She’s the longest-reigning British monarch ever, having sat on the throne for the past 65 years, but while Queen Elizabeth is well used to weathering scandals, it seems the latest Prince Andrew debacle has left everyone concerned about Her Majesty.
Today, it was announced in a statement that Prince Andrew is stepping down from his royal duties ‘for the foreseeable future’, as it’s become clear to him that his association with the late convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein, has become a ‘major distraction’ to the royal family's work.
Andrew denies any allegation that he had sex with a 17-year-old girl procured for him by his friend Epstein, the financier who killed himself in a US prison while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
However, while the Queen is firmly standing by her second son’s side, it’s believed the stress of the situation is getting too much for the 93-year-old, especially as her successor, Prince Charles, is currently in New Zealand on royal tour and her husband, Prince Philip, is recovering after reportedly ‘taking a wobble’.
“The Queen is under strain,” a source said in an interview with The Sun. “She’s telling everyone she’s fine because that’s what she does.”
“But she’s 93 and it’s obvious this is going to take a real toll, so everyone is incredibly concerned.”
The source went on to say that the Queen had been ‘content’ with the state of the royal family for the past few years.
Prince Charles and Camilla were finally winning over the approval of the public, Kate Middleton and Prince William’s popularity was soaring, and the ‘wild child’ of the family, Prince Harry, had found a wife and was about to settle down.
However, with the country reeling over Brexit and now the Prince Andrew scandal causing the royal family to hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons, the insider said it’s ‘going to be a strange Christmas’ for the Windsors.
Prince Andrew in hot water
The scandal has escalated since Andrew's rambling explanations in a disastrous BBC TV interview which aired on Saturday, which left many viewers incredulous, and his apparent lack of compassion for Epstein's victims drew widespread condemnation.
Firms such as telecoms giant BT, UK bank Barclays, and at least three Australian universities are among those who have distanced themselves from Andrew following the BBC interview.
Sarah Ferguson behind disastrous interview?
Reports have suggested the ‘driving force’ behind Andrew’s candid sit-down with the BBC was none other than the royal’s ex-wife and close confidante, Sarah Ferguson.
The claims came from the Daily Mail, who quoted a source saying that Fergie 'encouraged' and 'convinced' the father of her two adult daughters to share his story in a dramatic hour-long interview with the BBC.
“When the possibility of this interview arose, Sarah felt that it could be the best way of clearing his name while presenting the public with a look at the real Andrew,” the publication’s source claimed.
“The interview gave him the chance to address the negative headlines rather than leave them unanswered and present his version of events.
“Given how damaging this scandal has been in the past six months, Sarah felt Andrew needed to get ahead of the matter to give his public image a better chance of recovery.”
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