The Duke of York's private secretary Amanda Thirsk, who was thought to be the driving force behind his recent Newsnight interview, has formally ended her employment in the royal household. Sky News have reported that Prince Andrew's right-hand woman has reached a legal settlement, including a payment worth tens of thousands of pounds with Buckingham Palace. She is said to be continuing as chief executive of Pitch@Palace Global, the international arm of Andrew's project for tech enterpreneurs.
Prince Andrew pictured with his private secretary Amanda Thirsk
The Duke stepped down from his royal duties after his BBC Newsnight interview, which focused on his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. At the time, Buckingham Palace released a statement from the royal just days after the high-profile interview. Prince Andrew said: "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."
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He added: "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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Since the news was announced, the royal has been keeping a low-profile. However, on Christmas Day, Prince Andrew joined Prince Charles, the Queen and other members of the royal family for an early church service in Sandringham.
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