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Prince Andrew To Step Back From Public Duties For 'The Foreseeable Future'

Prince Andrew has announced he will step back from his public duties amid the fallout from his interview over his links to Jeffrey Epstein.

In a statement on Wednesday evening, The Duke of York said the Queen had granted him permission to step back from his public duties.

“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 organisations and charities that I am proud to support.

“Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission.”

He also said he regretted his "ill-judged association" with Epstein and said he deeply sympathised with the pedophile financier's victims.

Photo: AAP.

“I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure.

“I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”

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In the history of PR catastrophes, this one will forever more be known as “doing an Andrew”.

Andrew used a BBC TV interview to actively deny allegations he had sex with a 17-year-old girl, who was allegedly organised for him by this friend Jeffery Epstein. During the sit-down, regarded by many royal commentators as disastrous, Andrew also offered an explanation for why he stayed with Epstein after he was convicted of sex offences.

"It was a convenient place to stay," the Duke said.

The Duke's break from duties comes as a number of corporate sponsors distanced themselves from the royal.

A scheme for entrepreneurs founded by Prince Andrew took down the logos of various firms and charities on Wednesday. The 'supporters' page on the website of Andrew's Pitch@Palace program, which aims to boost the work of entrepreneurs, was also no longer available on Tuesday.

Cached versions of the page, saved in June this year, showed it carried the logos of brands including KPMG, AstraZeneca, Barclays, Cisco, Standard Chartered and Bosch.

Other organisations have been reviewing Prince Andrew's role within their companies. British charity The Outward Bound Trust recently called a meeting to discuss Andrew's patronage.

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Company logos have vanished from Prince Andrew's website promoting entrepreneurship as his business backers back away in the fallout from the sex scandal.

Members of Huddersfield Students' Union recently passed a motion to encourage the Duke to resign as chancellor of the university.

With AAP. 

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au