Emily Maitlis feared Prince Andrew interview would end up ‘hurting’ duke’s daughters

BBC handout file photo showing the Duke of York speaking about his links to Jeffrey Epstein in an interview with BBC Newsnight's Emily Maitlis (Mark Harrison/BBC/PA)

Emily Maitlis feared her BBC Newsnight interview with Prince Andrew ended up “hurting” the duke’s daughters, the British journalist has revealed.

Andrew stepped down from his role as a senior member of the royal family shortly after Maitlis grilled the duke about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein during the infamous 2019 interview.

Maitlis also questioned the Duke of York about his relationship with Virginia Giuffre, who accused Andrew of sexually abusing her when she was 17.

Andrew has denied these accusations, reaching an out-of-court settlement with Giuffre last year.

In an op-ed published by The Times on Saturday, Maitlis, 52, reflected on how the interview “that aimed to provide answers for vulnerable young women” may have ended up hurting “other vulnerable women” like the duke’s daughters, princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

“What is the duty of care you owe to those who trust you with their stories – particularly if they are in no position to answer back?” she wrote. “These were things I struggled with in the aftermath that still cost me a fair amount of thought today.”

Channel 4 recently announced a two-part documentary about Andrew’s Newsnight appearance, titled Andrew: The Problem Prince, featuring interviews with Maitlis and Newsnight producer Sam McAlister.

In the second episode, Maitlis said that it had “crossed” her mind that the disgraced prince may have agreed to the interview for his daughter Beatrice’s sake.

In the documentary, it is revealed that Beatrice, who was preparing for her wedding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi at the time, accompanied Andrew for early discussions about the interview.

Writing for The Times, the former BBC host said she began wondering whether Andrew was “hoping to clear his name in time for his daughter Beatrice’s wedding” while working on the Channel 4 documentary.

“What if he put himself through a rigorous hour of accountability so his own family could put it behind all of them? I don’t know this, of course – my speculation has no journalistic source, just raw gut instinct,” she continued. “Perhaps I am seeking to make sense of something I still don’t properly understand.”

Elsewhere in the documentary, Maitlis claimed the late Queen Elizabeth II realised that Andrew’s interview was a mistake before the duke did.

She said: “It was only on the Saturday when the Queen had reportedly read the whole transcript that he received a tap on the shoulder by his security detail.”

Andrew: The Problem Prince will be broadcast at 9pm on 1 May and 8 May on Channel4.