PRINCE Andrew asked the Queen’s permission to go on Newsnight, interviewer Emily Maitlis has revealed — and felt pleased with how it went.
It was only after Her Majesty called in Andrew after it had been filmed that he realised the 2019 chat had been a disaster.
In two-part Channel 4 documentary Andrew: The Problem Prince, Emily reveals before the interview: “Andrew said this curious phrase, ‘You know, I’ve got to seek approval from higher up.’ Of course, he’s talking about the Queen.”
And Emily said after: “The Queen had reportedly read the transcript. Andrew received a tap on the shoulder by his security detail and they said, ‘Sir, you might have to come with us.’
“It was after the Queen had seen it, that it dawned on her before it dawned on him.”
Andrew’s lawyer Paul Tweed was shocked to be told Andrew had agreed to go ahead.
He said: “I said, ‘Is he mad?’ Absolutely no way, that’s a bad idea.
“But the Duke made the decision on his own.
“I thought, ‘Somebody’s going to stop this’. In the palace, you know . . . the reaction was devastating.”
Newsnight producer Sam McAlister recalled Princess Beatrice was brought into the meeting before the interview.
Emily said this made her think Andrew might have been doing the interview to please her.
She described how deluded he was afterwards as he believed he had defused the outrage over his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.
Emily added: “Every time he’s given an opportunity to disassociate himself from Epstein . . . you wait for those sentences, you never hear them.
“So I’m thinking already this interview may not have been his best decision.
“It was just this tidal wave of bad answers.”
She added: “This is how I knew Andrew was happy with the interview — he stayed chatting, he seemed very jolly.
“Then a whole load of people came in and I said, ‘What’s going on?’ and he said, ‘Oh it’s cinema night at the Palace, you can stay if you want’. I thought, ‘I’ve got to get away from here’. ”
Sam said they knew they had a scoop but were convinced it would never be broadcast. She said: “I thought, ‘This can’t be real because this is just car crash’.”
Sigrid McCawley, lawyer for Virginia Giuffre, tells the show that the interview was what convinced them to sue Andrew for sexual assault.
He settled out of court and denies any wrongdoing.