How the Duke met the Queen today and why he'll be out of the public eye for some time

That was some announcement from Buckingham Palace this evening.

And a decision that must have been monumentally difficult for the Queen to receive this afternoon from her second son and then approve.

Here is what we know happened.

The Duke of York had been having ‘ongoing discussions’ about the fallout from his television interview with senior members of his family – including The Queen and the Prince of Wales.

This afternoon, at Buckingham Palace, Prince Andrew met the Queen and they discussed how the issue was not going away.

His older brother Prince Charles was also consulted, even though he is on a Royal Tour in New Zealand.

It was agreed that Prince Andrew should step back from his royal duties until there has been some form of conclusion in the Jeffrey Epstein case.

Prince Andrew says he 'unequivocally regret(s) my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein.' Credit: ITV News

What does that mean?

It means that he will not return until either the victims have got the answers they are looking for or until the Duke himself has been exonerated in some way and cleared of any wrong doing.

As for his charities and patronages, he will effectively put them on hold, in the deepfreeze.

It will be a form of mothballing and the charities and organisations will therefore be able to decide if they want Prince Andrew to retain his ties with them – some, of course, may not wish to.

As for his pet projects, like Pitch at Palace, which helps entrepreneurs connect with investors, the Palace is now working on how they can keep those schemes going without his personal involvement.

Does the Prince still get paid?

Not from the publicly funded Sovereign Grant – the money raised as a proportion of the profits from the Crown Estate.

The explanation from the Palace is that the Duke will not be carrying out any public duties.

Prince Andrew will therefore fund himself from his private income, and the income he receives from the Privy Purse (the Queen’s private income).

It is unclear what is happening to his office and to his Private Secretary, Amanda Thirsk, who worked so closely with the Prince - both on his official work and on his television interview with Newsnight.

It is possible that she will not continue with her Royal Household employment, but the Duke may chose to employ her privately, but I understand that is still being worked out.

However, it does seem likely that we will not see the Duke of York in public for some considerable time.