Prince Andrew's disastrous TV interview with BBC Newsnight in 2019, which focused on his connections to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, led to the Duke of York stepping back from public life. Now, a new Channel 4 documentary called “Andrew: The Problem Prince” suggests that the royal may have agreed to the interview to help his eldest daughter, Princess Beatrice.
Presenter Emily Maitlis, who interviewed Andrew for the program, shared her thoughts on why he may have agreed to the interview. “It’s the first time the thought crossed my mind that maybe he was doing it for her [Beatrice],” Maitlis said in the documentary. “Your life has been hellish. You’ve had to read these headlines. You’re trying to get married. I’m going to do this to make it better for you. I don’t know if that’s true, but it crossed my mind.”
The timing of the interview coincided with the announcement of Beatrice's engagement to property developer Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. Maitlis believes that Andrew may have agreed to the interview to make things better for his daughter, who had been dealing with negative headlines.
The interview focused on allegations that Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre was trafficked to have sex with the royal when she was 17. Following the interview, Andrew came under intense scrutiny, and the negative implications of the interview “dawned” on the late Queen “before they dawned on him,” according to Maitlis.
Former Newsnight producer Sam McAlister also revealed in the documentary that the Duke had taken Princess Beatrice with him to the final negotiations with the BBC over what should be included in the interview.
Last year, Andrew reached an out-of-court settlement with Ms Giuffre reportedly worth up to 12 million US dollars (£9.6 million) following her civil sex claim against him in the US. The Duke has denied the allegations, but the Queen stripped him of his honorary military roles ahead of the US lawsuit.
In conclusion, the new Channel 4 documentary sheds light on the possible reasons behind Prince Andrew's disastrous TV interview in 2019. While it is uncertain whether his intentions were to help his daughter, Princess Beatrice, the timing of the interview and the negative implications that followed suggest that the Duke may have made a grave error in judgment.