Queen 'cancels' Prince Andrew's 60th birthday party after Epstein scandal

Prince Andrew announced this week he would be stepping down from all official royal public duties amid the escalation of his associations in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. (Getty)

The Queen has reportedly cancelled Prince Andrew’s upcoming 60th birthday party in the wake of his “car crash” BBC interview.

According to The Times, a small family dinner party will be held instead to celebrate the Duke’s birthday as he looks to withdraw from the public eye over the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

Earlier this week Prince Andrew announced he would be formally stepping down from royal duties after senior aides and the Prince of Wales advised the Queen to remove him from the spotlight.

Pressure had been mounting on the duke after his BBC Newsnight interview about Epstein, with a growing number of multimillion-pound businesses, universities and charities distancing themselves from him.

The Queen was reportedly advised to persuade Prince Andrew to remove himself from public life. (Getty)

After the BBC interview, Andrew faced criticism for showing a lack of empathy towards Epstein’s victims and a lack of remorse over his friendship with the financier, who took his own life in prison earlier this year while awaiting trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.

More than 20 charities have already severed ties with the Duke and he is expected to resign from up to 160 more within days.

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The Duke has also reportedly resigned from his role with his flagship business project Pitch@Palace after days of speculation about his future with the initiative he founded.

Andrew appears to have bowed to pressure and stepped down a day after one sponsor said his plans to continue leading Pitch were “not tenable”.

High-profile business sponsors KPMG, Standard Chartered and Inmarsat, a British satellite telecommunications company, have all said they would not renew their financial support for Pitch while Barclays, a partner of the project, ended its association on Friday.

The Daily Telegraph reported sources as saying Andrew was no longer leading Pitch, which would continue without any royal involvement.

Beleaguered Andrew also faces the prospect of Virginia Giuffre – an alleged Jeffrey Epstein victim who claims she had under-age sex with the duke, which he strenuously denies – being interviewed on BBC’s Panorama programme early in December.

He had been expected to travel to the Middle East this weekend as part of his Pitch project but has cancelled plans following reported pressure from his family.

He was pictured on Friday out riding with the Queen in the grounds around Windsor Castle with two other riders.

It has also been reported that his private secretary, Amanda Thirsk, has been removed from her palace-funded role and will become the chief executive of Pitch.

Yahoo News has contacted Buckingham Palace for comment.

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