Pizza Express and an inability to sweat: The standout quotes from Prince Andrew's BBC interview

In an astonishing interview with BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis, Prince Andrew said he’d no recollection of ever meeting his accuser.

BBC Newsnight / YouTube

IN A REMARKABLE almost hour-long interview last night Britain’s Prince Andrew sought to distance himself from claims relating to his association with disgraced US financier and paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Speaking to Emily Maitlis on BBC’s Newsnight programme, the royal faced tough questioning on claims he’d had sex with an underage girl who is also an alleged victim of Epstein.

Andrew insisted he had “no recollection” of ever having met his accuser, Virginia Roberts, now called Virginia Giuffre. He said he had let the royals down – “let the side down” – and had behaved in a way that was “not something that was becoming of a member of the royal family” in associating with Epstein. 

The interview took place on Thursday in Buckingham Palace and the prince has faced stinging criticism in the wake of its broadcast in the UK media and on social media.

Here are some of the standout moments:

“It was a convenient place to stay” – when quizzed on why he stayed in the house of Epstein after the American had been convicted.

Mailtis: But you were staying at the house of a convicted sex offender?

Andrew: It was a convenient place to stay. I mean I’ve gone through this in my mind so many times. At the end of the day, with a benefit of all the hindsight that one can have, it was definitely the wrong thing to do. But at the time I felt it was the honourable and right thing to do and I admit fully that my judgment was probably coloured by my tendency to be too honourable but that’s just the way it is.

“I didn’t sweat at the time” – when quizzed on a very specific claim that he’d had sweated all over an alleged victim on a London dancefloor

Maitlis: She was very specific about that night. She described dancing with you - 

Andrew: No

Maitlis: And you were profusely sweating and that she went on to have a bath possibly - 

Andrew: [laughs] There’s a slight problem with the sweating because I have a peculiar medical condition that I don’t sweat and that was… oh actually, yes I didn’t sweat at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenaline in the Falkland’s War when I was shot. I simply… it was almost impossible for me to sweat. And it’s only because I have a done number of things in the recent past that I am starting to be able to do that again.

“I’d taken Beatrice to Pizza Express in Woking” – Andrew’s alibi for the night he allegedly had his photo taken with the woman who says they had sex

Maitlis: You know that you were at home with the children. Was it a memorable night?

Andrew: On that particular day that we now understand is the date which is 10 March, I was at home. I was with the children and I’d taken Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party at I suppose sort of four or five in the afternoon. And then because the Duchess was away, we have a simple rule in the family that when one is away the other one is there. I was on terminal leave at the time from the Royal Navy so therefore I was at home.

Maitlis: Why would you remember that so specifically? Why would you remember a Pizza Express birthday and being at home?

Andrew: Because going to Pizza Express in Woking is an unusual thing for me to do, a very unusual thing for me to do. I’ve never been… I’ve only been to Woking a couple of times and I remember it weirdly distinctly. As soon as somebody reminded me of it, I went ‘oh yes, I remember that’. But I have no recollection of ever meeting or being in the company or the presence [of accuser Virginia Giuffre].

Extent of relationship with Epstein

Maitlis: Just for the record. You’ve been on his private plane?

Andrew: Yes.

Maitlis: You’ve been to his private island?

Andrew: Yes.

“A constant sore in my family” – how the scandal is affecting him and his family

Maitlis: I wonder what effect all this has had on your close family. You’ve got your daughters of your own.

Andrew: It has been what I would describe as a constant sore in the family. And I think that if we have a conservation about it, it’s, we’are all left with the same thing. What on earth happened or how did he get to where he was, what did he do, how did he do it? And it’s just a constant sort of gnaw. I mean this first came out in 2011. And it was a surprise to… to all of us. Because the photographs were published at a separate time to when I was there and then we sort of questioned what on earth is going on and as a family we discussed it.

“Unbecoming? He was a sex offender” – Maitlis presses Andrew on his use of language to describe Epstein’s actions

Andrew: I regret the fact that he has quite obviously conducted himself in a manner unbecoming…

Maitlis: Unbecoming? He was a sex offender.

Andrew: I’m sorry, I’m being polite. He was a sex offender.

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