Even as Prince Andrew was penning that historic statement on Wednesday evening announcing his withdrawal from public life, the edict had gone out: protect the Princesses.
By any measure, Beatrice and Eugenie have suffered a traumatic few days — from the excruciating Newsnight interview on Saturday to the widespread criticism of their father at home and abroad for his links to the paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
They were, however putting a brave face on it, and were spotted out and about in London this week, Beatrice at a private members’ club and Eugenie at a charity event.
Beatrice and Eugenie have suffered a traumatic few days following their father’s excruciating Newsnight interview on Saturday (pictured in 2011 at William and Kate’s wedding)
But, with their scandal-prone father having damaged his reputation beyond repair, there is now much speculation about their future.
Just how will the Duke of York’s effective ‘sacking’ from The Firm impact their own lives and careers?
A royal aide yesterday confirmed that Beatrice and Eugenie will continue with a limited number of royal duties as before.
‘The Princesses do undertake a small number of royal engagements each year, as and when asked, and that will continue,’ a Buckingham Palace spokesman said.
So we will see them on the Palace balcony after Trooping The Colour, at a couple of garden parties and the occasional evening reception. But that, it seems, will be it.
Andrew’s years of lobbying for the ‘blood Princesses’ to have a greater role in The Firm — something that brought him into conflict with Prince Charles and his vision of a slimmed-down monarchy — has finally been thwarted.
Now that he has been retired — be it temporarily or permanently — Andrew will not be able to promote his girls in quite the same way any more. ‘The promotion which Andrew had hoped for in terms of his daughters taking on more duties will now never happen,’ a royal source told the Mail yesterday. ‘They will have to focus on the day job.’
A royal aide yesterday confirmed that Beatrice and Eugenie will continue with a limited number of royal duties as before (pictured skiing in Verbier in 2001)
That may not be the most enticing prospect for either of them.
For the record, Eugenie, 29, has a role at the Hauser & Wirth Art Gallery in Mayfair. She starts at 9am and leaves at 5pm sharp.
According to a recruitment website, she can expect to be paid in the region of £32,000 to £34,000. Beatrice, 31, is vice-president of partnerships and strategy at Afiniti, an American software company where she focuses on ‘client development’. Her salary is unknown.
Certainly, these jobs are not enough to keep them in the manner to which they have become accustomed, and Andrew has long subsidised their lifestyles.
Their father’s calamity may have a financial impact then as well as being personally distressing — hence that edict.
A Palace source said: ‘. . . there was a sense of everyone circling the wagons around the girls. There is a feeling that they must not be made to pay for the sins of the father.
‘The Queen is particularly fond of Beatrice and Eugenie, and she respects the way that Andrew and Sarah have brought them up. Even though you may feel that they made such a mess of their own lives, they have been loving co-parents.
‘The Queen will continue to invite Beatrice and Eugenie to Balmoral over the summer and she sees quite a lot of them at Windsor. They, in turn, are fond of ‘Super Gran’, as they call her.
‘The feeling is that everyone wants to protect them from this hurt and from further hurt, rather than dance on their father’s ‘grave’.’
Eugenie and Beatrice’s jobs are not enough to keep them in the manner to which they have become accustomed, and Andrew has long subsidised their lifestyles (pictured at a ball in Windsor in 2006)
High on the agenda is the immediate dilemma over Beatrice’s wedding. Planning is understood to be well underway for her 2020 nuptials and there was an expectation that details would be announced early in the New Year.
In the light of what has happened this week, any re-run of Eugenie’s ostentatious Windsor Castle wedding last October — a guest list of 800, an open carriage ride through Windsor and a £2 million-plus bill to the taxpayer for security and clean up — can be ruled out.
Critics claimed that the sheer scale of the event was a reflection of Andrew’s determination to show Eugenie’s status as a senior royal (she is ninth in line to the throne).
To be fair to Beatrice, nuptials to rival her sister’s were not something she desired, not least because her fiance, property tycoon Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, 35, was in a previous relationship from which he has a young child.
So her wedding was always going to be less of a public spectacle, say sources. In addition, ‘[her mother Sarah] has got the big wedding out of her system and so [Beatrice] will have it in another much smaller royal chapel or else privately at St George’s Chapel in Windsor’.
York Minster, which last hosted a royal wedding in 1960 when the Duke of Kent married Yorkshire landowner’s daughter Katharine Worsley, has also been mentioned, as has the possibility of a small, informal ‘do’ abroad.
Beatrice’s wedding will unlikely be a re-run of Eugenie’s ostentatious Windsor Castle wedding last October (pictured)
Although the Duchess of York said a few months ago that ‘it can only be in Britain’, recent events may prompt a change of heart. Then there is the not insignificant question of who might pay for the wedding. Prince Andrew receives £249,000 annually from the Queen to fund his private office, and he has also benefitted from many discreet commercial deals over the years, as the Mail reported earlier this week.
Acting as a fixer for a Greek water company wanting to build sewage pipelines in Kazakhstan was reported to have brought him nearly £4 million. But in the aftermath of the Epstein scandal, such lucrative business propositions may well dry up. It’s sure to be a cause for concern for the sisters.
Beatrice lives — at least part of the time — in a taxpayer-funded apartment at St James’s Palace, while Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank, a wine merchant and ambassador for a tequila brand, live in Ivy Cottage, a three- bedroom house in the grounds of Kensington Palace.
That is being rented to them at a ‘commercial rate’, which is said to be around £182,000 a year. It has always been assumed that Prince Andrew covers this cost. At weekends, Beatrice and Eugenie go home to the 30-room Royal Lodge in Windsor, leased at a peppercorn sum to Andrew, where their divorced parents live together.
Beatrice (pictured with her parents at Ascot last year) lives — at least part of the time — in a taxpayer-funded apartment at St James’s Palace
They call their parents ‘Mumsy’ and ‘Papa’ and are utterly devoted to them both. Eugenie’s Instagram is full of fond tributes to them as loving and kind influences.
Royal Lodge has been the venue for numerous parties over the years which have, at times, descended into high jinks. Mystery still surrounds the facial injury pop star Ed Sheeran acquired in 2016, supposedly after being ‘knighted’ with a ceremonial sword by Beatrice in a party prank.
Eugenie’s 25th birthday party was a landmark fancy dress event, with the Princess as Snow White and seven dwarfs hired to follow her around the marquee.
Away from the jollity of Royal Lodge, both girls enjoy a lifestyle rather beyond what their jobs might afford, including designer wardrobes, frequent holidays and dining out. Both are socially popular, with a huge range of wealthy, celebrity friends. Eugenie, for example, is close to models Suki Waterhouse and Cara Delevingne, pop stars Ellie Goulding and Robbie Williams, artist Tracey Emin and Kate Moss’s photographer boyfriend Count Nikolai von Bismarck.
Beatrice counts Dasha Zhukova, an art enthusiast and ex-wife of the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, among her ‘besties’.
With adoring parents who never let anyone forget their offspring’s royal status, we can perhaps forgive Beatrice and Eugenie for having a high opinion of their own significance. Privileged and socially effervescent, they are also, perhaps, just a shade naive. In an interview with Vogue magazine, Eugenie described herself and Beatrice as ‘working, young royal women’.
‘My sister, Bea, and I have charities we’re patrons of,’ she said. ‘We also try to support Granny and Grandpa in any way we can because that is what family is for.’
Admirable words and they are both rightly proud of their various patronages. It is to be hoped that their father’s downfall — charities and businesses are rushing to distance themselves from him — does not cause problems for them in their philanthropic endeavours.
A royal source said last night: ‘They are two young women with a real sense of duty and a real sense of what it means to be a part of the Royal Family.
‘[Their mother] has always drummed into them they must say please and thank you, they must always smile for the media, that attention is a part of their position. Smile and move on is the mantra.’
Smiling must be the last thing either feels like doing right now, but no doubt they will soldier on.
Does the Duke still not get it? He was off on Bahrain junket this weekend until his family warned it ‘was not a good idea’
Prince Andrew was last night forced to pull out of a work junket to Bahrain this weekend after being persuaded by his family that it was ‘not a good idea’ in light of this week’s dramatic events.
The beleaguered royal had planned to fly to the Middle East to attend an event connected with his Pitch@Palace initiative – less than 72 hours after being forced to step down from royal duties over the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.
But hours after the Daily Mail contacted Buckingham Palace to say it was about to reveal details of Andrew’s foreign jaunt, sources said he had decided to cancel it.
Prince Andrew (pictured leaving Buckingham Palace today) was told to cancel his trip to Bahrain amid the controversy over his friendship with Epstein
Pictured: Sarah Ferguson arrives at Buckingham Palace, central London, today after coming out in support of Prince Andrew in light of the backlash over his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein
Prince Andrew arrives at Buckingham Palace and gets out of his Bentley around noon today before heading to a Pitch@Palace meeting in Dubai after the Queen sacked him from royal duties
The Queen leaves Buckingham Palace this afternoon after carrying out investitures and heads to Windsor amid the furious backlash about her son’s friendship with Epstein
The Duchess of York is pictured with Ghislane Maxwell, the girlfriend of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, on 5th Avenue in New York City in 2003
Sarah Ferguson (pictured at Aberdeen Airport in August) has come out in defence of Andrew despite him being mired in controversy over his friendship with Epstein
The Duke leaves the Royal Lodge family home at Windsor Great Park in Berkshire this morning after he stepped down from royal duties yesterday
Last Friday, Sarah came out in support of Andrew with a statement posted on social media in which she praised his ‘sense of honour and truth’
Andrew appears to hold Jeffrey Epstein’s victim Virginia Roberts, then 17, by the waist as the sex offender’s lover Ghislaine Maxwell looks on in 2001 in London
These are the 35 businesses that support the duke’s project Pitch@Palace. Ten have now quit – five businesses (Advertising Week Europe, KPMG, Aon, Standard Chartered and Gravity Road) and five academic institutions (Bond University in Queensland, Melbourne’s RMIT, University of Wollongong, Murdoch University in Perth and Fondation Rideau Hall in Canada). The Stelios Foundation and the Chinese Li Ka Shing Foundation are the only two standing by him
The Duke of York speaks to BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis in an interview shown on Saturday which led to a furious backlash about the prince’s friendship with Epstein
Andrew made the bombshell statement about stepping back yesterday after mounting pressure after his interview about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein
Defiant Prince Andrew carries on: Royal will fly to Bahrain for Pitch@Palace event despite being sacked from public duties by The Queen after his brother Charles ‘urged her to act to protect the monarchy’
By Martin Robinson, Chief Reporter for MailOnline, and Rebecca English, Royal Corresponded for the Daily Mail
Prince Andrew will fly on an official junket to Bahrain in the next 24 hours in an act of defiance after it was revealed Prince Charles told the Queen to sack him from all royal duties to save the monarchy.
The Duke of York will jet to the Gulf to try to save his beloved Pitch@Palace charity as a slew of big businesses pulled their sponsorship to avoid being associated with him after his disastrous BBC interview about Jeffrey Epstein and his ‘sex slave’ Virginia Roberts.
Andrew will be the guest of honour at the Dragons’ Den-style event at a luxury hotel in Bahrain on Saturday night and the winners will be invited to a bash at St James’ Palace in London next month.
Andrew is under massive pressure to speak to the FBI – his brother Prince Charles is said to be instrumental in getting him to step down
The Queen was serious at a Chatham House award event in London last night and had spoken to he son Charles, who is in New Zealand (pictured today)
Critics have questioned the timing of the trip just days after he said he was ‘stepping down’ from public duties for the ‘foreseeable future’.
And amid extraordinary scenes today Andrew smiled and waved as he drove himself in his Bentley to see the Queen again on the morning after she retired him from royal duties. Hours later, just after Her Majesty left for Windsor Castle, the Duchess of York, turned up at Buckingham Palace to see her ex-husband.
It was an overt show of support for Andrew, who she called a ‘true giant of a principled man’ this week, wound down her Range Rover’s window to greet armed police before heading through the gates.
Today it emerged that Prince of Wales acted ‘decisively’ to force out his younger brother yesterday having called his mother from his tour of New Zealand urging her to cut off the Duke of York having become ‘increasingly alarmed’ the scandal was engulfing the entire royal family.
Her Majesty agreed and then summoned her ‘favourite son’ to deliver the bad news and told him he would lose his £250,000 taxpayer-funded salary and would only appear in public at family events.
A senior royal source told the Evening Standard today that Charles had told their mother: ‘This is about protecting the institution of the monarchy itself’, adding that ‘swift action’ was imperative.
Charles (pictured with Andrew and their children at St Paul’s Cathedral in 2012) spoke to the Queen and decided the Duke of York should step down. The brothers have clashed in the past about the royal roles of Andrew’s his children
The insider added: ‘There could be only one conclusion… The Duke of York had to withdraw from the fray and from public life. It is very sad. Obviously, both the Queen and the prince [Charles] love Andrew – but the health of the monarchy is too important to risk’.
Prince Andrew, who has not always seen eye-to-eye with his older brother, is back at Buckingham Palace today to see the Queen for the first time since she sacked him. It was business as usual for the monarch as she later held an investiture ceremony.
Buckingham Palace confirms Prince Andrew WILL continue to work on his Pitch@Palace project because it is a private initiative
Buckingham Palace today confirmed that Prince Andrew will continue to work on Pitch@Palace tech entrepreneurs initiative because it is a private venture.
The Duke of York has faced a barrage of firms and other organisations terminating or reviewing their association with the initiative after his BBC interview on Saturday.
The announcement comes after Andrew said he would step back from public duties for the ‘foreseeable future’, in an unprecedented move for a royal in modern times.
Andrew made the bombshell statement last night after mounting pressure following his interview about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Barclays said it was concerned about the situation involving the Queen’s 59-year-old son and was keeping its involvement with Pitch@Palace under review.
Asian-focused bank Standard Chartered joined accounting firm KPMG in deciding not to renew its sponsorship of Pitch@Palace.
Since quitting as the UK’s trade envoy in 2011, the duke has built up Pitch@Palace, in which he helps to put would-be entrepreneurs in touch with investors and mentors.
A source close to Andrew told BBC News he would continue to be involved in the initiative, which does not provide any funding to start-up firms. But with the duke the main draw for wealthy investors, its future looks uncertain.
Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, said: ‘Andrew’s office at Buckingham Palace will go. There are lots of … secretaries who have been working hard there for years.
‘He is patron of a lot of charities and there is a considerable amount of work, but I think the office will be shut down.
‘I fear this is also the end for Pitch@Palace, at least in its current guise. This disaster is going to affect a lot of staff.’
Charles and Andrew had a recent high-profile row over whether the Duke of York’s daughters Beatrice and Eugenie should enjoy the perks given to Charles’ children William and Harry – and now the sisters’ public roles and income are likely to fall after their father’s demise.
Beatrice’s wedding plans for next year are also up in the air and may even be scaled back, especially as Eugenie’s nuptials last year cost British taxpayers around £2million.
The solemn-looking Duke of York arrived this afternoon to discuss his future and if he can continue his Dragons’ Den-inspired charity Pitch@Palace without any royal patronage – and away from the palace – as a slew of big businesses pulled their sponsorship to avoid being associated with him.
The Outward Bound Trust has also announced Andrew has resigned as the organisation’s patron – but his daughter Princess Beatrice will remain a trustee.
Despite his public life being largely over at the age of 59, the duke smiled and waved as he left his grace-and-favour Windsor home driving his £170,000 Bentley Flying Spur sports car as calls for him to give evidence to the FBI under oath reached fever pitch.
The Duke of York is today being urged to fly to America to speak to detectives, with lawyers for Jeffrey Epstein’s victims warning him ‘any delay’ must lead to US agents heading to London to interview him before Christmas.
Buckingham Palace is ‘braced’ for the ‘imminent’ arrival of a subpoena summoning Andrew to give evidence under oath in the US, according to the Telegraph, but leading QC Baroness Helena Kennedy, said if he was her client she’d advise him never to go to America again in case he is arrested and can never leave.
Attorney Lisa Bloom, who represents five of Epstein’s ‘slaves’, wants to force him to give evidence in the US – but prosecutors would treat him as a witness to help prosecute Epstein’s ‘helpers’ and co-conspirators rather than a criminal suspect.
Ms Bloom said: ‘Andrew and his staff must cooperate with all investigations, show up for civil depositions and trials, and produce all documents. Nobody is above the law and everybody should have to answer questions’.
The Queen took decisive action against her second son last night in a desperate bid to contain the fall-out from the duke’s disastrous Newsnight interview about his years of friendship with the paedophile.
Andrew will lose his £249,000 annual income from the taxpayer-funded Sovereign Grant as a result – but will keep his grace-and-favour home in Windsor and cash will still come in from his mother’s Duchy of Lancaster estate, the source of her multi-million pound private income.
The Duke wanted to speak to the BBC but he was skewered by Emily Maitlis. The misjudgment triggered days of catastrophic headlines and caused a string of businesses and charities to desert him, with experts calling it the biggest crisis to grip the royal family for decades.
Royal expert Penny Junor said: ‘I would think the Queen is horrified – it’s been a disastrous year’ and biographer Ingrid Seward, Editor in Chief of Majesty Magazine, said: ‘I have never known anything like this in living memory’.
Andrew has been pilloried for his TV performance because of a lack of contrition for his friendship with the paedophile and his failure to express sympathy for the dozens of women Epstein trafficked and abused over three decades.
His alibis for not having sex with Virginia Roberts three times including being in Woking’s Pizza Express have also been widely ridiculed by the public. And now his claim he was with Britain’s consul general in New York when Ms Roberts said they slept together in 2001 became at odds with the diplomat in question, Sir Thomas Harris, who said last night: ‘I don’t recall him staying with me’.
How Duke of York’s meetings with Jeffrey Epstein have brought him decades of trouble since 1990s
Andrew first meets Epstein, reportedly introduced through his friendship with Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell. Andrew welcomes Epstein to the Queen’s private Scottish retreat in Aberdeenshire. Andrew later says he sees Epstein ‘infrequently’, adding ‘probably no more than only once or twice a year’.
Andrew and Ms Maxwell are seen on holiday with Epstein at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida. Epstein and Ms Maxwell attend a party at Windsor Castle hosted by the Queen to mark Andrew’s 40th birthday, the Princess Royal’s 50th, the Queen Mother’s 100th and Princess Margaret’s 70th.
Virginia Roberts claims to have had sex with Andrew ‘three times, including one orgy’, with the first encounter allegedly taking place in Ms Maxwell’s London townhouse. Ms Roberts claims to have had sex with Andrew on two more occasions, at Epstein’s New York home and at an ‘orgy’ on his private island in the Caribbean.
Epstein admits prostituting minors and is sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Epstein is released from jail. Andrew is photographed with the disgraced Epstein in New York’s Central Park. Footage emerges years later, reportedly shot on December 6 2010, showing him inside Epstein’s Manhattan mansion, from where he is seen looking out from a large door of the property waving a woman goodbye after Epstein leaves to get into a chauffeur-driven car.
The duke quits his role as UK trade envoy after the fallout from the Central Park photos.
Buckingham Palace denies Andrew has committed any impropriety after he is named in US court documents related to Epstein. A woman, later named in reports as Ms Roberts, alleges in papers filed in Florida that she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17, which is under the age of consent in the state.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Andrew, in his first public engagement since he was embroiled in the allegations, responds, saying: ‘Firstly I think I must, and want, for the record, to refer to the events that have taken place in the last few weeks.
‘I just wish to reiterate, and to reaffirm, the statements that have already been made on my behalf by Buckingham Palace.’ In April the claims against Andrew are struck from US civil court records following a federal judge’s ruling.
Newly released legal documents show that Johanna Sjoberg, another alleged Epstein victim, claimed Andrew touched her breast while sitting on a couch inside the US billionaire’s Manhattan apartment in 2001. Buckingham Palace said the allegations are ‘categorically untrue’. Epstein is found dead in his jail cell on August 10, having killed himself after being charged with sex trafficking.
Later that month a pilot on Epstein’s private jet claims Andrew was a passenger on past flights with the financier and Ms Roberts. The Sun newspaper reported that David Rodgers said in a testimony released in August that Epstein, Andrew and the-then 17-year-old travelled to the US Virgin Islands on April 11 2001. Buckingham Palace describes the evidence statement as having ‘a number of inconsistencies’ and said that Andrew was on a different continent in some cases.
Following Epstein’s death, a statement from the palace says that Andrew is ‘appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes’. Breaking his silence on the issue for the first time since 2015, Andrew then releases a statement on August 24 saying: ‘At no stage during the limited time I spent with him (Epstein) did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.’
On November 16, the prince gave a ‘disastrous’ BBC interview in which he spoke about his friendship with Epstein and addressed allegations of his own sexual conduct. He faced a barrage of criticism following his television appearance, with the royal accused of a lack of empathy with Epstein’s victims.
During the interview, Andrew, questioned by Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, twice stated his relationship with Epstein, who died in jail while facing sex trafficking charges, had some ‘seriously beneficial outcomes’, giving him the opportunity to meet people and prepare for a future role as a trade envoy. The duke denied he slept with Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s victims, on three separate occasions, twice while she was underage, saying one encounter in 2001 did not happen as he spent the day with his daughter Princess Beatrice, taking her to Pizza Express in Woking for a party.
The same alleged sexual liaison, which the American said began with the royal sweating heavily as they danced at London nightclub Tramp, was factually wrong as the duke said he had a medical condition at the time which meant he did not sweat. He cast doubt on the authenticity of a picture that appears to show Andrew with his arm around the waist of Mrs Giuffre, when a teenager.