Emily Maitlis Speaks Candidly About Infamous Prince Andrew Interview's Lead-Up And Aftermath

The former BBC presenter filmed a "car crash" interview with the Duke of York for Newsnight in November 2019.
Emily Maitlis and Prince Andrew in November 2019
Emily Maitlis and Prince Andrew in November 2019
Mark Harrison/BBC via PA Media

Emily Maitlis has reflected on her infamous interview with Prince Andrew.

Back in 2019, the former BBC broadcaster sat down with the Duke Of York for an interview on Newsnight, in which she grilled him about allegations of sexual assault that had been made against him, as well as his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The interview was branded a “car crash” immediately after it aired, thanks to the royal’s answers to various questions, which will be explored in a new documentary Andrew: The Problem Prince.

Speaking about arriving at Buckingham Palace on the day of the interview, Emily – who also produced the documentary – said: “I arrived at the palace with my huge bag. I ended up wearing this sort of military-style jacket.

“I remember thinking, ‘he’ll like a military coat, he’s a man of the armed forces, he’ll appreciate that’ and then I start to feel actually just really sick and I sort of dived into the loo.

“I just wanted the door shut, I wanted to have two seconds of going: ‘Where am I? Right, what’s going on? Where is my head?’. I had to deal with the fact that I was about to ask this man, this royal, this prince about his sex life. I was thinking, ‘how do I not mess this up?’”

Emily Maitlis in Andrew: The Problem Prince
Emily Maitlis in Andrew: The Problem Prince
Fulwell73/Channel 4 via Copyright remains with handout provider

After filming was complete, Emily said she could tell Prince Andrew was “happy with the interview” because he “stayed chatting” and “seemed very jolly”.

She added: “A whole load of people came in and I said, ‘What’s going on?’ And they said: ‘Oh Thursday evenings we have 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 need space to work out what just happened’.”

Following the interview in November 2019, and the furore over his friendship with Epstein, Prince Andrew stepped away from public life.

He was later stripped of his military titles and royal patronages, a move that was supported by the late Queen Elizabeth and Prince Andrew himself.

Prince Andrew attending a church service on Easter Sunday
Prince Andrew attending a church service on Easter Sunday
Mark Cuthbert via Getty Images

The Duke of York has always denied any allegations of sexual assault, and last year reached an out-of-court settlement with his accuser, Virginia Guiffre.

“Prince Andrew intends to make a substantial donation to Ms Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights,” read a notice of settlement from Giuffre’s lawyer, David Bois, on behalf of both parties.

“Prince Andrew has never intended to malign Ms Giuffre’s character, and he accepts that she has suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks.

“It is known that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked countless young girls over many years. Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others.

“He pledges to demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein by supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims.”

A UK representative for Andrew told HuffPost at the time he had no comment “beyond the statement filed on the court docket”.

Part one of Andrew: The Problem Prince will air on Monday night on Channel 4, with the second part being shown on 8 May.


What's Hot