The Duke of York has been criticised for announcing that he is to step down as a working royal on the day The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are celebrating their 72nd wedding anniversary.
Her Majesty and Prince Philip on 20th November 1947. However, instead of celebrating the occasion on Wednesday, the monarch found herself approving a request by Prince Andrew to step back from public life “for the foreseeable future.”
The 59-year-old royal has stepped down from all public duties following heavy criticism of an interview he gave to BBC Newsnight.
In a statement, Prince Andrew says that he asked The Queen for permission to step back from public duties, action she agreed to support.
The Duke also confirmed that he would be willing to speak to law enforcement officials if required.
Many on social media were quick to criticise Prince Andrew for announcing the news on his parents’ special day.
One person tweeted: “Did this have to come on the Queen’s wedding anniversary?”
Journalist Mike Graham also tweeted: “Happy Anniversary Mummy. Prince Andrew withdraws from public life on the Queen’s wedding anniversary. What a family!!”
Prince Andrew’s statement in full:
“It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support.
“Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission.
“I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure. I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”