Abuse scandal: Prince Andrew renounces public duties

Prince Andrew has announced that he is stepping back from all his public duties as a member of the British royal family. Many observers consider his claim that he knew nothing of the predatory practices of his friend Jeffrey Epstein implausible. Epstein, who died in his prison cell in August, had been accused of abusing minors and forced prostitution. Is the public being too harsh on the prince?

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Helsingin Sanomat (FI) /

Even royals can't avoid punishment anymore

The public is no longer prepared to let the royal family get away with everything, Helsingin Sanomat concludes:

“Times have changed, and this is also perceptible in the royal household in Britain. Gone are the days when a royal daughter-in-law's choice of clothing provoked the greatest indignation. In 2019, even an older male member of the Court is made to bear the consequences of his free decisions. Public opinion no longer accepts behaviour that might have been tolerated at the beginning of the millennium. This includes friendship with a man who hunted young girls.”

The Spectator (GB) /

Presumption of innocence no longer applies

Prince Andrew is being precondemned by wide sections of society and the media, The Spectator angrily comments:

“Just because he was close to Jeffrey Epstein, that doesn't mean he abused people, far less that he was part of some warped paedo network. This is a fundamental principle of justice: we don't cast people out of society just because they have been accused of a crime. The problem is that this fundamental principle has collapsed in recent years. Courtesy of an unforgiving new breed of feminism, a chipping-away at legal rights, and the MeToo movement, accusation is increasingly enough to condemn an individual and destroy his life.”