Scoop: Was Princess Beatrice Involved in Prince Andrew’s BBC Interview?

In November 2019, Prince Andrew gave a now infamous interview to BBC Newsnight, in which he discussed his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The prince also talked about the sexual assault allegations made against him by Virgina Roberts Giuffre, whom he claimed to have no knowledge of meeting.

Now, a new Netflix film explores the viral interview, which literally changed the media landscape and altered the royal family’s public image dramatically. Scoop covers the events leading up to the BBC interview, including why Prince Andrew agreed to sit down with journalist Emily Maitlis in the first place. Somewhat surprisingly, Princess Beatrice makes an appearance in Scoop, sitting alongside her father at an important meeting. Here’s what you need to know about Princess Beatrice’s involvement in Prince Andrew’s BBC interview.

Did Princess Beatrice convince Prince Andrew to do the BBC interview?

During one particular scene in Scoop, journalist Emily Maitlis (Gillian Anderson), producer Sam McAlister (Billie Piper), and editor Stewart Maclean (Richard Goulding) arrive at Buckingham Palace for a meeting with Prince Andrew. The royal’s private secretary Amanda Thirsk (Keeley Hawes) is also in attendance, as is Princess Beatrice, a surprise guest to the Newsnight team. “I hope you don’t mind, I brought someone along,” Andrew says, as Beatrice (Charity Wakefield) takes a seat next to him, notepad and pen in hand.

After Andrew asks why he should agree to an interview with Newsnight, Maclean points to Maitlis as a “tough, but never sensational” interviewer. Princess Beatrice pitches in, “And she’s a woman.” When McAlister suggests that comments about Andrew on social media are extremely negative, Beatrice notes that she’s read what people have written about him online. She also says the general consensus is “a lot worse than” anything McAlister had said in the room. Although Andrew doesn’t make a decision on the spot, Scoop makes it clear that his daughter’s opinion carries a lot of weight.

Scoops by Sam McAlister

Scoops by Sam McAlister

Scoops by Sam McAlister

As Scoop is based on Scoops, a book written by former Newsnight producer and talent booker McAlister, it’s safe to assume that Princess Beatrice was in the room for the meeting. In an excerpt published by the Daily Mail, McAlister revealed, “To be frank, the only thing worse than speaking to a prospective interviewee about allegations of sexual impropriety and sex with a 17-year-old girl is having to do so in front of his daughter.” She continued, “Princess Beatrice was polite and engaged, but, unlike her father, she was evidently anxious about the meeting and clearly there to protect his interests.”

After noting that Beatrice was a close confidante of the queen herself, McAlister wrote, “The prince’s eldest daughter was now, I felt, the person who could make the difference between us getting the interview or not.” However, a report by People in the aftermath of the prince’s interview tried to distance Beatrice from the event, claiming that Andrew’s ex-wife and his eldest daughter “both cautioned him against doing [Newsnight], while his then-private secretary Amanda Thirsk was more gung-ho, thinking it would offer him a chance to draw a line under his association” with Epstein.

What has Beatrice said about the allegations against her father?

Princess Beatrice hasn’t made any public statements about her father’s friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, or the sexual assault allegations made against him. However, reports have suggested that both Beatrice and Princess Eugenie have found the scandal incredibly difficult.

In December 2019, after Andrew’s BBC interview had aired, a source told People, “This is obviously very hard times.” As Beatrice was planning her wedding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi at the time, there were questions about whether or not Andrew would be in attendance at his daughter’s nuptials. “Beatrice would never do anything to be hurtful to her father,” the source claimed. “He’s going to be by her side and she’s going to be by his.” When the princess wed in July 2020, Andrew was noticeably absent from the wedding pictures released to the public.

In Channel 4 documentary Andrew: The Problem Prince, Maitlis suggested that the royal might have decided to speak to the BBC in order to help Princess Beatrice, Newsweek reports. Specifically, Maitlis wondered if Andrew may have wanted to clear his name ahead of his daughter’s wedding, so as not to distract from her big day. Regardless of the prince’s intentions, a source alleged to the Mail on Sunday, “Beatrice has been in tears every day since the interview went out.” Apparently the princess was initially “skeptical” about Newsnight, but eventually agreed, only to be “mortified” when her father’s interview aired.

a group of people sitting in a room

Richard Mountain/Netflix

The Telegraph reported in February 2022 that, according to a source, Princess Beatrice had been negatively affected by her father’s actions. “I don’t think anyone has ever properly appreciated how hard it is for any child to have that level of scrutiny and exposure,” the source explained. Meanwhile, Sarah Ferguson’s ex-boyfriend John Bryan told the Daily Mail that, directly following the interview, “[Beatrice was] hugely distressed and [told her father] ‘You’ve hurt our family.’”

What is Beatrice doing now?

According to the BBC’s royal correspondent Jennie Bond, Princess Beatrice is unlikely to be happy with her inclusion in Scoop. “It’s altogether very bad news for Andrew and, indeed, for his whole family,” Bond told OK! magazine. “Beatrice, in particular, will undoubtedly be annoyed and upset that her part in setting up and monitoring the interview will now be made so much more public.”

Despite the obvious fallout from Andrew’s misguided Newsnight interview, Beatrice appears to have stayed on good terms with her father. In January 2024, she was photographed visiting both of her parents at Royal Lodge in Windsor. However, the princess apparently hoped to be given a more senior role within the royal family, but has yet to be offered a position by King Charles III. But aside from royal life, Beatrice is busy raising her daughter Sienna, whom she welcomed in September 2021, and being a stepmom to husband Mozzi’s son, Christopher “Wolfie” Woolf.

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