Could Prince Andrew Ever Return To The Monarchy?

No royal in modern history has experienced a downfall as hard as Prince Andrew. In 2019, the disgraced duke stepped away from royal duties following a disastrous interview regarding former friend and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, noting that it became a "major disruption" to the royal family and the organizations he supports (via Town & Country). In the interview, he stated that, "When I saw [Epstein] in the United States ... or when I was staying in his houses in the United States, there was no indication, absolutely no indication" of his wrongdoings (via CNN).

One month prior, Virginia Giuffre, an alleged victim of Epstein's abuse, accused Andrew of having sex with her while she was underage, per CNN. Buckingham Palace "emphatically denied that The Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts [Giuffre]."

As the third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the Duke of York was once widely-respected for his accomplishments in battle — even being commemorated as a Falklands hero. However, with the Epstein scandal, an August lawsuit from Giuffre, and the ongoing Ghislaine Maxwell trial, Prince Andrew's days of being held in high regard are long behind him. But does he stand a chance of ever returning to the British monarchy?

Prince Andrew's potential return to the monarchy doesn't look likely

Whilst under the microscope for his ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, Prince Andrew has not only fallen out of the spotlight within the royal family, but he has also fallen out of favor with the British public. According to YouGov, the Duke of York currently holds a popularity rating of merely 13% amongst the British population — the lowest ranking of any royal. By comparison, the widely polarizing Meghan Markle currently stands at 28%.

Furthermore, People notes that, although his mother, Queen Elizabeth II has allowed Prince Andrew to keep his royal designations, he has been cut out of the family from a public standpoint. As it stands, he has not been seen in any of the royal family's social media posts since 2019, nor was he spotted in pictures of daughter Princess Beatrice's wedding from July 2020.

As the 95-year-old Queen Elizabeth approaches her 70th year on the throne, the royal family is gearing up for the inevitable shift in power when son Prince Charles takes over. Under his future rule, Charles reportedly envisions a "slimmed down" monarchy, per Insider. Despite being Andrew's older brother, the Prince of Wales does not see the Duke of York becoming an essential figurehead in the monarchy's future, as his truncated monarchy will revolve around the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge; brother Prince Edward and wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex; sister Anne, Princess Royal; and lastly, himself and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).