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World Comment: Andrew had the chance to say it was a mistake - but he didn't

04:55  18 november  2019
04:55  18 november  2019 Source:   news.sky.com

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The forensic questioning about whether he 'd had sex with a 17-year-old girl was enough to make anyone squirm, let alone a member of our incredibly private Royal Family. But inside the palace, and from the duke himself, there was a belief that the time had come for Prince Andrew to use his own

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Inside the very heart of the British monarchy, in a room at Buckingham Palace, Prince Andrew for nearly 50 minutes answered the most intimate questions about his private life.

Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Ghislaine Maxwell are posing for a picture: A photo appearing to show Prince Andrew and a 17-year-old Virginia Roberts, allegedly taken at Ghislaine Maxwell's house in London in March 2001. Pic: Rex/Shutterstock© Rex Features A photo appearing to show Prince Andrew and a 17-year-old Virginia Roberts, allegedly taken at Ghislaine Maxwell's house in London in March 2001. Pic: Rex/Shutterstock

The forensic questioning about whether he'd had sex with a 17-year-old girl was enough to make anyone squirm, let alone a member of our incredibly private Royal Family.

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  'I was trafficked to billionaires, politicians, even royalty' A victim of Jeffrey Epstein's international sex-trafficking ring, Virginia Giuffre told 60 Minutes she was trafficked to Prince Andrew when she was just 17.The mind-boggling scope of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein's international sex-trafficking ring has been exposed in a 60 Minutes investigation, with damning allegations levelled at some of the richest and most powerful people in the world – even reaching as high as the British Royal family.

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She looked so happy that I didn ’ t dare to tell her anything about my feelings. ‘Oh, Andrew , I’m so proud of you! He mentioned that, before he was employed in tourism, he had wanted to be a photographer. ‘People still say I have a unique vision and the photos I take are somehow special.

But inside the palace, and from the duke himself, there was a belief that the time had come for Prince Andrew to use his own voice to explain what had gone on with Jeffrey Epstein, with a hope that if we heard it from him, if we saw the whites of his eyes, then maybe the negative narrative that has continued to swirl would start to go away.

What unfolded in that interview was jaw-dropping.

This was not a politician-style interview about hitting certain key messages.

The prince wanted it to be that way, with no script or prepared soundbites.

The palace wanted his answers to be from the heart, showing him as a man who had the guts to answer the most direct of questions.

I was astonished at how long the palace allowed the interview to run for.

I understand they wanted to give him time to cover four main areas: his friendship with Epstein, why he went to visit him in 2010, the allegations from Virginia Roberts-Giuffre and the impact it's had on his family and his work.

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But as the time ticked on, the interview unravelled and exposed the prince, as every word and facial expression was laid out there for the public to interpret.

There were genuine hand-over-your-mouth moments.

The fact that he doesn't sweat is something I have been told before, and we've previously heard the claims that the photo with Virginia Roberts-Giuffre may have been faked.

His recollection of a trip to Pizza Express in Woking was his reason for never being in Tramp nightclub with the 17-year-old but it did sound bizarre.

a close up of Prince Andrew, Duke of York wearing a suit and tie: The Duke of York said he did not regret his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein© Getty The Duke of York said he did not regret his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein

While those details may be what everyone is talking about, the most damaging aspect was his failure to say that he regrets his friendship with Epstein.

On two occasions he was asked, he had the chance to say it was a mistake, but he didn't.

The palace has repeatedly said they weren't close friends, that he didn't know about any of Epstein's criminal activities, and that his contact with Epstein was less about a friendship and more about the contacts Prince Andrew made through the billionaire as he was leaving the military and wanted to build his knowledge for his role as a UK trade envoy.

'Andrew is a true gentleman': Sarah Ferguson praises her ex-husband the Duke of York as 'steadfast to his duty' ahead of the prince's 'no holds barred' interview about his links with billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein

  'Andrew is a true gentleman': Sarah Ferguson praises her ex-husband the Duke of York as 'steadfast to his duty' ahead of the prince's 'no holds barred' interview about his links with billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein Sarah Ferguson, pictured in Venice today, defended the Duke of York ahead of a bombshell interview about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. She said 'Andrew is a true [and] real gentleman'.Prince Andrew's ex-wife Sarah Ferguson has tonight defended the embattled royal as a 'true' and 'real gentleman' ahead of a 'no holds barred' interview.

“You can’ t have any candy”, said his mother. “You had a pie with your lunch”. She took out her handkerchief, then put it back and went on fumbling in her It was an arrogant “No!” The line bunched even more closely together, and the man who had suggested snatching the kid bald appeared ready

8. She ( realized) that it ( was ) her last chance and if she (did not use) it she (would regret) it all her life. 9. On her way home she ( had ) a vague feeling that she ( had done) something wrong. But on the other hand she ( was ) sure she ( had planned) everything thoroughly.

That justification for many simply isn't good enough when you're talking about your links with a convicted sex offender.

I was watching closely to see how he handled the allegations made by Virginia Roberts-Giuffre.

He has categorically denied meeting her and said the claims they had sex are false and without foundation.

Because of this it's understandable that he wouldn't want to be seen to apologise to Roberts and we were never going to see him saying sorry.

But there has been surprise that the duke failed to show empathy or sympathy for any of Epstein's victims, another aspect of this interview that did not play well.

Since it aired, the debate has raged about why on earth would he decide to talk.

Prince Andrew wanted to do it. His other advisers wanted him to. And the Queen knew about it.

They wanted to show a brave man who had the guts to open himself up to an interview with no conditions attached. A man who was rock solid consistent on his recollections.

Woking fights back! Residents of Surrey town slam Prince Andrew for belittling their 'wonderful' home after duke said visiting their Pizza Express was a 'very unusual' thing for him to do

  Woking fights back! Residents of Surrey town slam Prince Andrew for belittling their 'wonderful' home after duke said visiting their Pizza Express was a 'very unusual' thing for him to do Prince Andrew's interview was the talk of the town with the overwhelming majority of people fuming at his comments, which they insisted insulted and belittled 'wonderful Woking.'The prince insisted he could not have met Virginia Roberts at a famed celebrity nightclub and then had sex with her because he had been at a party at Pizza Express in Woking, Surrey, earlier that day, which was a 'very unusual' thing for him to do.

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They wanted us all to see it, believe it and let him get on with his work.

A couple of weeks ago I went to one of the duke's Pitch@Palace events at St James's Palace.

Hundreds of his friends and business contacts were there, supporting dozens of entrepreneurs who were pitching their ideas.

It would be wrong to say he doesn't have supporters because there were many at the event who wanted to talk to me about the positive impact of his work.

He is still able to pull in a considerable crowd of influential people.

But from a wider PR perspective, the media coverage has continued to frame Andrew's work in the context of Epstein and the sex scandal.

This interview was a high-risk strategy to try to shut out that negative noise.

I think he did need to do an interview. The written statements have not shut down the scandal.

The palace would have known this was going to be a major news moment, and been braced for the fall out.

But no one but the Duke of York can truly explain why he decided to say he had no regret about his friendship with a convicted sex offender.

Only he can be blamed for the damage that has done.

'Lock them all up and throw away the key': Virginia Roberts says Ghislaine Maxwell must be arrested and Prince Andrew belongs in jail as she accuses authorities of a cover up .
In a number of posts on her Twitter account today Virginia Roberts agreed with other social media users that Prince Andrew should be in jail and his friend Ghislaine Maxwell arrested.Virginia Roberts has said Ghislaine Maxwell should be arrested and that Prince Andrew belongs in jail - as she accuses the authorities of a cover up.

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