Prince Andrew to step back from public duties

Britain’s Prince Andrew is stepping back from public duties after receiving permission from the Queen.

The Duke of York KG said Wednesday in a statement it became clear to him that his association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to the Royal Family’s work.

Andrew says he “unequivocally” regrets his “ill-judged” association with the former U.S. businessman.

He says he deeply sympathizes with Epstein’s victims.

Andrew says he spoke with his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, and she gave him permission to step back from public duties for the foreseeable future.

A recent television interview of Andrew has been heavily scrutinized due to the prince’s inability to express concern for Epstein’s victims.

Several charities have said they are reviewing their association with the prince because of his actions.

Epstein was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges when he was found dead inside his jail cell. His death on Aug. 10 in a New York prison has been ruled a suicide by the city’s medical examiner.