If you've scanned the international headlines today, chances are you're confused. There's this story about paedophilia and Prince Andrew possibly stepping down from a trade position, except the prince isn't the paedophile and, well, aren't royals a bit too permanent for "stepping down"? Here's what happened.
A little over a week ago, the British tabloid The Daily Mail, published a scoop about Prince Andrew palling around with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and his entourage of underage "erotic masseuses." A UK media frenzy quickly ensued with reporters denouncing the Prince and calling for him to step down from his position as foreign trade ambassador. In addition, now the FBI is looking to investigate the "masseuse" story.
At the time, a pair of Mail reporters put the media's sentiment towards the Duke of York quite bluntly: "He clings on to his ambassadorial role, just as he clings on to the friendship with Epstein. But, after publication of the photo with Epstein’s 17-year-old masseuse, for how much longer?"
As the damaging stories circulated, UK lawmakers have joined in with the sensational journalists in asking the Prince to step down from his position. "Obviously there are conversations that will take place with him about what he is to do in future. That is simply a matter of managing the relationship," Britain's Business Secretary, Vince Cable said in an interview with the BBC. But the prime minister's office and Buckingham palace have both issued statements in support of the Prince Andrew, "saying that Cameron 'fully supports' the Prince," according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Prince's credibility has also been damaged by questions about Andrew's affiliation with, among others, the son of Libya's brutal dictator, Muammar Qaddafi and the son-in-law of ousted Tunisian president Zine El Abindine Ben Ali, the Journal notes.