The queen has weighed in on the maelstrom Prince Andrew has found himself in following his Saturday BBC interview. The Guardian reports that in a statement, Andrew on Wednesday announced that he has "asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission." The request was prompted by what he describes as the realization that his "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."
He went on to address Epstein and his victims: "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 sympathize 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." (The development came as more businesses and institutions put distance between themselves and Andrew.)