Newspaper headlines: 'Regret' and 'success' over Andrew's interview

By BBC News

Image source, Mark Harrison/BBC/PA Media
Image caption,
Prince Andrew's interview with the BBC's Emily Maitlis aired on Saturday evening

While the third series of royal TV drama The Crown - which began yesterday - receives rave reviews in Monday's newspapers, it is not so for Prince Andrew's appearance in his BBC interview with Emily Maitlis.

It was, the Financial Times says, one of the Royal Family's most misjudged forays on television, eclipsing even those of Prince Charles and Princess Diana on the collapse of their marriage.

For the i newspaper, it was the Newsnight horror show - one of the weirdest royal interviews ever.

The Guardian says the prince faced disbelief and fury on both sides of the Atlantic over the defence of his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.

It says he is under growing pressure from his critics here and in the US to apologise to Epstein's victims.

In the paper's own view, there was a "grotesque mismatch between the Duke of York's language and demeanour, and the gravity of the allegations".

But the Daily Mail reports that the prince has told friends he regrets he did not make it clear he had great sympathy for anyone who was abused by Epstein.

"When I said I was shocked I thought that was implicit," he is quoted as saying.

The Mail's Richard Kay says: "The jaw-dropping insensitivity of it all left millions of viewers, not just in Britain but around the world, asking: why?

"Why on earth had he agreed to do this, and what was he thinking?" He describes the interview as one of the most egregious acts of self-harm by any member of the Royal Family.

According to the Sun, the prince told the Queen that his interview had been a "great success". It was, the paper says, his "craziest" claim yet.

The Times says Buckingham Palace insiders, while taken aback by the reaction, believe it will be possible to judge the impact of the interview only after the dust has settled.

They are bracing themselves for several days of negative publicity, it adds.

In the Times's view, Prince Andrew's "broadcast equivocations were an embarrassment and a disgrace" and "the monarchy stands mired in scandal as a result".

His position is "probably irretrievable", it suggests, adding: "The first step in extricating the monarchy should be his retreat from a public role, and a long period of silence."

The Telegraph's main cartoon shows a puzzled diner at Pizza Express in Woking inquiring about a dish on the menu. "That's our new one", the waitress replies - "the alibi".

And, in its editorial, the paper says that as an exercise in making a bad situation worse, it has few equals.

"Since Prince Andrew saw this interview as an opportunity to put the record straight, it is surprising that he was so ill-prepared for the line of questioning," it says.

Election debate row

As the Lib Dems and the Scottish National Party go to the High Court today to challenge ITV's decision not to include them in the party leaders' election debate, the Times makes the case for an independent commission to be set up to run the debates.

It wants the debates to be separated from what it calls the whims of the politicians and broadcasters.

Even if the debates themselves prove less than edifying, the cause of democratic argument will be advanced, it suggests.

Image source, EPA
Image caption,
Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson wants to be included in ITV's debate with Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn

Meanwhile, the Times also reports that talented students are dropping team sports when they arrive at university because of archaic initiation practices.

According to the paper, students are expected to down copious amounts of alcohol while performing various acts.

It says parents want more action from universities to abolish the practices, and have accused vice-chancellors of paying lip service to tackling the problem.

Finally, the Telegraph says tattooists have called for the age limit for facial inkings to be raised from 18 to 21, as social media fuels a rise in the markings.

It reports that the trend has become popular in recent years as youngsters copy celebrities aiming for the "perfect" Instagram picture.

But tattoo artists warn that the illustrations could affect people's job prospects and "stain" their future.