It was six months in the making and was intended to "create a new narrative" around the Duke of York's friendship with convicted US paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
After years of scrutiny over his links to the billionaire financier, the Duke conceded for the first time that his behaviour had "not been something that was becoming of a member of the royal family".
But after a 45-minute questioning by Newsnight 's Emily Maitlis, in which the Queen's second son admitted he had "let the side down", will his very public "mea culpa" help to repair his tarnished reputation?
The defensive strike via a TV interview — which has now aired in full in Britain — was carried out in an effort to insulate the 59-year-old Duke against further disclosures and reputational damage as the civil case against Epstein's estate is ongoing in the United States.
The question now is will Newsnight prove a help or hindrance?
It is perhaps worth noting that when members of the royal family have given television interviews, it has only served to fan the flames of negative publicity.
From the Prince of Wales' outpouring to Jonathan Dimbleby, to the late Diana, Princess of Wales' "three of us in this marriage" comment to Panorama's Martin Bashir, the royal family on camera tend to be clipped into convenient sound bites, with the original context of the conversation often lost.
The recent interview by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex with ITV's Tom Bradby is remembered only for the remarks Prince Harry made about being on a "different path" to his brother William and the Duchess' claim that "not many people have asked if I'm okay."
Eyebrows were raised when a series of stories appeared in the papers suggesting an image of the Duke of York with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who has accused him of having sex with her "three times, including one orgy" when she was 17, had been doctored and when royal sources suggested the Duke had visited Epstein in New York only after he was released from prison in 2011, to break off the friendship.
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But despite the Duke's insistence he had no memory of even meeting Giuffre — and her claims against him being ruled "immaterial and impertinent" by a judge in 2015, her assertion in a US television interview that "He knows what he's done" proved impossible to ignore.
While regret has clearly been expressed in the interview, the public may regard the Duke's admission to "letting the side down" as somewhat of an understatement. Like all apologies by members of the Firm, the sorrow often appears to be expressed for the situation they find themselves in — rather than their own culpability.
Many will be scratching their heads over the Duke's amnesia about meeting Giuffre, when Epstein's former pilot has said Prince Andrew flew at least three times in 2001 with the teen and the financier and claims to have the flight logs to prove it.
The hullabaloo surrounding Epstein will only serve to confirm the Prince of Wales' fears that the public will have no truck with minor "hangers on" once the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are no longer with us. While she is still alive, the sovereign remains the Duke of York's most vocal advocate within the royal family. But once she is gone, the Duke will cut a very isolated figure.
With the Duke and Duchess of Sussex already proving somewhat of a challenge in PR terms, Prince Charles will be mindful of steadying the ship — which may result in his brother, a former naval officer, being removed from the top deck altogether.