‘Delusional’ royal’s reaction to tell-all
Prince Andrew has reportedly told the Queen that his disastrous TV interview was "a great success".
He was "buoyant" as he attended church with his mum despite the furious backlash that has put his official role under threat and plunged the royal family into its biggest crisis in years, reports The Sun.
Astonishingly, the Duke of York believes he has now put to bed any criticism over his links to sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, according to a close friend of the royal.
In a show of support yesterday, the Queen stood by her "favourite son" as they attended church on the Windsor estate where they live.
His friend revealed: "The Duke went to church with the Queen and was heard telling her it's all been a great success.
"He thinks he's done the right thing and has put the criticism to rest. He was all smiles and was looking very buoyant and happy."
The Queen arrived in a car, while Andrew went separately to the Royal Chapel of All Saints.
The friend went on: "As well as chatting, Andrew and the Queen also prayed together.
"He walked to the church so they weren't pictured together."
The Duke, 59, is believed to be unaware of the worldwide outrage sparked by his interview with Emily Maitlis, shown on BBC's Newsnight on Saturday.
Viewers were especially angry over his lack of sympathy for the victims of Epstein, his former friend who died in August awaiting trial for sex trafficking.
He was also ridiculed over his repeated denials of any sexual relationship with then 17-year-old Virginia Roberts.
She has since slammed his denials as "appalling".
The royal's friend said his aides did not "have the heart" to tell him how badly it had gone down.
They went on: "He's told his friends and advisers he is delighted because he thought he acquitted himself well.
"He's cock-a-hoop. He seriously believes he's pulled off a master triumph. It's astonishing.
"No one has the heart to tell him that he's delusional - and this is the overall problem. He's surrounded by people who tell him what he wants to hear.
"Yesterday he was looking happier than he has been for months, totally unaware his interview had caused a firestorm of criticism."
It is unknown if the Queen watched the program, though she is said to have been the only member of the royal family to have been told of it beforehand.
Buckingham Palace last night said it would not comment on royals' private time or confirm the Queen went to church with her son.
But our source revealed: "The Queen is very much intending to stand by Andrew.
"The sad reality is that she's got a blind spot when it comes to him as her favourite son.
"It's a bit like how Margaret Thatcher was with her son Mark. Andrew can't do any wrong in the Queen's eyes."
The Sun revealed that the Duke intended to return to work on Monday for an official engagement, which sources described as "madness".
The insider explained: "He is planning to push ahead with his engagements and doesn't want to duck out of anything."
Friends believe the interview was a test run in the unlikely event he has to defend himself in police interviews or court.
The source said: "There's a real fear more accusations could emerge, and no matter what is being said, at least he has put it out there that he's not going to roll over. He does have a defence."
It emerged the Duke had lodged an official complaint with watchdog Ofcom over a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary last month on the Epstein scandal.
His private secretary Amanda Thirsk had pushed him to do the Newsnight interviewin a bid to draw a line under the controversy.
But it has instead plunged the entire institution into crisis and overshadowed Prince Charles' royal tour to New Zealand.
The Sunday Times yesterday revealed the Duke's new PR, Jason Stein, quit after his advice not to do the interview was ignored.
The Buckingham Palace grilling sparked a furious backlash, with PR experts stunned he agreed to it.
David Cameron's former spokesman Craig Oliver said: "It will go down as one of the worst PR decisions ever - proof you really can make things a lot worse when you try to explain yourself.''
The Queen's ex-spokesman Dickie Arbiter said his royal role may suffer as a result of the "articulated lorry crash of an interview".
He said: "He says he wanted his interview to draw a line in the sand, but I'm afraid he's going to have to deal with a lot more questions.
"He had to cancel engagements a few months ago when this surfaced again, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of the charities and organisations he is patron of are questioning their association with him."
However, a senior source close to the Duke has defended the decision to film the interview.
They said: "Our hope was that people see him for the thoroughly decent individual that he is and reflect that he has been absolutely consistent on this whole episode, whereas the other side of the story is perhaps a little less consistent."
The source claimed he had asked Maitlis for difficult questions and went on: "No one thought she was going to be quite as tough as she was, but he handled it.
"It was captivating to hear such honest answers. He showed huge humility. It's time to give the guy a break."
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission