Less than two months before a fairytale wedding anticipated by much of the world, Britain's royal family finds itself fighting an inconvenient distraction: revelations that Prince Andrew, the Queen's second son, is friends with a convicted sex offender, was photographed with a teenage prostitute, and has been accused of ties to Muammar Gaddafi's Libyan regime.
The Duke of York also hosted the son of the Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali shortly before a popular uprising drove him from power - and the build-up of embarrassment has sparked calls that he be stripped of his role as special UK trade representative.
Buckingham Palace is in damage control mode as it attempts to keep the public's focus on the April 29 wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton, his college sweetheart.
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British officials have rallied to Andrew's defence. The foreign secretary expressed his "confidence" in Andrew on Sunday, and a British trade official voiced support for the prince to remain in the position, saying he did a "very valuable job".
But the pressure has proved too great. British ministers will downgrade Prince Andrew's role as a trade ambassador, British newspaper the Telegraph reports.
A review of Andrew's position could result in Prince Andrew losing his role completely, government sources told the newspaper.
Diplomatic cables released by the WikiLeaks website last year showed how US officials were shocked by the "rude" prince's "astonishing display of candour" during a business trip to Kyrgyzstan.
A senior Conservative minister told the Telegraph that Andrew's position was fast becoming untenable due to his track record of poor judgment.
"There appears to be no discernible mental activity," the minister said. "I feel sorry for him. He has no friends and so is surrounded by these vile people."
Another government source told the paper: "We won't be giving a full-throated defence of him. There won't be many tears shed if he resigns."
Andrew has courted trouble before: His much-publicised divorce from Sarah Ferguson and her subsequent missteps, massive debt, a tell-all interview and a videotaped attempt to sell a tabloid access to Andrew, stand in stark contrast to the glow surrounding William and Kate Middleton's courtship and upcoming nuptials.
Since becoming an unpaid special trade representative in 2001, Andrew has also drawn criticism for reportedly taking lavish trips in his role.
The latest revelations in the British media have centered on Andrew's friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and claims that Andrew also had close ties to Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, one of the Libyan leader's sons.
Photos recently published in the British media show Andrew strolling in a park with Epstein - a New York billionaire jailed for soliciting underage prostitutes in Florida. Most recently, a photograph emerged showing Andrew with his arm around the waist of the teenage prostitute at the centre of that case.
While there has been no suggestion of any wrongdoing on the part of Andrew, the sum of events has prompted some soul-searching over whether the prince is a suitable representative for UK interests abroad.
"The duke recognises that his association with Jeffrey Epstein was, in retrospect, unwise," a person familiar with the matter said, noting that it could be understood Andrew would not be photographed with Epstein any time soon.
But that's not placating some who say enough is enough.
Last week, British lawmaker Chris Bryant claimed that Andrew had close links to Saif Gaddafi.
Bryant called for Andrew to be fired, telling the House of Commons: "Isn't it time we dispensed with the services of the Duke of York?"