British Royal Family

Prince Andrew officially steps back from public duties in a shock move following his explosive interview

The Prince has done so with the Queen's permission.

By Jess Pullar
In a move that's sent shock waves throughout the world, Prince Andrew has formally quit his royal duties, releasing a statement announcing the decision.
The move comes following Andrew's explosive interview which was aired on BBC earlier this month in relation to his connection to billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
In a statement later published by PEOPLE, Andrew penned: "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."
He added: "Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission."
Prince Andrew has officially stepped back from his royal duties. (Getty)
Andrew's interview on the BBC was met with high-level criticism following its air date, with many questioning a number of Andrew's justifications for his relations with the alleged trafficker.
In the interview, Andrew denied ever having sex with a 17-year-old woman, who claims he did.
"It didn't happen," Prince Andrew said to journalist Emily Maitlis.
"I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened. I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever."
He also relayed some very specific facts which came across as rather unusual to many, including that he had taken Princess Beatrice to a pizza restaurant around the time he had been accused of being out in London with the woman.
He also said her claims that he was profusely sweating could not be true, because he had a pre-existing medical condition that made it " almost impossible" to sweat.
WATCH: Buckingham Palace denies the Prince Andrew scandal. Story continues after video...
In his formal statement released early this morning, Andrew addressed his connection once again to Jeffrey, this time coming across as very regretful.
"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," he said.
"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."
It is understood that the Palace signed off on the interview taking place. (Getty)
According to PEOPLE, Prince Andrew had initially believed his interview with the BBC had gone "quite well".
It is also understood that the Palace signed off on the interview taking place, although many questioned whether the Queen would have supported it after seeing the final cut.
"Had [Queen Elizabeth] seen it I expect there'd have been a fight to prevent it airing," renowned royal commentator Victoria Arbiter penned to Twitter.
Meanwhile, the Queen's former press secretary, Dickie Arbiter also weighed in, labelling it "not so much a car crash but an articulated lorry crash".
A number of organisations linked to Prince Andrew have also cut ties with the royal since the interview aired.
Even Andrew's renowned Pitch@Palace scheme for entrepreneurs has seen some of its key partners end their contracts with the organisation.
Several Australian universities involved in the scheme have also withdrawn their participation - names include Murdoch University, Bond University and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.