Prince Andrew ‘will never return to royal duties again’, sources claim

Prince Andrew may never return to official royal duties following his controversial ties with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, royal sources have claimed.

Andrew’s close friendship with convicted sex offender Epstein, which continued even after the financier was exposed as a paedophile, has reportedly raised serious questions within royal circles.

He stepped down from his royal duties following a widely-slated Panorama interview in November 2019.

The Duke of York was also close to Ghislaine Maxwell, who is herself awaiting trial for allegedly recruiting and grooming of underage girls for Epstein from 1994 to 1997.

He was reportedly hoping for a royal comeback, but this may not be possible according to the Daily Mail.

A royal source told the site: “This is as much about judgment shown over the issue as the allegations themselves.

“Even if the duke were to resolve matters satisfactorily over [Epstein], there is still an issue about the lack of understanding over the seriousness of the situation and not accepting that the relationship was wrong.

“I am not sure there will ever be an opportunity for him to return.”

Another source, said to be close to close to Prince Andrew, said: “The duke’s future role can only be seriously considered once the legal process in the US has been resolved and the duke’s side of the story properly explained.

“Until then,” they added, “the duke is sensitive to the public mood and to the fact that the institution [of the monarchy] must come first.”

Maxwell's lawyers are currently fighting to keep some documents related to her trial sealed to prevent them from being read out in court.

She is also alleged to have sexually abused at least of one of the girls, but has pleaded not guilty to all charges. She is due to face trial in July 2021.

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