A look back at the most bizarre and shocking moments from Prince Andrew’s BBC Newsnight interview

A look back at the most bizarre and shocking moments from Prince Andrew’s BBC Newsnight interview

Two years ago this week, Prince Andrew sat down in Buckingham Palace to have a chat with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis.

Dogged by questions and rumours about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and his own alleged sexual conduct, he decided to give his side of the story in his own words for the first time, perhaps putting the matters to rest once and for all.

Except he didn’t. Over the course of the hour that was broadcast on Newsnight, the Duke of York managed to tie himself into knots and dig himself a hole so deep he peeked into the Earth’s core which, while hot, didn’t make him sweat...

Andrew has denied all the allegations against him, but the story has continued to rumble on over the past two years.

So, here’s a look back at the most memorable moments of the interview and what happened next:

“Just a straightforward shooting weekend.”

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At the start of the interview, Emily Maitlis mentioned an alleged party the prince threw for Ghislaine Maxwell - Epstein’s former girlfriend who is in prison awaiting trial for alleged sex trafficking and other charges. Andrew met Epstein through his friend Maxwell and for some reason thought it was quick to correct the nature of the event.

Just bros being bros.

Princess Beatrice’s 18th birthday party

Princess BeatricePrincess Beatrice says dyslexia is a “gift”. PA

Maitlis questioned why the duke invited Epstein to his daughter’s 18th birthday in 2006 while the US police were investigating him.

Prince Andrew said he didn’t know about the proceedings and that Epstein had attended because he had invited Maxwell.

Two months after the party, a warrant was issued for Epstein for sexual assault of a minor.

Why did he stay with him after he was prosecuted?

Maitlis questioned Andrew over why he visited Epstein in New York in 2010, two years after the financier was registered and imprisoned for sex offending charges.

The prince said he had gone to end his friendship with Epstein and claimed that “doing it over the telephone was the chicken’s way of doing it”.

He said that he hasn’t had any contact with Epstein since, and while his hindsight has shown him that staying in Epstein’s house was the “wrong thing to do”, at the time he thought “it was a convenient place to stay”.

Should he regret his friendship with Epstein?

Apparently not. Prince Andrew said: “The people that I met and the opportunities that I was given to learn either by him or because of him were actually very useful.”

Later in the interview he clarified that there was no reason not to be friends with him when he wasn’t convicted of any crimes, but seeing him after his prosecution was “the bit I kick myself for on a daily basis”.

Virginia Roberts

Virginia Giuffre, v\u00edctima de Jeffrey Epstein, ha alegado que el pr\u00edncipe Andrew la agredi\u00f3 sexualmente cuando era una adolescenteVirginia GiuffreCrime+Investigation/PA

An Epstein accuser, Virginia Roberts - now Virginia Giuffre - alleged that she was made to have sex with Prince Andrew in the early 2000s when she was 17.

Andrew denied this and said he hadn’t met her. Talking about the allegation that they danced in the private member’s club Tramp in London and that he had got her a drink, Andrew said: “I don’t know where the bar is in Tramps, I don’t drink, I don’t think I’ve ever bought a drink in Tramps when I was there.”

Pizza Express

Related video: Prince Andrew claims that he was at Pizza Express on the day his accuser says she had sex with himPizza Express, Woking Rex Features

Besides, he couldn’t have met her on the night in question - 10 March 2001 - because “I had taken Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party.” When pressed on why he remembers the occasion with such specificity, he added it was an “unusual thing for me to do” and that he had only been to Woking a couple of times.

We wonder if he had a voucher?

Just how sweaty is Prince Andrew?

As part of her testimony, Giuffre said the prince was “sweating” when they met. Aha! Delivering the perfect defence, he said he had an overdose of adrenaline when being shot at during the Falklands War which meant he couldn’t sweat for some time, though this ability has since returned.

“There’s a slight problem with the sweating, because I have a peculiar medical condition which is that I don’t sweat or I didn’t sweat at the time,” he said.

“Those are my travelling clothes.”

Prince andrew croppedShutterstock

Maitlis seemed a bit confused that Andrew repeatedly denied meeting Roberts because of a photo which had emerged of the pair together. He said he couldn’t explain the snap and had no memory of taking it.

Another key pillar in the prince’s rather odd defence was that he usually wears “a suit and tie” in London, and so he appeared to question the authenticity of the image.

“Those are my travelling clothes if I’m going overseas,” he said. Ah. Right then.

The BBC reports that other publications have published photographs of him without a suit and tie in London on a different occasion.

“I don’t think I ever went upstairs in Ghislaine’s house”

Again, Prince Andrew laid all concern about the photo to rest because he’s, ahem, never gone upstairs in his friend’s house.

“If you are a man it is a positive act to have sex with somebody. You have to take some sort of positive action.”

The prince then said he would have remembered if he had had sex with Giuffre by conjuring up this rather post-watershed image.

“I don’t wish to appear grand but there were a lot of people walking around Jeffrey Epstein’s house as far as I am aware they were staff.”

Asked whether he was aware of potentially underaged trafficked girls in Epstein’s house, Prince Andrew basically said he was used to being around a lot of staff so nothing struck him as untoward.

Roll the credits.

What’s happened since the interview aired?


It was reported that Prince Andrew was pleased with how the interview had gone but safe to say he was one of few who shared that view.

On 20 November 2019, a statement from Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Andrew was suspending his public duties “for the foreseeable future”. Then, in the days following the interview, he stepped down from his role as chancellor of the University of Huddersfield and the palace later confirmed he was to step down from all of his patronages.

In May 2020, Prince Andrew announced he would be stepping back from public duties altogether because of his connections to Epstein.

Giuffre filed a civil case in New York in August 2021, accusing Prince Andrew of sexual assault and battery when she was 17, saying the three alleged instances of abuse continue to cause her “significant emotional and psychological distress and harm”.

Andrew denies the allegations and is not facing any legal action in the UK.

A US judge in the Prince Andrew sexual assault civil case has said he is aiming to hold the trial in late 2022.

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