Prince Andrew quits royal duties but stays on payroll
PRINCE Andrew will still receive almost $500,000 per year for doing nothing after he cancelled all his royal duties for the "foreseeable future" because of his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Buckingham Palace confirmed to News Corp Australia that the Duke of York's allowance of £249,000 per year would continue.
"The Duke of York is funded privately by the Queen," a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said this morning.
"The only taxpayer money is for travel."
Prince Andrew has announced he is stepping down from his royal duties for the "foreseeable future" amid growing backlash over the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.
Andrew's decision to step down from public life means that taxpayers will not be footing the bill for him directly anymore.
However, much of the Queen's wealth, generationally, has been inherited based on previous taxpayer funds.
Andrew's last full-time job was in the Navy, but he left the service 18 years ago.
He still manages to maintain properties in England and a $25 million chalet in Switzerland.
There are questions about how he managed to fund his lifestyle.
Andrew had done more than 200 engagements this year before his bombshell decision overnight.
The Duke of York, 59, made the shock announcement this morning, as sponsors including major communications company BT and Barclays Bank started walking away from his charitable causes.
It is a major decision and has been signed off by the Queen following his disastrous BBC interview at the weekend.
Andrew also signalled he would give evidence to the FBI about their ongoing investigation into Epstein's evil world.
He said aid in a statement that he had listened to the criticism levelled at him this week.
"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," he said in a statement issued today by Buckingham Palace.
"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."
In an extraordinary interview aired on the BBC's Newsnight this week, the Duke of York answered questions about his friendship with Epstein - a convicted paedophile. The interview was widely described as a "trainwreck" and with the royal criticised for not showing empathy for the victims of Epstein and for his decision to stay with at the financier's New York home in December 2010. That came just months after Epstein had served 13 months of an 18 month sentence for procuring a minor for prostitution.
Prince Andrew has also come under fire over allegations he also sexually abused girls - claims he has vehemently denied - while visiting his then-friend Epstein at his various properties.
A photo of the British royal posing with his hand around teen Virginia Giuffre - one of Epstein's alleged victims - was purportedly taken at British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell's home and has become a source of contention as the saga unfolds.
In a 2009 legal case, Ms Giuffre publicly claimed Ms Maxwell had recruited her into Epstein's sex ring to be a "sex slave" when she was just 16 years old.
Ms Giuffre claims Epstein flew her to London on his private jet. After dining with the Prince and dancing with him at the Tramp nightclub, she claims, they had a sexual encounter in Ms Maxwell's Belgravia house.
Ms Giuffre says Ms Maxwell directed her as a teenager to have sex with Prince Andrew, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell and former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. They deny her claims. She also claimed in the case, which was settled out of court, that Ms Maxwell and Epstein sexually assaulted her, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Ms Maxwell called Ms Giuffre's claims "entirely false", compelling the latter to file the 2015 defamation suit. In May 2017, the case was settled the day before the trial was scheduled to start.
Epstein's New York indictment referred to unnamed employees who prosecutors said were involved in his alleged crimes in the early 2000s by accepting payment to arrange massages that led to sex acts with young girls, then encouraging them to recruit others.
"Through these victim recruiters, Epstein gained access to and was able to abuse dozens of additional minor girls," the indictment read.
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