A Step Towards Justice: Prince Andrew Disavowed


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Prince Andrew will no longer serve public duties.

Buckingham Palace announced the Queen’s decision to strip Prince Andrew of all military and royal appellations on January 13, 2022, a response to ongoing allegations that he sexually exploited minors with the late Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, Mr. Epstein’s criminal associate. The news came only a day after a U.S. judge rejected Mr. Andrew’s venture to block a lawsuit by Virginia Giuffre, a victim of Epstein and Maxwell who was allegedly trafficked to Prince Andrew at just 17 years old.

     Two weeks earlier, Ms. Maxwell was convicted on five of six counts brought upon by federal prosecutors, including helping to lure and traffic teenage girls, some as young as 14, to Epstein and other prominent individuals. Though she awaits sentencing, AP News reports that each of these five counts may contribute anywhere from five to 40 years behind bars. 

     Prince Andrew now faces trial as a private citizen – a major milestone in our world’s march towards a more egalitarian environment for all. His disavowment and Ms. Maxwell’s indictment are active affirmations that the veil which once shrouded and protected public figures from accountability is deteriorating.

     In hindsight, Prince Andrew is only the tip of the iceberg. He is only one of many wealthy and powerful men who developed long-term ties with Epstein, including Bill Gates, Donald Trump, and Bill Clinton (Business Insider). While the latter three have since denied any involvement in sexual exploitation with Epstein, many in the media and larger public still speculate about their relationships, perhaps best demonstrated by a popular rumor that Epstein’s suicide was actually a hit operation to keep him from revealing information that could incriminate them. In fact, a Business Insider survey showed that a whopping 45% of Americans believe that Epstein’s death was murder. Regardless of the speculations, newly uncovered videos, court documents, and indictments prove that Mr. Epstein and his associates – some of America’s most influential names – engaged in activities that were, if not illegal, morally abhorrent. They also reveal how these celebrities used their fame, power, and wealth to keep victims silent and themselves protected from suspicion. 

    That’s why the Crown’s announcement about Prince Andrew is so invigorating: the British monarchy, once an untouchable and irreproachable pillar of European society, is now seeing its members face accountability like the rest of the world does. And while many can rightfully argue that stripping Prince Andrew of his military titles is trivial, we shouldn’t overlook the importance of ostensibly small progressions because the monumental leaps in society are the product of small steps like this one. 

     Yet, we are merely scraping the surface of the obscurity of this realm of sexual exploitation by the rich and powerful. The progress we have made is largely in part of the #MeToo movement, which, empowered by technology and social media platforms, allowed millions of once-subdued voices to speak to the world’s ears and bring this issue to light. 

     If the symbolic removal of Prince Andrew’s titles is a single step forward, then what lies ahead are many strides and leaps – something that can only be achieved through a collective effort and web of support. The key to fully uncovering all the dark secrets that have yet to surface is to build a more supportive community for victims – especially minors – to speak their truth and seek justice. However, something that we should appreciate is the supportive community for victims we have at our school and our network of support through faculty and friends. We must not take these resources for granted, all while working to create a similar network of support in our larger community, and eventually, in the world.