Does Prince Andrew Have Any Chance Of Redeeming His Royal Role?

Royal expert and famed biographer Andrew Morton, known for his previous controversial books "Meghan and the Unmasking of the Monarchy" and "Diana: Her True Story — In Her Own Words," has shared his thoughts on the possibility of Prince Andrew one day redeeming his royal role.

According to the BBC, the controversy surrounding Prince Andrew went into overdrive in 2019 following a poorly-received "Newsnight" interview in the United Kingdom, during which his relationship with the convicted sex offender Jefferey Epstein, who took his own life in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, was heavily scrutinized. 

Speaking on the BBC's "Newsnight," Prince Andrew admitted that he regretted certain elements of his relationship with Epstein, and also denied any sexual conduct between himself and Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who alleges that she was forced to sleep with the senior royal when she was just 17 years old.

Per Harper's Bazaar, Prince Andrew announced that he would be stepping back from royal life in November 2019 following his disastrous BBC interview. A year later, in 2020, The Sunday Times reported that the Duke of York had decided he would not be resuming royal duties in any capacity. 

Andrew Morton weighed in on Prince Andrew's future in the royal family

During an interview with Salon magazine, royal author Andrew Morton was quizzed about Prince Andrew's future in the British monarchy and asked what his role within the royal family could look like if he ever returned to public duties. 

"Well, he's the most unpopular member of the royal family, according to a latest UK poll. His relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, whether or not he had sex with Virginia Giuffre, the fact is that he remained friends with a convicted pedophile and stayed at his house for five days. It's a mess. It's an unmitigated mess." Morton went on to say that the Duke's "royal career is over," adding, "I think the best thing he should be doing is as a land manager of Balmoral, or something working for the family firm as an executive, overseeing the works on the farms. I think his royal career is pretty well kaput."

Speaking to The Times in August 2021, a source close to Andrew's brother Prince Charles echoed Morton's opinion on the matter, revealing that, although Charles has sympathy for his brother's situation, the Epstein scandal has caused "unwelcome reputational damage to the institution."

The source continued on to call Prince Andrew an "unsolvable" problem, adding, "This will probably further strengthen in the prince's mind that a way back for the duke is demonstrably not possible, because the specter of this accusation raises its head with hideous regularity" (via The Sun).