Sarah Ferguson’s International Family Day post didn’t go over quite the way she planned. The Duchess of York posted a photo of herself, Prince Andrew, and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.
The family photo was very sweet. The reaction to it, however, made it clear that no one’s quite ready for a public return from Andrew. Although he’s tried to work his way back in, it seems impossible the public will let his past go.
Andrew’s reputation has been dragged through the mud due to his handling of his friendship with late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The disastrous BBC Newsnight interview sealed his fate after he failed to show sympathy for Jeffrey’s victims and flimsily defended himself against accusers of his own.
Andrew stepped back from public life and his working royal status in November.
Sadly, the Duke of York has continued making headlines since. His poor judgment has impacted the events surrounding Beatrice’s upcoming wedding. Most recently, his and Sarah’s defaulting on a Swiss chalet led many to question where Andrew’s money was coming from. The questions around the disgraced duke continue with no signs of slowing down.
Sarah Ferguson is committed to supporting Prince Andrew. The 60-year-old has enjoyed a close friendship with her ex-husband since their divorce. They have shared a commitment to their two daughters, 31-year-old Princess Beatrice and 30-year-old Princess Eugenie.
In celebration of International Family Day, Sarah shared what appears to be a recent picture of her family. In the photo, Sarah, Andrew, Beatrice, and Eugenie are all smiles as they huddle together. It’s a sweet photo of the family, but many former fans of the Yorks aren’t quite ready to stomach appearances by Andrew.
The comments on the photo posted to Sarah’s Instagram are largely positive. They praise the beautiful family and call for the couple to remarry. Speculation that their romantic relationship has rekindled over the years hasn’t been commented on by any official parties, but fans hold out hope.
The reaction on Twitter was markedly different. A vast number of commenters replied to the tweet, tagging the FBI. Many others elaborated on all the terrible wrongs that Andrew is accused of and at minimum fault him for continuing a friendship with a convicted sex offender.
Andrew has largely kept out of the spotlight since announcing he was stepping away from his role as a senior royal in November. His decision was the result of his disastrous BBC Newsnight interview where he discussed his relationship with late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Thought to be a moment where he could clear the air for good, the interview ended up taking a turn when Andrew appeared unsympathetic toward Jeffrey’s accusers and provided flimsy excuses as to why he wasn’t involved.
The interview also saw Andrew vow to cooperate with any authorities investigating the matters. In his written statement released with news of his stepping back in November, he also promised cooperation that has not been provided to date.
In January, US Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman called out the Duke of York for not sticking to his word. “To date, Prince Andrew has provided zero cooperation,” he said in a press conference.
The US attorney provided a public update in March. “Prince Andrew has now completely shut the door on voluntary cooperation,” the prosecutor said. He went to note that his office is exploring its options to force Andrew to speak out.
David Boies, a lawyer who represents more than a dozen of Jeffrey’s accusers, believes that someone may be giving the prince bad legal advice. He notes that avoiding the situation isn’t a feasible long-term tactic.
“I’ve got quite a bit of confidence that they will not let this drop,” he told Mail on Sunday.
“Often people in his position are surrounded by advisers who sometimes think that they will be more valued if they come across as very aggressive on their principal’s behalf and that can lead to somebody not getting very good advice,” David continued.
He notes that while Andrew has hired Clare Montgomery, one of the UK’s leading extradition lawyers, he should avoid letting it get to that point. “If I avoid extradition, do I really want to have this hanging over my head and my family’s head for the rest of my life? Do I want my epitaph to be I succeeded in escaping justice?”
A new docuseries from Netflix detailing the world of excess and perversion surrounding Jeffrey and his lifestyle is sure to make matters worse for the Duke of York. The trailer for Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich features a number of Jeffrey’s accusers.
“The monsters are still out there. You took our freedom, now we’re going to take yours,” warns Virginia Giuffre at the trailer’s end. Virginia accuses Prince Andrew of raping her on three different occasions, when she was 17 years old.
In case this wasn’t enough to keep Andrew in the headlines, a recent story also brought Fergie back into public ridicule. News that Sarah and Andrew have failed to make the £6.7 million final payment on an £18 million Swiss chalet and are being sued has also raised eyebrows. It has even those who support the royal family asking questions about the state of the prince’s finances.
The cost of the massive seven-bedroom luxury lodge led to questions when they first bought it in 2014. The Duke of York’s publicly disclosed finances would make such a purchase impossible. People are questioning the amount and means under which Andrew makes his supplemental income through private investments.
Then there’s the matter of Sarah’s business-related debts. He recently managed to help her clear £5 million in debts she ran up through bad investments. She’s also recently lost out on a number of commercial opportunities for standing by Andrew.
Sarah and Andrew were said to look to their financially savvy friends for help, among which many suspect was Jeffrey. Some theories say that the payments on the chalet ceased just after his death, although that information has not been confirmed.
Factor in the significant legal bills Andrew faces on various ends of these situations, and it’s clear he is in some financial trouble. If the royal family bails him out, they face serious public backlash.
It’s anyone’s guess what happens next in the Prince Andrew saga. What is clear is that everything surrounding the 60-year-old Duke of York is going to continue to come at a cost to the royal family. Devoted followers of the family are intrigued to see how the increasingly impossible matter is handled.