British Royal family sacks Amanda Thirsk, Prince Andrew's private secretary, after ill-fated interview

Amanda Thirsk
Prince Andrew with his aide Amanda Thirsk Press Association

A day after Prince Andrew was stripped off his royal duties by the British Sovereign Queen Elizabeth II, his trusted aide and private secretary Amanda Thirsk has been given the pink slip. In wake of the royal scandal that emerged due to close ties shared by the Duke of York with deceased American billionaire and convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the decision was taken to not only strip the Prince of his royal duties but also sack his staff members out of their offices located in the Buckingham Palace.

Thirsk, who was appointed by the Duke in 2012, was given the boot following the catastrophic Newsnight interview of Prince Andrew, that brought an end to his career as a royal. The news was passed on to Thirsk by the Duke himself. Thirsk was the one who spearheaded the campaign behind Andrew's damaging interview on "Newsnight," the BBC's flagship current-affairs program, conducted in the Buckingham Palace.

What did Andrew say in the interview?

During the interview, conducted by Emily Maitlis, the Duke admitted to his close association with Epstein. He also accepted his stays at Epstein's properties in New York, Palm Beach on multiple occasions, attending intimate dinners with Epstein and his friends, expanding his business and financial contacts through Epstein. However, he denied having sex with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claimed that she had sex with the Duke when she was just 17 years old.

Thirsk, a mother of three, joined Andrew's staff in 2004 as 'Office Controller'. She was given the role of Duke's personal secretary in 2012. However, it has been reported that following the sacking, the Prince has promised Thirsk, who is also on the board of Duke's 'Pitch at Palace' project, to keep her on his staff and pay salaries from his personal funds.

'Private staffing' matters?

Reportedly, while the Buckingham Palace refused to comment on the situation terming it to be 'private staffing matters', Prince Andrew has asked Thirsk to manage Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA), started on the similar lines of Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.

The Duke of York, who had earlier cancelled a trip to Bahrain following the scandal, will continue with his project, Pitch at Palace. The project that was being run in the Buckingham Palace will now operate from a separate place outside the Palace.