- Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images
- Buckingham Palace denied claims that Prince Andrew was “summoned” to Buckingham Palace by the Queen and then “forced out” of his royal duties.
- After Prince Andrew announced his retirement from public life on Wednesday, members of the British press reported that the royal didn’t come to the decision on his own.
- Both the Mail Online and The Sun reported that the Queen and Prince Charles held private talks with the prince before he was told to make an official announcement.
- However, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told Insider: “No, this was a personal decision.”
- The spokesperson did confirm that “the Duke of York had discussions with The Queen, The Prince of Wales, and other family members” before coming to a decision.
- Since the duke will no longer be representing the Queen on royal engagements, this means he won’t be entitled to his £249,000 ($320,000) annual income from the Sovereign Grant, according to the Mail Online.
- However, Andrew has not lost his royal title or HRH status, so he could still be entitled to appear at official events with the royal family, such as the annual Trooping the Colour parade for the Queen’s birthday.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Buckingham Palace just denied claims that Prince Andrew was “forced” to resign from his royal duties by Queen Elizabeth.
Following the backlash from his interview with BBC Newsnight on Sunday, the Duke of York said in a statement that he “asked Her Majesty if I can step back from public duties for the forseeable future,” to which the Queen agreed.
A statement by His Royal Highness The Duke of York KG. pic.twitter.com/solPHzEzzp
— The Duke of York (@TheDukeOfYork) November 20, 2019
The Mail Online’s royal correspondent Rebecca English initially reported that “the duke was forced out of public life after lengthy discussions” with both Prince Charles and Her Majesty.
“The Queen summoned Andrew to Buckingham Palace and told him to step down but allowed him to draft his own statement,” English added.
“When the Queen and the Prince of Wales stand firm together they are a pretty formidable combination in terms of getting things done,” a royal source told the publication.
Another source told The Sun that “Charles was very involved in the decision as heir to the throne.”
Howevert, Buckingham Palace has now denied claims that the duke was forced to resign.
A spokesperson told Insider that the duke came to the decision after talks with members of the royal family.
“No, this was a personal decision,” the spokesperson told Insider. “The Duke of York had discussions with The Queen, The Prince of Wales, and other family members.”
Meanwhile, Joe Little, managing editor at Majesty magazine, told Insider that the decision would have been made “to avoid long-term damage to the monarchy.”
“The Queen, after consultations with the Prince of Wales in New Zealand and advisers, will no doubt have made it clear to the Duke of York that he had no option but to step down to avoid long-term damage to the monarchy,” Little told Insider.
“A great shame that she had to do so, but the situation was spiraling out of control.”
The royal was criticized for appearing not to sympathize with Epstein’s victims after defending his friendship with the convicted sex offender during his interview with Newsnight.
The British media described the interview as a “car crash,” and as a result businesses that previously sponsored the duke’s patronages appeared to cut ties.
Andrew’s withdrawal from official duties means he will lose out on his £249,000 ($320,000) annual income from the Sovereign Grant, according to the Mail Online.
The Sovereign Grant provides official funding to the Queen and working members of the family who undertake duties on Her Majesty’s behalf.
It’s also worth noting that although the duke has retired, he is still technically a member of the royal family as he has not been stripped of his HRH status or title.
Therefore, although he won’t be allowed to represent the Queen on official engagements, he could still appear with the royal family at official events.
A palace courtier told The Sun: “The Queen has told him he remains a member of the royal family. He will still appear during Trooping the Colour and on the balcony at major events.”