WHEN I walked into work on Monday morning, there was one subject that was on everyone’s lips: Prince Andrew’s disastrous TV interview on Newsnight.

I hadn’t seen the interview myself – I had other things to do with my time – but it was clear from the following morning’s media coverage that the prince had put his foot in it big time.

One of the first things that occurred to me was how come the prince’s PR advisers - and don’t tell me he hasn’t got them - let him do the interview at all? Couldn’t they see that it was a car crash waiting to happen?

Surely this is one of those occasions when the old adage, “when you’re in a hole, stop digging” applies with full force.

With his unearned wealth, surely the prince can afford to hire the best publicity people on the planet, or at least in London?

Maybe he was told exactly that, and he overruled them, deciding that turning on the charm would work a treat on the nation.

If so, big mistake. Any ordinary person with a working knowledge of the allegations surrounding Prince Andrew, Jeffrey Epstein and the murky world they seem to live in could have realised that.

And how was it that he was in this murky world to begin with? Doesn’t he have people to warn him off undesirable company?

So now we have a prince who seems to be in an untenable position; the allegations against him have yet to be tested in a court of law, and as always the rule of “innocent until proven guilty” applies.

But nonetheless, even if they shouldn’t, people form their own conclusion and many of them will be all too conscious that rich and famous men throughout history have used, or abused, their wealth and social position in the pursuit of sex.

We are left with a question: What will all this mean for Prince Andrew’s public position in the royal family?

It is likely that even if he is cleared, the allegations will follow him around for the rest of his life. In the circumstances, it might be advisable for him to adopt a lower profile.

And further questions will be raised about the future of the royal family itself.

The monarchy occupies a central role in Britain’s unwritten constitution, and removing it won’t be simple.

But many will now think it should be done.