Andrew faced an almost instant backlash for the BBC special, which the Times of London called a “car crash” on its front page Monday. TV morning show host Piers Morgan also called it “insane,” writing on Twitter that it was “desperate, toe-curling bullsh*t from Prince Andrew.”
But the Duke of York was “buoyant” Sunday as he attended church with the Queen, his mother, at the Chapel of All Saints, Windsor Great Park, according to The Sun.
Once there, mother and son prayed together — and Andrew assured the Queen that his interview had been “a great success,” sources told the paper.
“He thinks he’s done the right thing and has put the criticism to rest. He was all smiles and was looking very buoyant and happy,” the source said.
Meanwhile, Emily Maitlis, the BBC journalist who interviewed him, revealed Monday that it had taken a full year to get the prince to agree to the sit-down — and it only happened after the Queen gave the final nod.
The Duke told her team that “he must ‘seek approval from higher up,’” she wrote in a piece for the Times of London. “It dawns on us then that he means the Queen herself. At 8 a.m. the next day we have a message telling us to call his office. The Queen, it seems, is on board.”
She said she was brought into Buckingham Palace for the interview via “the Queen’s own entrance.”
“I am trying to understand the significance of the Queen giving us her own formal quarters in which to film, but it feels like a code I do not properly understand,” she wrote. “Is she endorsing her son? The need for this interview? Or am I reading way too much into every step, merely because there are so many of them?”
She called the interview with Andrew “the most extraordinary encounter of my professional life.”
“A man who has not talked publicly on this subject for a decade has now been permitted to do so and won’t stop,” she recalled.
He also denied knowing about the trafficking victim, Virginia Giuffre—formerly known as Virginia Roberts—despite appearing in photos with her when she was under the age of 18. However, he has previously suggested that these photos are “doctored.” Photographic evidence has been uncovered showing that the prince does, in fact, sweat. He also claimed that even though he did not remember meeting the victim on the night that she said, he does vividly remember his alibi, saying he went to a Pizza Express in Woking before returning home that night.
Biographer for the Royal Family, Lady Colin Campbell, appeared soon after Prince Andrew’s interview, on ITV’s Good Morning Britain where she defended Prince Andrew against claims of pedophilia.
In her defense of the disgraced prince, Campbell pointed to the “prostitution” charge that Jeffrey Epstein was convicted of in 2008, and attempted to downplay the fact that the girls were underage by suggesting that he was simply hiring sex workers.
“You all seem to have forgotten that Jeffrey Epstein, the offense for which he was charged and for which he was imprisoned, was for soliciting prostitution from minors. That is not the same thing as pedophilia,” Campbell told a shocked panel.
Host Piers Morgan immediately challenged her claims, saying:
If you solicited a 14-year-old for prostitution, you’re a pedophile.
The interview was so disastrous for the Royal Family that one of Prince Andrew’s PR advisors quit in response to the broadcast. And to make matters even worse, a video clip from 1984 recently resurfaced showing Johnny Carson, then-host of The Tonight Show, making a joke about Prince Andrew being a pedophile.2