Prince Andrew may be considering taking part in another sit-down TV interview as he fights to retain a meaningful position in public life in the aftermath of his spectacularly misjudged BBC interview.
However, Andrew’s hopes of rehabilitation appeared vanishingly small after he sustained even more blows to his reputation Wednesday. He was sacked by more charities and youth organizations, told by sponsors to stand aside from his flagship program—Pitch at the Palace—or face losing their support, and was pulled from a scheduled public engagement.
The prince’s credibility was also further damaged when a hole was blown in his account of a trip to New York, in which he implied he would have been too busy to have sex with Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre. An anonymous royal aide, who was on the trip, said the prince actually had several hours of unaccounted free time in New York.
Andrew, however, appears ready to fight on. He’s refusing to voluntarily step aside from any charities and reports are circulating that he’ s seriously considering doing a second interview.
“There are rumors swirling that Andrew wants to do another interview,” a source told Vanity Fair’s Katie Nicholl. “Andrew hasn’t drawn a line under it. He wants the chance to put right the things he didn’t say. Newsnight gave him the chance to show some remorse. He was asked if there was anything else he wanted to say. It was an open goal—he didn’t grasp it, and I think he sees that now.”
The palace has not responded to request for comment from The Daily Beast.
Andrew’s reputation has been in free-fall since Saturday’s broadcast. The latest corporation to abandon the prince is British telecom and media conglomerate BT. On Wednesday morning, the company confirmed it was pulling its association with enterprise group iDEA solely because of its relationship with Andrew, saying it “hopes that we might be able to work further with them, in the event of a change in their patronage.”
The Duke of York’s aides are said to have called an emergency meeting Tuesday night to try to persuade the backers of Pitch at the Palace—the entrepreneur group founded by Andrew—to stay on board with the prince at the helm. Several sponsors have already severed their connection and others have told the palace that Andrew must go.
“It is the sponsors’ view that the program itself can survive with a new patron, but only with a new patron,” one told the Telegraph. “We feel it would be a huge shame if this program was to fall by the wayside. The palace needs to salvage the program to keep the sponsors on board.”
That’s hardly going to be a position that Andrew will rush to embrace. ‘Pitch’ is his most high-profile achievement and he will only stand aside from it as an absolute last resort.
On Tuesday, the extent of public ill-feeling toward Andrew was shown when he was humiliatingly pulled out of a visit to flooded British towns.
Moreover, The Times reports that English National Ballet bosses have been lobbying for Andrew to be fired as patron. The board of trustees and staff are concerned that their association with him could undermine their work with youngsters.
A source told The Times: “Everyone is hoping that it can be resolved without requiring collective discussion. But at some point it will require that discussion if he does not stand down. The trouble is he has a thick skin and I am sure he would be reluctant to.”
There is also a sense that there is little loyalty towards Andrew who has developed an unfortunate reputation for unlikability, with one English National Ballet source saying: “He is very difficult to work with. There are all kinds of conditions he lays down for doing things. On one famous occasion he left in the interval because he does not really like the ballet.”
“The previous royal patron was Diana, Princess of Wales, who was absolutely loved. She would turn up unannounced at their studio next to the Royal Albert Hall and watch the dancers and talk to them... going from the Princess of Wales to the Duke of York was a really significant downgrading.”
A welter of other organizations have also cut off Andrew since his ill-fated BBC interview. London Metropolitan University said the duke’s position as its patron would be reviewed at its next governors meeting, the British Exploring Society and the Golf Foundation said they were “monitoring the situation,” students at Huddersfield University are campaigning for him to to resign as chancellor, and two Australian universities announced that they’re severing ties with the prince.
The latest setbacks came after it was revealed that Andrew had “hours unaccompanied” during an official visit to the U.S. in 2001—the same trip on which Virginia Roberts Giuffre alleges she was forced to have sex with him by Epstein. During the BBC interview, the prince denied the claim, implying his non-stop schedule on the trip would have prevented him from having time for the encounter Roberts Giuffre described.
But The Telegraph reports that an aide confirmed that there were gaps in his itinerary while he was in New York, though added that they had “no idea” if he visited Epstein.