Prince Andrew scandal ‘biggest royal crisis since death of Diana’

The Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal which has engulfed Prince Andrew is the biggest crisis the royal family has faced since the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, a public relations expert has said.

The Duke of York has said in a statement he will step back from public duties for the “foreseeable future”.

Mark Borkowski, a PR and crisis consultant, said the issue was like a “tractor beam” sucking the Royal Family into Andrew’s “black hole” but whoever had taken the decision to issue the statement had saved the monarchy.

Speaking about the Netflix drama The Crown, which chronicles the monarchy, he told PA: “This actually kicks The Crown into a cocked hat, the producers of The Crown must be kicking themselves because they haven’t got anything in the current series that is so topical and real as this, because it’s got all the stuff of the past, wrapped into now.

“I read that statement and thought it’s a fantastic statement but three years too late, if he had written that statement three years ago distancing himself from Epstein none of this would’ve happened. This story was becoming like a tractor beam and it was sucking the whole Royal Family into Andrew’s black hole and they were going to disappear. This is one of the biggest things since the death of Diana.”

“They wouldn’t have had a single moment to not think about how they’re going to address this question. It was like the biggest elephant in the room and whoever has taken control, has shot the elephant and saved the Royal Family.”

Royal author Penny Junor said it was “absolutely unprecedented” that a relatively senior member of the Royal Family “should be forced to retire from public life”.

She told PA: “I would think the Queen is horrified.”

The royal writer added: “It was inevitable and it was the right thing to do. It was the only course of action for the duke and the Royal Family.

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