Prince Andrew Thought ‘Newsnight’ Was Fabulous. The Queen Knew Better. newsusface


Prince Andrew was so delighted with what he thought was his brilliant performance in the Newsnight interview that ended his royal career, he invited the interviewer, Emily Maitlis, to stay on and attend a movie night at Buckingham Palace once taping had finished.

The queen, however, knew as soon as she read a transcript of the interview, several hours before it was broadcast, that it was a disaster and summoned Andrew to her presence to discuss it.

The new revelations are made in a Channel 4 documentary about Andrew, entitled Andrew: The Problem Prince, which is being screened on the traditionally anti-establishment British network Channel 4 as part of its counter-coronation programming.

In the documentary, according to a report in the London Times, Maitlis said: “This is how I know that Prince Andrew is happy with the interview because he stayed chatting. He seemed very jolly.”

Her producer Sam McAlister said: “It should have been that we, the journalists, were euphoric and he was depressed and downfallen. But it was the opposite. He looked euphoric because he thought it had gone really well.”

Maitlis said: “A whole load of people came in and I said, ‘What’s going on?’ They said, ‘OK, Thursday evenings we have the cinema night at the palace. You can stay if you want.’ And at that point, I just thought, ‘I’ve got to get away from here. I needed the space to work out what just happened.’”

Maitlis added: “It was only on the Saturday when the queen had reportedly read the whole transcript that he had received a tap on the shoulder by his security detail. And they had said, ‘I think, Sir, you might have to come with us.’ It was after the queen had seen what the interview contained that I think it dawned on her.”

There is evidence in the two-part documentary that Andrew, who has a reputation for arrogance, refused to listen to advisers who tried to deter him from doing the interview.

Paul Tweed, an attorney and a friend of Andrew, said he told Andrew, when the idea of the interview was floated, “Look, that would not be a good idea, Sir.”

However he subsequently received a phone call from Amanda Thirsk, the duke’s private secretary: “Amanda called me… She would have been very loyal, very protective of Prince Andrew. She was the gatekeeper in many ways. I believe he depended on her quite a bit.

“She just said, ‘I’m just letting you know the duke has decided to do the Newsnight interview.’ I said, ‘Is he mad? Absolutely no way, no, no, no. That’s a bad idea. You should not do it.’ And Amanda just said, ‘Look, Paul, I’ve got to go. I’ll call you later.’ And the phone was put down abruptly and that was it. So obviously the duke, for better or worse, had made his mind up, he was going to do it.”

McAlister also revealed Andrew took his daughter Princess Beatrice with him to the final negotiations with the BBC over the ground the interview would cover.

“Can you imagine being in Buckingham Palace, about to talk to a member of the royal family about sexual offenses? That’s pretty tricky—and now I’ve got to do it in front of his daughter,” she said.

In the documentary, various legal commentators say that had he not done the interview, it is unlikely the lawsuit brought against him by Virginia Giuffre would have turned out the way it did.

Andrew settled Giuffre’s sex abuse claim for a figure reputedly running to millions of dollars. He denies any wrongdoing.


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