LONDON — The British monarchy has survived public crises before — religious schisms, revolutions, murderous kings — but this week the royal family scrambled to confront a relatively new opponent: the embarrassing televised interview.
The Duke of York, better known as Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, struggled to defend himself during a 50-minute interview with the BBC as he talked about his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced financier accused of sex trafficking.
约克公爵(The Duke of York)是伊丽莎白女王二世的次子，他更广为人知的名字是安德鲁王子(Prince Andrew)，在接受英国广播公司(BBC)50分钟的采访时，他竭力为自己辩护，讲述他与声名扫地、被控性交易的金融家杰弗里·爱泼斯坦(Jeffrey Epstein)之间的友谊。
His interview, widely criticized in the British press as disastrous after it was broadcast last weekend, catapulted a long-simmering controversy into a full-blown scandal for the royal family, among the worst in its modern history.
Reacting to the backlash, the prince announced on Wednesday that he was indefinitely stepping away from public life, with permission from the queen. But over the past century, a number of scandals have rattled the British royal family.
Prince Andrew’s friendship with Jeffrey Epstein
The prince’s relationship with Mr. Epstein, whom he met in 1999, has been under scrutiny for years. In the BBC interview, the prince said he had attended dinner parties in which Mr. Epstein hosted “cosmopolitan” figures from politics, academia and business, and the men visited each other’s homes several times.
But Prince Andrew said he had seen “no indication” of wrongdoing by Mr. Epstein at the time.
In 2008, Mr. Epstein pleaded guilty to charges of soliciting prostitution, and served 13 months in a Florida county jail under a widely criticized plea deal. After his release in 2010, Prince Andrew stayed at Mr. Epstein’s Manhattan mansion and was widely criticized for continuing the relationship.
This summer, after the financier was arrested on federal charges and details of allegations against him began to emerge, attention again turned to Prince Andrew’s friendship. In August, Mr. Epstein killed himself in a New York jail.
One of his accusers, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, said that Mr. Epstein had trafficked her to Prince Andrew, and that the prince had sex with her three times, an accusation that he denies. As pressure mounted, the prince agreed to the BBC interview.
指控他的人之一，弗吉尼亚·罗伯茨·朱弗雷(Virginia Roberts Giuffre)说，爱泼斯坦把她卖给了安德鲁王子，后者与她发生了三次性关系，但他否认了这一指控。随着压力的增加，王子同意接受BBC的采访。
But the response to the broadcast was immediate and vocal, especially around what appeared to be the prince’s lack of sympathy for Mr. Epstein’s victims. Businesses and organizations associated with the prince quickly distanced themselves from him.
Charles and Diana’s failed marriage
Prince Andrew was not the first royal of his generation to find himself under fire after a televised interview. His older brother, Prince Charles, in an effort to win back popularity after separating from his first wife, Diana, agreed to appear in a 1994 documentary. But when the prince confessed to adultery, he immediately lost the good will he had been desperately trying to rebuild.
Their father, Prince Philip, said at the time that he did not understand why his son would air his troubles in public, but the interview had been approved in advance by Queen Elizabeth.
A year later, Princess Diana said in an interview that “there were three of us in this marriage,” referring to Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles, who later became his second wife. Charles and Diana divorced in 1996 after years of separation.
The next year, after Diana died in a car accident in Paris while being followed by the paparazzi, the royal family came under fire for appearing to be “indifferent to the country’s sorrow.”
Princess Margaret’s love life
Two decades before Prince Charles’s divorce, the divorce of his aunt, Princess Margaret, from the Earl of Snowdon scandalized the royal family.
在查尔斯王子离婚20年前，他的姨妈玛格丽特公主(Princess Margaret)与斯诺登伯爵(Earl of Snowdon)离婚的消息震惊了王室。
For decades, Margaret had found herself at the center of scrutiny from within the royal family and from the public, mostly centered on her love life, at times drawing sympathy and at others attracting admonishment.
Her fun-loving nature and glamorous lifestyle — with parties, extravagant clothes and celebrity friends — became a staple of the British press.
But her romance in the 1950s with Group Capt. Peter Townsend, a divorced royal aide, was a tipping point. Her sister, Queen Elizabeth, was head of the Church of England, which forbade divorce. And with memories of the uproar surrounding the abdication of King Edward VIII to marry a twice-divorced American still fresh, there was intense pressure on Princess Margaret to end the affair.
但上世纪50年代，她与离过婚的王室侍从彼得·汤森上尉(Group Capt. Peter Townsend)的恋情是个临界点。她的姐姐伊丽莎白女王是禁止离婚的英国国教的领袖。人们当时对于爱德华八世(King Edward VIII)为与一位离过两次婚的美国人结婚而放弃王位引发的喧嚣还记忆犹新，玛格丽特公主承受着巨大的压力，必须结束这段恋情。
The princess chose not to step away from royal life and marry him.
Nearly a decade later, she fell for a photographer, Antony Armstrong-Jones, who became the Earl of Snowdon after they married. But their tumultuous relationship ended in divorce in 1976.
Princess Margaret’s love life became a major plot point in the Netflix period series “The Crown,” which explores the inner world of the royal family.
A gaffe-prone Prince Philip
Queen Elizabeth’s 98-year-old husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has found himself in hot water over offhand comments to the press. Unlike his wife, who maintains a measured public persona, he can be blunt and prone to gaffes.
Some of his comments have been offensive or outright racist.
“If you stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty-eyed,” he told British students in China during a 1986 visit. “It looks as if it was put in by an Indian,” he said in 1999, pointing to an old-fashioned fuse box in a factory in Scotland. “Everybody was saying we must have more leisure. Now they are complaining they are unemployed,” he said during the 1981 recession.
Early this year, he gave up his driver’s license after a collision on a rural road north of London raised questions about his abilities behind the wheel. Two days after the crash, he was photographed driving without his seatbelt fastened and was reprimanded by a police officer.
The brief reign of Edward VIII
In the 1920s, Prince Edward, Queen Elizabeth’s uncle, was so well known for his indulgences that he was the subject of a song: “I danced with a man who danced with a girl who danced with the Prince of Wales.”
But it was a relationship with one particular woman that ultimately shook the royal family.
In 1930, he met Wallis Simpson, a married woman from Baltimore who traveled in the same high-society circles. After the death of his father, King George V, Edward pursued her despite the opposition of his mother, Queen Mary, and the prime minister at the time, Stanley Baldwin.
1930年，他遇到了来自巴尔的摩的已婚女人沃利斯·辛普森(Wallis Simpson)，她也出入同一个上流社会圈子。在父亲乔治五世国王去世后，爱德华不顾母亲玛丽王后和时任首相斯坦利·鲍德温(Stanley Baldwin)的反对，继续追求她。
When the prince succeeded his father to the throne in 1936, a standoff ensued. Mrs. Simpson sought a divorce from her husband, and the British government advised the new king against marrying her.
The government tried to keep the story out of the British press, but American newspapers broke the news.
Within months, King Edward abdicated the throne, saying that it was “impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility” and to remain in power “without the help and support of the woman I love.”
The couple were dogged for years by accusations of being Nazi sympathizers. She denied supporting Hitler, but in 1935 Edward urged members of the British Legion to visit Germany, and in 1937 the couple met Hitler in Berchtesgaden in the Bavarian Alps, embarrassing Edward’s brother, King George VI.
Footage taken in the early 1930s showed Edward raising his hand in the style of a Nazi salute, alongside his mother and niece, the future Queen Elizabeth, who was then 6 or 7, in an apparent pantomime.