According to a report in the Spectator magazine Number 10 had decided Prince Andrew will not represent the government at the World Economic Forum later this month. The move follows the surfacing of allegations that the Queen’s second son had sex with an under-aged girl, Virginia Roberts.
Although the girl was reported to be 17-year-old, meaning it would not have been illegal in the UK, the allegations have left the British establishment rattled. The Queen recalled Prince Andrew from holiday to hold a “summit” about the allegations, whilst Buckingham Palace have issued a series of firm denials of wrongdoing.
Andrew had been expected to represent the government – and by extension the Prime Minister – at a reception for foreign ministers. But the Steerpike column claims he will now either not attend at all or go in a personal capacity.
The Prince has not been directly involved in any court case but claims against him form part of a civil case against billionaire Jeremy Epstein. The businessman has already been sentenced for 18 months in relation to having sex with the under-age girl, but he is backing up the Prince’s claim to be innocent.
Removing Prince Andrew’s formal role at the WEF will add further pressure to the embattled Royal. He was forced to stand down as UK Trade Envoy in 2011 as a result of his relationship with Epstein.
He was known as the ‘playboy prince’ and ‘randy Andy’ due to his fondness for attractive women. Since his resignation as Trade Envoy he had spent time working with charities in-order to detoxify his image.