Prince Andrew stepping down from royal duties after Jeffrey Epstein scandal

Prince Andrew is stepping back from royal duties "for the foreseeable future" after a controversial interview about his involvement with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

In a statement on Thursday the Duke of York admitted his association with a convicted sex offender was a "major disruption" to the work of the royal family.

He said he was deeply sympathetic to all of Epstein's victims and "everyone who has been affected". 

Prince Andrew faced huge backlash after an interview about his involvement with Epstein was aired by the BBC.

He told the network he had "let the side down" after remaining in contact with Epstein after the financier was convicted for paying a teenage girl for sex.

The 59-year-old royal is also accused of having sex with then 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre - accusations he denies as he says he has no recollection of meeting her.

A picture of him with his arm around the teenager's waist has been published in UK media. The photo was taken on the same day Giuffre alleges he had sex with her.

He told the BBC he could not possibly have had sex with her on the date she claims as he clearly remembers going to Pizza Express in Woking with his daughter Beatrice.

He also suggested the photo showing him with Giuffre could be fake.

Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre.
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre. Photo credit: Supplied

The interview was described as "disastrous".

"It was like watching a man in quicksand and unfortunately I don't think anyone would have thrown him a line to get out," public relations and crisis consultant Mark Borkowski told The Mirror.

Epstein died in prison in August 2019. He was arrested for sex trafficking minors and faced accusations of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls.

He would have served up to 45 years in prison if convicted, but died before he reached trial. Authorities at the time ruled his death was the result of a suicide, but the FBI is now investigating if a "criminal enterprise" was involved.