Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photos by (L) Steve Parsons; (R) Chris Jackson
Royal expert Robert Hardman has acknowledged that the impact of allegations surrounding Prince Andrew’s association with the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein might surpass the controversies involving Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, posing a potential threat to the British royal family.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Hardman, the author of “The Making of a King: King Charles III and the Modern Monarchy,” underscored the severity of the Duke of York’s alleged involvement in a sex abuse case, drawing a contrast with the attention garnered by Prince Harry’s memoir and the ongoing disputes with the Sussexes.
Historically, the palace’s staunch support for Prince Andrew, often considered Queen Elizabeth II’s favored son, could be rooted in familial loyalty. Hardman suggests that due to a history of false charges against the royals, the late Queen may have taken Prince Andrew at his word, emphasizing the monarchy’s tendency to prioritize family ties.
However, with the shift in dynamics following Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, Prince Andrew’s future looks uncertain. Hardman portrays King Charles III as prioritizing the monarchy over familial relationships, indicating that the Duke of York may face challenges returning to public life. The age difference and less-than-close connection between the two brothers further diminish Prince Andrew’s chances of rehabilitation, highlighting the new king’s focus on preserving the monarchy’s reputation.
The Independent detailed individuals implicated in court records related to Epstein, including Prince Andrew and Bill Clinton. Unsealed court records exposed Epstein’s extensive network spanning politics, entertainment, and business. Prince Andrew is notably linked to a previous claim of groping Johanna Sjoberg, which he denies.
The contrast in the royal family’s response to Prince Andrew’s involvement in the Epstein affair and their treatment of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is evident. Despite calls for reconciliation with the Sussexes, the palace seems to prioritize Prince Andrew, even after the release of damning Epstein documents.
As the monarchy, led by King Charles III, faces pressure to reassess its stance on Prince Andrew, questions arise about its strategy to maintain public trust. The optics of supporting Prince Andrew’s post-Epstein scandal have generated public mistrust, potentially impacting the credibility of King Charles III’s reign.