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Friday 13 December 2019

Andrew spotted for first time since stepping down

Prince Andrew smiles and waves as he leaves his family home
Prince Andrew smiles and waves as he leaves his family home

Prince Andrew has been seen in public for the first time since his dramatic decision to step down from official royal duties.

The duke, who quit his life as a working royal on Wednesday over his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, was pictured leaving Royal Lodge in Berkshire.

Andrew waved as he drove away from his home in Windsor Great Park.

In the aftermath of the announcement that he would step down from public duties for the "foreseeable future", Huddersfield University confirmed the royal would be relinquishing his role as its chancellor.

The university Students' Union said in response: "We know that students will welcome this decision, and the Students' Union would like to offer our sympathy to the victims of Epstein and all those affected by sexual abuse across the world."

Asked if the prince was right to step back from public life, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told reporters: "All I can say is that it is very important that all the victims of Jeffrey Epstein get justice and the law must be done."

A US lawyer representing some of Epstein's alleged victims has raised the possibility of questioning Andrew under oath over his relationship with Epstein.

Lisa Bloom said that, as an attorney, she had "the right" to seek a statement from individuals she deemed to have "relevant information".

Andrew is to continue working on his flagship project Pitch@Palace but will do so privately without the support of Buckingham Palace, it emerged.

It is thought the prince will not have any involvement with the dozens of organisations he is associated with.

Criticism

Graham Smith, of Republic, which campaigns for an elected head of state, called the move "more smoke and mirrors".

In the wake of his 'car crash' Newsnight interview, the prince faced criticism for showing a lack of empathy for Epstein's victims and a lack of remorse over their friendship.

Andrew denied claims he slept with Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein's victims, on three occasions, twice while she was under age.

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