Prince Charles wants “a smaller, more cost-effective monarchy.”
“I remember when Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein first became friends,” someone who knows both men well tells Vanity Fair writer Ed Klein. “Jeffrey had Andrew put on a pair of sweatpants for the first time in his life. He had him wear blue jeans for the first time. It was Jeffrey who taught Andrew how to relax.” But the source goes on to explain that “after Jeffrey was convicted, I phoned Andrew and told him, ‘You cannot have a relationship with Jeffrey. You can’t do these things.’ And he said, ‘Stop giving me a hard time. You’re such a puritan.’ From there, our conversation descended into a screaming match, and finally Andrew said, ‘Leave me alone. Jeffrey’s my friend. Being loyal to your friends is a virtue. And I’m going to be loyal to him.’”
The prince’s connection to Jeffrey Epstein has inflicted the greatest damage on his reputation. According to a sworn deposition by Juan Alessi, a former employee at Epstein’s Palm Beach estate, Andrew attended naked pool parties and was treated to massages by a harem of adolescent girls. At least three of the girls were questioned under oath about whether Andrew had had sexual contact with any of the masseuses. One of them, Sarah Kellen, refused to answer, citing her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. Another, Adriana Ross, was asked, “Has Prince Andrew ever been involved with underage minor females to your knowledge?” She reportedly replied, “I refuse to answer.” (Prince Andrew denied having had sexual contact with any of Epstein’s girls and says he neither attended nor was aware of any naked pool parties.)
“The major reason Andrew hung out with Jeffrey was to get money for Sarah Ferguson,” someone who knows both men well tells Klein. “Andrew feels responsible for Sarah.… There have been newspaper reports that Sarah got £15,000 [$24,500] from Jeffrey, but I think that Sarah has actually received hundreds of thousands of dollars from him.” (Ferguson’s spokesman confirmed that she had received £15,000 from Epstein but wasn’t aware of any additional amount.)
Elsewhere in the article Klein reports that, although Andrew and Fergie’s shenanigans get a blind eye from the Queen, they do not go unnoticed by Charles. “My understanding is that Prince Charles was less than happy that Andrew was given the role of trade envoy back in 2001 after he left the navy,” Robert Jobson, author of William & Kate: The Love Story and a royal commentator for NBC News, tells Klein. “When Charles ascends the throne—which he will do despite all the talk to the contrary—he’d like the royal family to be streamlined; he wants a smaller, more cost-effective monarchy.”
The August issue of Vanity Fair will be on newsstands in New York and L.A. on Thursday, June 30, and nationally on Tuesday, July 5. First, see V.F.’s chronology of Prince Andrew’s tabloid appearances here.