Princess Beatrice's upcoming engagement party has reportedly been canceled amid the scandal surrounding her father, Prince Andrew's, association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The 31-year-old royal has canceled her scheduled party at Chiltern Firehouse in London on Dec. 18, due to fears the paparazzi will swarm her father, according to multiple reports. Beatrice and her fiance, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, will instead hold an intimate gathering at a friend's apartment, Us Weekly reports. Edoardo proposed to Beatrice earlier this year; they'll tie the knot in 2020.
Andrew stepped down from his royal duties on Nov. 20, following a controversial televised interview with the BBC about his ties to Epstein.
"It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organizations and charities that I am proud to support," Prince Andrew said in a statement last month.
Noting that he asked his mother, Queen Elizabeth, if he might "step back from public duties for the foreseeable future," Andrew revealed that Her Royal Highness gave her son her permission for him to step down.
"I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathize with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure. I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required," he added.
Royal expert Katie Nicholl told ET the next day, "My sources at Buckingham Palace are insisting that it was the duke's decision and that the statement reflects that. He says in that, that it's his decision to step down with the queen's approval. ... Reading between the lines, it is my understanding that Andrew understood he had to go. It was made very clear to him in that meeting between him and the queen that he had no choice but to step down from royal duties."
"It must have been incredibly hard for the queen, his mother -- Andrew is widely regarded to be her favorite son -- but she recognized that there was a huge amount of damage being done to the monarchy," Nicholl added. "He had no option, the queen had no option, but for Andrew to step back from royal duties."
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