Prince Andrew has said that the Queen has given him permission to step back from public duties "for the foreseeable future" following a firestorm of criticism over an interview about his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
In a statement on Wednesday evening, the Duke of York said he "unequivocally" regretted his relationship with the disgraced financier and was willing to aid in any ongoing investigations.
"It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family's work and the valuable work going on in the many organizations and charities that I am proud to support," Prince Andrew said.
"Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission."
A royal source told CNN that the Duke of York took the decision to step back from public duties following discussion with the Queen, Prince of Wales and others. The source said the decision was for the best, and that nothing was more important to any of the family than the institution itself.