact, if what we’ve seen recently from convicted sex trafficker Maxwell’s ‘poor me’ prison interviews and various Andrew friends regularly going on television to pour doubt over the authenticity of that infamous photo of the prince with his arm around Giuffre in 2001, the Duke of York risks coming out of this latest PR exercise looking even worse than ever. If that’s possible.”
Mr Scobie believes over the next 12 months, Andrew will have more than a few challenges to his innocence campaign, pointing to the new Ms Giuffre – who had only agreed to a one year silence deal after settling with the duke – has signed a major publishing deal.
He fears amongst more about her relationships with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, the book could also provide “new and unheard claims about Andrew”.
The royal author concluded: “Over at the Palace, both King Charles and Prince William are said to be poised to do whatever is necessary to prevent Andrew from causing further embarrassment and shame to the institution of the monarchy.
“‘He has support privately but publicly, he is alone,’ says a royal source. In fact, other than the lawyers and aides on his payroll – including UK solicitor Gary Bloxsome and US lawyer Andrew Brettler – Prince Andrew continues to have no one in his corner. And if that’s not a sign for him to give up on this delusional comeback, I don’t know what is.”
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Royal Family commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told Express.co.uk earlier this week: “King Charles and the Prince of Wales are both determined he will never play an active part in royal life again.
“It seems clear that Andrew, who could always help to manage the royal estates, refuses to believe his life as a senior working member of the Royal Family is over. It is unclear whether he is taking advice or, if so, from whom.”
Mr Fitzwilliams said Andrew will reportedly attend his brother’s Coronation, but will play no active part in the proceedings. It has not yet been made public which royals will appear in the Coronation procession or on the palace balcony alongside the King and Queen Consort on the day.
The royal expert added: “The Newsnight interview is still fresh in the national memory and the photograph of him with Giuffre has not been proved a fake. In his handling of the allegations against him, he continues to be his own worst enemy.”
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