The Queen and Prince Andrew ride together after his sacking – Daily Mail

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The Queen took Prince Andrew horse riding today – the first time they have been seen together since she fired him – as Prince Charles prepares to fly 11,000 miles home to ‘read him the riot act’ for damaging the monarchy over the Epstein scandal.

The Prince of Wales will be fuming with his brother after the bungled BBC Newsnight interview and his decision to invite his ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York, to Buckingham Palace yesterday, experts on Charles have told MailOnline. 

The heir to the throne, who called his mother on Tuesday demanding Andrew be retired aged 59, was forced to step in again last night to stop his errant brother heading to Bahrain on a charity junket tomorrow.   

It came as BBC Panorama revealed its interview with Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘sex slave’ Virginia Roberts, now known as Virginia Giuffre, who says Andrew is an ‘abuser’ who had sex with her three times when she was 17, will be broadcast on Monday, December 2. 

Charles, who is on a royal visit to New Zealand and the Solomon Islands with his wife Camilla until Monday, looked grim-faced as he ignored questions about Andrew’s scandal as he arrived for a university visit in Lincoln.  

Royal author Phil Dampier said: ‘I’m sure when Charles returns from New Zealand he will sit Andrew down and read him the riot act’. 

This morning Queen and Andrew rode in the rain through the grounds of Windsor Castle just 48 hours after she effectively sacked him at the behest of her eldest son.

Tom Bower, author of the explosive biography of Charles, the ‘Rebel Prince’, told MailOnline said: ‘There’s no love lost between Charles and Andrew and I’m certain they will meet. Charles will be furious that his trip to New Zealand has been completely overshadowed. The one thing Charles is determined to do is inherit the crown and he won’t let anyone get in the way’.  

Mr Bower said Charles will also have been apoplectic with rage after the Duchess of York turned up at Buckingham Palace ‘waving out of the window’ to see her ex-husband yesterday evening – and will want to ‘ensure she can’t ever return’.

He said: ‘I’m sure she [Fergie] will have been instrumental in encouraging Andrew to do that BBC interview. She should never be allowed back into Buckingham Palace. Andrew should leave too’. He added: ‘Beatrice’s wedding will have to be a cheaper, quieter, more private affair otherwise there will be complete uproar’.   

Prince Andrew (centre left) looks at the Queen (centre right) as they were riding through the Windsor Castle estate this morning in a photo that shows her son has not been cut off completely

Prince Andrew (centre left) looks at the Queen (centre right) as they were riding through the Windsor Castle estate this morning in a photo that shows her son has not been cut off completely

Prince Andrew (centre left) looks at the Queen (centre right) as they were riding through the Windsor Castle estate this morning in a photo that shows her son has not been cut off completely

The Queen, pictured right with Andrew, is said to have spoken to Prince Charles who is in New Zealand and told his mother that Andrew had to be cut adrift to save the monarchy

The Queen, pictured right with Andrew, is said to have spoken to Prince Charles who is in New Zealand and told his mother that Andrew had to be cut adrift to save the monarchy

The Queen, pictured right with Andrew, is said to have spoken to Prince Charles who is in New Zealand and told his mother that Andrew had to be cut adrift to save the monarchy

The royals were joined by two members of staff in the rain close to the monarch's Berkshire home. The Queen lives in Windsor Castle the majority of the time with Prince Philip. Andrew's Royal Lodge is in the grounds.

The royals were joined by two members of staff in the rain close to the monarch's Berkshire home. The Queen lives in Windsor Castle the majority of the time with Prince Philip. Andrew's Royal Lodge is in the grounds.

The royals were joined by two members of staff in the rain close to the monarch’s Berkshire home. The Queen lives in Windsor Castle the majority of the time with Prince Philip. Andrew’s Royal Lodge is in the grounds.

Prince Charles visited the Christchurch Cathedral site in New Zealand and a university today where reporters tried to ask him about the Epstein scandal that has overshadowed his trip

Prince Charles visited the Christchurch Cathedral site in New Zealand and a university today where reporters tried to ask him about the Epstein scandal that has overshadowed his trip

Prince Charles visited the Christchurch Cathedral site in New Zealand and a university today where reporters tried to ask him about the Epstein scandal that has overshadowed his trip

On yet another extraordinary day for the royal family, it also emerged:

Prince Andrew had ‘central role in devastating the lives of countless women’ blasts Virginia Roberts’ lawyer as BBC prepares to air new Panorama interview with toxic duke’s accuser 

The deepening crisis surrounding Prince Andrew is set to intensify after it was revealed a BBC interview with Virginia Roberts will air next week

The deepening crisis surrounding Prince Andrew is set to intensify after it was revealed a BBC interview with Virginia Roberts will air next week

The deepening crisis surrounding Prince Andrew is set to intensify after it was revealed a BBC interview with Virginia Roberts will air next week

The deepening crisis surrounding Prince Andrew is set to intensify after it was revealed a BBC interview with Virginia Roberts will air next week.

Ms Roberts, who claims she was sex trafficked by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein into sleeping with the Duke of York on three occasions, will speak out on Monday.

The 35-year-old, who says she had intercourse with the prince while aged 17, spoke to Panorama before the Royal appeared on Saturday’s Newsnight.

Ms Roberts, now known as Ms Giuffre after marrying, claims that billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein trafficked her to London from the US.

She was said to be furious that her interview – which was filmed three weeks before Andrew’s Newsnight chat aired – had not appeared on TV earlier. 

A source close to her said she ‘made no bones’ about the Duke’s denial during her sit-down with Panorama, in which she is said to demand he comes clean. 

The source said the her legal team have now idea why the Panorama interview has not aired.

They claim that every broadcaster to have interviewed Ms Giuffre has aired them ‘almost immediately’ but the BBC hasn’t.

But BBC sources says that the interview forms part of a larger investigation and it is for that reason that it has not yet aired. 

  • Virginia Roberts, who claims she was sex trafficked by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein into sleeping with the Duke of York on three occasions, will speak out on BBC Panorama on Monday, December 2;
  • Andrew forced to pull out of a work junket to Bahrain this weekend after being persuaded by his family led by Prince Charles that it was ‘not a good idea’;
  • Royal Philharmonic Orchestra the latest big name organisation to drop Andrew as a patron;
  • Beatrice and Eugenie will be victims of Charles’ plans for a ‘slimmed down’ monarchy – hastened by Andrew’s BBC Newsnight catastrophe;

Royal experts believe that the transition of power from the Queen to Charles is increasing at speed, shown when Charles demanded Andrew be sacked in a phone call from New Zealand.

Phil Dampier said:  ‘It’s well known that Prince Charles wants to have a slimmed down monarchy when he becomes King and the Andrew-Epstein scandal has forced him to act sooner.  At 93 it’s not fair to expect the Queen to deal with such problems and although I’m sure she is still capable of making decisions, she realises that the future is for Charles and he has to agree policy’. 

Tom Bower says that there has been a long power struggle between the heir to the throne, Charles, and the Queen’s favourite son, Andrew.

The Queen’s Private Secretary Christopher Geidt served as Her Majesty’s right hand man for seven years but was ejected from the post two years ago amid claims of a royal power struggle between Andrew in Buckingham Palace and Charles in Clarence House over the succession.

Asked about the battle between Her Majesty’s eldest sons Mr Bower said: ‘The blame for the crisis falls on the Duke of York – but Andrew and Charles both conspired to removed Christopher Geidt as the Queen’s Private Secretary. They could then take control at the palace – but in turn the palace lost control of Andrew’. 

He added: ‘This crisis will not lead to the Queen’s abdication – but Charles is keen to prove himself. It has been clear that this year he has tried to be less controversial. A 93-year-old woman cannot do it alone and Charles is trying to show he is in control but the truth is the transition from mother to son started three to four years ago. 

‘Charles wants to make it clear that there are clear rules for the royals if you want to remain you have to obey them – and that should not just worry Andrew, that should worry Meghan and Harry too’. 

Veteran former BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt wrote in the Spectator that Charles is now ‘pulling the strings’ as the Queen grows older.

He said: ‘Andrew won’t have embraced his fallen destiny. He’ll have clung to the balustrades as he resisted. While the Queen handed him his P45, it will have been filled in by her heir, Prince Charles.

‘Andrew’s departure reminds us of the inevitable shift in power from Monarch to ‘shadow king’. It’s Prince Charles and his people who are increasingly pulling the strings. The sacking – for that is what it was – is also a reminder that the British Monarchy is a dynasty determined to survive and it doesn’t welcome debates during a General Election campaign about its merits in the 21st century’. 

Charles' trip to New Zealand with his wife Camilla has been overshadowed by Andrew's disgrace and today he refused to answer questions about his brother on the eve of his return home

Charles' trip to New Zealand with his wife Camilla has been overshadowed by Andrew's disgrace and today he refused to answer questions about his brother on the eve of his return home

Charles’ trip to New Zealand with his wife Camilla has been overshadowed by Andrew’s disgrace and today he refused to answer questions about his brother on the eve of his return home

Prince Andrew (pictured leaving Buckingham Palace yesterday) was told to cancel his trip to Bahrain amid the controversy over his friendship with Epstein

Prince Andrew (pictured leaving Buckingham Palace yesterday) was told to cancel his trip to Bahrain amid the controversy over his friendship with Epstein

Prince Andrew (pictured leaving Buckingham Palace yesterday) was told to cancel his trip to Bahrain amid the controversy over his friendship with Epstein 

Pictured: Sarah Ferguson arrives at Buckingham Palace, central London, yesterday, after coming out in support of Prince Andrew in light of the backlash over his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein

Pictured: Sarah Ferguson arrives at Buckingham Palace, central London, yesterday, after coming out in support of Prince Andrew in light of the backlash over his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein

Pictured: Sarah Ferguson arrives at Buckingham Palace, central London, yesterday, after coming out in support of Prince Andrew in light of the backlash over his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein

The Queen leaves Buckingham Palace this afternoon after carrying out investitures and heads to Windsor amid the furious backlash about her son's friendship with Epstein

The Queen leaves Buckingham Palace this afternoon after carrying out investitures and heads to Windsor amid the furious backlash about her son's friendship with Epstein

The Queen (leaving Buckingham Palace for Windsor yesterday) was advised by Charles that Andrew should step down and the family advised the Duke of York not to go to Bahrain 

How Duke of York’s annual meetings with Epstein including after he was sent to jail caused Prince Andrew decades of trouble

Here is a timeline of the duke’s relationship with Epstein.

– 1999

Andrew first meets Epstein, reportedly introduced through his friendship with Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell.

Andrew welcomes Epstein to the Queen’s private Scottish retreat in Aberdeenshire. Andrew later says he sees Epstein ‘infrequently’, adding ‘probably no more than only once or twice a year’.

– 2000

Andrew and Ms Maxwell are seen on holiday with Epstein at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.

Epstein and Ms Maxwell attend a party at Windsor Castle hosted by the Queen to mark Andrew’s 40th birthday, the Princess Royal’s 50th, the Queen Mother’s 100th and Princess Margaret’s 70th.

– 2001

Virginia Roberts claims to have had sex with Andrew ‘three times, including one orgy’, with the first encounter allegedly taking place in Ms Maxwell’s London townhouse. Ms Roberts claims to have had sex with Andrew on two more occasions, at Epstein’s New York home and at an ‘orgy’ on his private island in the Caribbean.

– 2008

Epstein admits prostituting minors and is sentenced to 18 months in prison.

– 2010

Epstein is released from jail. Andrew is photographed with the disgraced Epstein in New York’s Central Park.

Footage emerges years later, reportedly shot on December 6 2010, showing him inside Epstein’s Manhattan mansion, from where he is seen looking out from a large door of the property waving a woman goodbye after Epstein leaves to get into a chauffeur-driven car.

– 2011

The duke quits his role as UK trade envoy after the fallout from the Central Park photos.

– 2015

Buckingham Palace denies Andrew has committed any impropriety after he is named in US court documents related to Epstein. A woman, later named in reports as Ms Roberts, alleges in papers filed in Florida that she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17, which is under the age of consent in the state.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Andrew, in his first public engagement since he was embroiled in the allegations, responds, saying: ‘Firstly I think I must, and want, for the record, to refer to the events that have taken place in the last few weeks.

‘I just wish to reiterate, and to reaffirm, the statements that have already been made on my behalf by Buckingham Palace.’

In April the claims against Andrew are struck from US civil court records following a federal judge’s ruling.

– 2019

Newly released legal documents show that Johanna Sjoberg, another alleged Epstein victim, claimed Andrew touched her breast while sitting on a couch inside the US billionaire’s Manhattan apartment in 2001.

Buckingham Palace said the allegations are ‘categorically untrue’.

Epstein is found dead in his jail cell on August 10, having killed himself after being charged with sex trafficking.

Later that month a pilot on Epstein’s private jet claims Andrew was a passenger on past flights with the financier and Ms Roberts.

The Sun newspaper reported that David Rodgers said in a testimony released in August that Epstein, Andrew and the-then 17-year-old travelled to the US Virgin Islands on April 11 2001.

Buckingham Palace describes the evidence statement as having ‘a number of inconsistencies’ and said that Andrew was on a different continent in some cases.

Following Epstein’s death, a statement from the palace says that Andrew is ‘appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes’.

Breaking his silence on the issue for the first time since 2015, Andrew then releases a statement on August 24 saying: ‘At no stage during the limited time I spent with him (Epstein) did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.’ 

On November 16, the prince gave a ‘disastrous’ BBC interview in which he spoke about his friendship with Epstein and addressed allegations of his own sexual conduct.

He faced a barrage of criticism following his television appearance, with the royal accused of a lack of empathy with Epstein’s victims. 

During the interview, Andrew, questioned by Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, twice stated his relationship with Epstein, who died in jail while facing sex trafficking charges, had some “seriously beneficial outcomes”, giving him the opportunity to meet people and prepare for a future role as a trade envoy.

The duke denied he slept with Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s victims, on three separate occasions, twice while she was underage, saying one encounter in 2001 did not happen as he spent the day with his daughter Princess Beatrice, taking her to Pizza Express in Woking for a party.

The same alleged sexual liaison, which the American said began with the royal sweating heavily as they danced at London nightclub Tramp, was factually wrong as the duke said he had a medical condition at the time which meant he did not sweat.

He cast doubt on the authenticity of a picture that appears to show Andrew with his arm around the waist of Mrs Giuffre, when a teenager.

Andrew, who regularly rides horses with the Queen, was last night forced to pull out of a work junket to Bahrain this weekend after being persuaded by his family that it was ‘not a good idea’ following this week’s dramatic events.

He had planned to fly to the Middle East to attend an event connected with his Pitch@Palace initiative – less than 72 hours after being forced to retire from royal duties over the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

But hours after details of Andrew’s foreign jaunt emerged, sources said he had decided to cancel it and was with his mother instead today. 

Charles was heckled in New Zealand today – a royal tour completely overshadowed by Andrew’s fall from grace – and he is flying back to Britain via the Solomon Islands on Monday where he is expected to meet his younger brother and ‘read him the riot act’.

A source said: ‘He was persuaded by his family that it was not a good idea in light of this week’s events’.

Despite the setback, he seemed upbeat yesterday. Dressed in a suit and tie, he gave a wave and a smile as he drove away from his family home in Windsor Great Park.

Later his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson was also all smiles as she was seen arriving at Buckingham Palace. 

The prince announced on Wednesday evening his intention to ‘step back from public duties for the foreseeable future’ after he was widely criticised for his comments during a BBC Newsnight interview.

He was accused of showing a lack of empathy for Epstein’s victims and no remorse over his friendship with the financier. But yesterday’s cancelled plans to go to Bahrain proved, however, that he still clearly plans to continue working on private initiatives.

A source close to Andrew put a positive spin on this week’s dramatic events, saying: ‘Despite everything the duke is getting a lot of support. The entrepreneurs he helps have been tremendously sweet and kind. This really feels like a witch-hunt. He’d been hounded about this since 2011 non stop. So he’s very positive about it actually. He can concentrate on clearing his name.’

Losing his patronage of the Outward Bound Trust will be a major blow to the duke, who only took over the role earlier this year, succeeding his father, the Duke of Edinburgh. 

The charity helps disadvantaged children through outdoor activities. The University of Huddersfield had earlier stood by the duke but announced he was stepping down last night following an outcry by students.

The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions also announced yesterday that the duke was no longer its president. Andrew is patron of around 200 charities and groups and more resignations are now likely to follow.

It has been made clear that Andrew is very keen to keep his Pitch@Palace initiative, a Dragon’s Den-style scheme which helps find funding and provides mentoring for tech start-ups and entrepreneurs which he founded in 2014. 

The project is said to have created 6,000 jobs over give years and was, one courtier said, one of the ‘few’ real success stories of Andrew’s roller-coaster royal career.

He was fighting ‘tooth and nail’ to keep it – hence his defiance in initially planning to travel to Bahrain this weekend.

Royal officials confirmed yesterday that he would continue working on it but made clear that he would do so without the support of Buckingham Palace. 

While Andrew’s decision to step back from public life means he will no longer be able to pick up the bill for expensive travel from taxpayers, he is still likely to pocket as much as £250,000 a year, the sum he is rumoured to receive privately from the Queen to run his office.

Unlike the Sovereign Grant, which is government money, Andrew’s annual upkeep is paid from the Privy Purse, which is provided by the Duchy of Lancaster – land and assets owned by the Queen.

But, as ‘significant’ controller of Pitch@Palace, he will be entitled to two per cent of any deals made through the scheme for three years, the Daily Telegraph reports. 

It is also understood that he will be able to hold events at palaces on commercial bases, with one planned for Pitch@Palace at St James’s next month. 

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra has confirmed Prince Andrew is no longer its patron following the controversy around his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

In a statement, a spokesperson said: ‘Following HRH The Duke of York’s announcement that he will be stepping back from public life, management representatives of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) met with Prince Andrew’s office on Thursday afternoon.

‘At a subsequent meeting of the RPO Board, it was decided that the Orchestra should part company with its Patron, with immediate effect.

‘The RPO would like to express its gratitude to His Royal Highness for his support of the Orchestra over the past 15 years.

‘As one of the world’s leading symphony orchestras, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra looks forward to an extensive UK and international concert schedule in the year ahead.’

The Outward Bound Trust – which Andrew has supported for decades – accepted his resignation as patron and Huddersfield University confirmed the duke would be relinquishing his role as its chancellor.

An American lawyer for some of the alleged victims of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein called on the duke to honour his pledge to help with investigations into his former friend.

His offer came in a dramatic statement on Wednesday evening when the duke quit his life as a working royal over his association with the disgraced US financier.

Epstein (pictured) killed himself while facing trafficking charges

Epstein (pictured) killed himself while facing trafficking charges

Andrew appears to hold Jeffrey Epstein's victim Virginia Roberts, then 17, by the waist as the sex offender’s lover Ghislaine Maxwell looks on in 2001 in London

Andrew appears to hold Jeffrey Epstein's victim Virginia Roberts, then 17, by the waist as the sex offender’s lover Ghislaine Maxwell looks on in 2001 in London

Andrew (right) appears to hold Jeffrey Epstein’s victim Virginia Roberts, then 17, by the waist as the sex offender’s lover Ghislaine Maxwell looks on in 2001 in London. Epstein (left) killed himself while facing trafficking charges 

The Duke of York speaks to BBC Newsnight's Emily Maitlis in an interview shown on Saturday which led to a furious backlash about the prince's friendship with Epstein

The Duke of York speaks to BBC Newsnight's Emily Maitlis in an interview shown on Saturday which led to a furious backlash about the prince's friendship with Epstein

The Duke of York speaks to BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis in an interview shown on Saturday which led to a furious backlash about the prince’s friendship with Epstein 

Last Friday, Sarah came out in support of Andrew with a statement posted on social media in which she praised his 'sense of honour and truth'

Last Friday, Sarah came out in support of Andrew with a statement posted on social media in which she praised his 'sense of honour and truth'

The Duke leaves the Royal Lodge family home at Windsor Great Park in Berkshire this morning after he stepped down from royal duties yesterday

The Duke leaves the Royal Lodge family home at Windsor Great Park in Berkshire this morning after he stepped down from royal duties yesterday

The Duke (right) leaves the Royal Lodge family home at Windsor Great Park in Berkshire this morning after he stepped down from royal duties yesterday and, left, his ex-wife’s supportive post on social media 

Andrew made the bombshell statement about stepping back yesterday after mounting pressure after his interview about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein

Andrew made the bombshell statement about stepping back yesterday after mounting pressure after his interview about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein

Andrew made the bombshell statement about stepping back yesterday after mounting pressure after his interview about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein

The moment that sealed Prince Andrew’s fate: When Sue from Leeds asked ‘Is the monarchy fit for purpose?’ in ITV leaders debate it terrified Buckingham Palace and forced Prince Charles to act

A simple question put forward during the ITV leader’s debate by a viewer known only as ‘Sue from Leeds’ was the catalyst that saw Prince Andrew sacked from public duties, it has been revealed.

Prince Charles told the Queen to make the Duke of York step down from public life over fears that the Epstein scandal was overshadowing the general election.

It is understood that the decision was taken after Sue – whose surname is not yet known – asked during Tuesday’s TV show: ‘Is the monarchy fit for purpose?’

Julie Etchingham, who was chairing the debate, put the question to party leaders Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson, in a move that sent shockwaves through Buckingham Palace.

Royal sources claim in that moment, the Prince of Wales became convinced that his brother’s friendship with Jeffrey Epstein had become too much of a distraction. 

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are photographed in front of the damage Christchurch cathedral

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are photographed in front of the damage Christchurch cathedral

Charles urged the Queen to have Andrew (pictured, with his brother) step down from royal duties

Charles urged the Queen to have Andrew (pictured, with his brother) step down from royal duties

Charles (left, in New Zealand with Camilla today) urged the Queen to have Andrew (right, with his brother) step down from royal duties

Julie Etchingham, who was chairing the debate, put the question to party leaders Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson (pictured), in a move that sent shockwaves through the palace

Julie Etchingham, who was chairing the debate, put the question to party leaders Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson (pictured), in a move that sent shockwaves through the palace

Julie Etchingham, who was chairing the debate, put the question to party leaders Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson (pictured), in a move that sent shockwaves through the palace

Prince Andrew (pictured leaving Buckingham Palace on Thursday) was told to step down from royal duties

Prince Andrew (pictured leaving Buckingham Palace on Thursday) was told to step down from royal duties

Prince Andrew (pictured leaving Buckingham Palace on Thursday) was told to step down from royal duties 

Fears that the issue could be perceived as interfering with democracy served as the tipping point for the Prince of Wales, according to the Guardian. 

Do you know the viewer known as Sue from Leeds? 

Call 0203 6153767 or email to either alex.robertson@mailonline.co.uk or tips@dailymail.co.uk 

The future king took it upon himself to speak about the issue with his mother, who effectively sacked the Duke of York from public duty at Charles’ behest. 

Senior aides are also said to have expressed similar worries to the Queen about distracting from the election. 

Other worries circulated about the fallout upstaging Charles and Camilla’s royal tour of New Zealand, with the pair heckled at one point in Christchurch today.  

After sacking her ‘favourite son’, the Queen today gave a defiant show of support for Prince Andrew as she took him riding.

Her Majesty and her ‘favourite son’ rode in the rain through the grounds of Windsor Castle this morning.

Andrew was last night forced to pull out of a work junket to Bahrain this weekend after being persuaded by his family that it was ‘not a good idea’.

He had planned to fly to the Middle East to attend an event for with his Pitch@Palace initiative – less than 72 hours after being forced to retire from royal duties. 

But hours after details of Andrew’s foreign jaunt emerged, sources said he had decided to cancel it and was with his mother instead today.

Despite the setback, he seemed upbeat yesterday. Dressed in a suit and tie, he gave a wave and a smile as he drove away from his family home in Windsor Great Park.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with Camilla and Charles today in Christchurch

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with Camilla and Charles today in Christchurch

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with Camilla and Charles today in Christchurch

The Prince of Wales greeted people during a public walk in Christchurch, New Zealand

The Prince of Wales greeted people during a public walk in Christchurch, New Zealand

The Prince of Wales greeted people during a public walk in Christchurch, New Zealand

Charles in Christchurch

Charles in Christchurch

The Queen

The Queen

The future king (in Christchurch today, left) took it upon himself to speak about the issue with his mother (right), who effectively sacked the Duke of York from public duty at Charles’ behest

Later his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson was also all smiles as she was seen arriving at Buckingham Palace.

The prince announced on Wednesday evening his intention to ‘step back from public duties for the foreseeable future’ after he was widely criticised for his comments during a BBC Newsnight interview.

He was accused of showing a lack of empathy for Epstein’s victims and no remorse over his friendship with the financier. But yesterday’s cancelled plans to go to Bahrain proved, however, that he still clearly plans to continue working on private initiatives.

A source close to Andrew put a positive spin on this week’s dramatic events, saying: ‘Despite everything the duke is getting a lot of support. The entrepreneurs he helps have been tremendously sweet and kind.

‘This really feels like a witch-hunt. He’d been hounded about this since 2011 non stop. So he’s very positive about it actually. He can concentrate on clearing his name.’

Losing his patronage of the Outward Bound Trust will be a major blow to the duke, who only took over the role earlier this year, succeeding his father, the Duke of Edinburgh.

The charity helps disadvantaged children through outdoor activities. The University of Huddersfield had earlier stood by the duke but announced he was stepping down last night following an outcry by students.

What now for Papa’s Little Princesses? Prince Andrew has long funded their jet-setting lifestyles, but can the Royal Family protect Eugenie and Beatrice (the bride-to-be) in the wake of their father’s fall from grace?

Even as Prince Andrew was penning that historic statement on Wednesday evening announcing his withdrawal from public life, the edict had gone out: protect the Princesses.

By any measure, Beatrice and Eugenie have suffered a traumatic few days — from the excruciating Newsnight interview on Saturday to the widespread criticism of their father at home and abroad for his links to the paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

They were, however putting a brave face on it, and were spotted out and about in London this week, Beatrice at a private members’ club and Eugenie at a charity event.

Beatrice and Eugenie have suffered a traumatic few days following their father's excruciating Newsnight interview on Saturday (pictured in 2011 at William and Kate's wedding)

Beatrice and Eugenie have suffered a traumatic few days following their father's excruciating Newsnight interview on Saturday (pictured in 2011 at William and Kate's wedding)

Beatrice and Eugenie have suffered a traumatic few days following their father’s excruciating Newsnight interview on Saturday (pictured in 2011 at William and Kate’s wedding)

Princess Eugene seen leaving Elephant Family Charity Dinner in London

Princess Eugene seen leaving Elephant Family Charity Dinner in London

Princess Beatrice spotted for the first time since her father Prince Andrews's highly controversial Newsnight interview

Princess Beatrice spotted for the first time since her father Prince Andrews's highly controversial Newsnight interview

Andrew’s years of lobbying for the ‘blood Princesses’ to have a greater role in The Firm — something that brought him into conflict with Prince Charles and his vision of a slimmed-down monarchy — has finally been thwarted

But, with their scandal-prone father having damaged his reputation beyond repair, there is now much speculation about their future.

Just how will the Duke of York’s effective ‘sacking’ from The Firm impact their own lives and careers?

A royal aide yesterday confirmed that Beatrice and Eugenie will continue with a limited number of royal duties as before.

‘The Princesses do undertake a small number of royal engagements each year, as and when asked, and that will continue,’ a Buckingham Palace spokesman said.

So we will see them on the Palace balcony after Trooping The Colour, at a couple of garden parties and the occasional evening reception. But that, it seems, will be it.

Andrew’s years of lobbying for the ‘blood Princesses’ to have a greater role in The Firm — something that brought him into conflict with Prince Charles and his vision of a slimmed-down monarchy — has finally been thwarted.

Now that he has been retired — be it temporarily or permanently — Andrew will not be able to promote his girls in quite the same way any more. ‘The promotion which Andrew had hoped for in terms of his daughters taking on more duties will now never happen,’ a royal source told the Mail yesterday. ‘They will have to focus on the day job.’

A royal aide yesterday confirmed that Beatrice and Eugenie will continue with a limited number of royal duties as before (pictured skiing in Verbier in 2001)

A royal aide yesterday confirmed that Beatrice and Eugenie will continue with a limited number of royal duties as before (pictured skiing in Verbier in 2001)

A royal aide yesterday confirmed that Beatrice and Eugenie will continue with a limited number of royal duties as before (pictured skiing in Verbier in 2001)

That may not be the most enticing prospect for either of them.

For the record, Eugenie, 29, has a role at the Hauser & Wirth Art Gallery in Mayfair. She starts at 9am and leaves at 5pm sharp. 

According to a recruitment website, she can expect to be paid in the region of £32,000 to £34,000. Beatrice, 31, is vice-president of partnerships and strategy at Afiniti, an American software company where she focuses on ‘client development’. Her salary is unknown.

Certainly, these jobs are not enough to keep them in the manner to which they have become accustomed, and Andrew has long subsidised their lifestyles.

Their father’s calamity may have a financial impact then as well as being personally distressing — hence that edict.

A Palace source said: ‘. . . there was a sense of everyone circling the wagons around the girls. There is a feeling that they must not be made to pay for the sins of the father.

‘The Queen is particularly fond of Beatrice and Eugenie, and she respects the way that Andrew and Sarah have brought them up. Even though you may feel that they made such a mess of their own lives, they have been loving co-parents.

‘The Queen will continue to invite Beatrice and Eugenie to Balmoral over the summer and she sees quite a lot of them at Windsor. They, in turn, are fond of ‘Super Gran’, as they call her.

‘The feeling is that everyone wants to protect them from this hurt and from further hurt, rather than dance on their father’s ‘grave’.’

Eugenie and Beatrice's jobs are not enough to keep them in the manner to which they have become accustomed, and Andrew has long subsidised their lifestyles (pictured at a ball in Windsor in 2006)

Eugenie and Beatrice's jobs are not enough to keep them in the manner to which they have become accustomed, and Andrew has long subsidised their lifestyles (pictured at a ball in Windsor in 2006)

Eugenie and Beatrice’s jobs are not enough to keep them in the manner to which they have become accustomed, and Andrew has long subsidised their lifestyles (pictured at a ball in Windsor in 2006)

High on the agenda is the immediate dilemma over Beatrice’s wedding. Planning is understood to be well underway for her 2020 nuptials and there was an expectation that details would be announced early in the New Year.

In the light of what has happened this week, any re-run of Eugenie’s ostentatious Windsor Castle wedding last October — a guest list of 800, an open carriage ride through Windsor and a £2 million-plus bill to the taxpayer for security and clean up — can be ruled out.

Critics claimed that the sheer scale of the event was a reflection of Andrew’s determination to show Eugenie’s status as a senior royal (she is ninth in line to the throne).

To be fair to Beatrice, nuptials to rival her sister’s were not something she desired, not least because her fiance, property tycoon Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, 35, was in a previous relationship from which he has a young child.

So her wedding was always going to be less of a public spectacle, say sources. In addition, ‘[her mother Sarah] has got the big wedding out of her system and so [Beatrice] will have it in another much smaller royal chapel or else privately at St George’s Chapel in Windsor’.

York Minster, which last hosted a royal wedding in 1960 when the Duke of Kent married Yorkshire landowner’s daughter Katharine Worsley, has also been mentioned, as has the possibility of a small, informal ‘do’ abroad.

Beatrice's wedding will unlikely be a re-run of Eugenie's ostentatious Windsor Castle wedding last October (pictured)

Beatrice's wedding will unlikely be a re-run of Eugenie's ostentatious Windsor Castle wedding last October (pictured)

Beatrice’s wedding will unlikely be a re-run of Eugenie’s ostentatious Windsor Castle wedding last October (pictured)

Although the Duchess of York said a few months ago that ‘it can only be in Britain’, recent events may prompt a change of heart. Then there is the not insignificant question of who might pay for the wedding. Prince Andrew receives £249,000 annually from the Queen to fund his private office, and he has also benefitted from many discreet commercial deals over the years, as the Mail reported earlier this week.

Acting as a fixer for a Greek water company wanting to build sewage pipelines in Kazakhstan was reported to have brought him nearly £4 million. But in the aftermath of the Epstein scandal, such lucrative business propositions may well dry up. It’s sure to be a cause for concern for the sisters.

Beatrice lives — at least part of the time — in a taxpayer-funded apartment at St James’s Palace, while Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank, a wine merchant and ambassador for a tequila brand, live in Ivy Cottage, a three- bedroom house in the grounds of Kensington Palace.

That is being rented to them at a ‘commercial rate’, which is said to be around £182,000 a year. It has always been assumed that Prince Andrew covers this cost. At weekends, Beatrice and Eugenie go home to the 30-room Royal Lodge in Windsor, leased at a peppercorn sum to Andrew, where their divorced parents live together.

Beatrice (pictured with her parents at Ascot last year) lives — at least part of the time — in a taxpayer-funded apartment at St James's Palace

Beatrice (pictured with her parents at Ascot last year) lives — at least part of the time — in a taxpayer-funded apartment at St James's Palace

Beatrice (pictured with her parents at Ascot last year) lives — at least part of the time — in a taxpayer-funded apartment at St James’s Palace

They call their parents ‘Mumsy’ and ‘Papa’ and are utterly devoted to them both. Eugenie’s Instagram is full of fond tributes to them as loving and kind influences.

Royal Lodge has been the venue for numerous parties over the years which have, at times, descended into high jinks. Mystery still surrounds the facial injury pop star Ed Sheeran acquired in 2016, supposedly after being ‘knighted’ with a ceremonial sword by Beatrice in a party prank.

Eugenie’s 25th birthday party was a landmark fancy dress event, with the Princess as Snow White and seven dwarfs hired to follow her around the marquee.

Away from the jollity of Royal Lodge, both girls enjoy a lifestyle rather beyond what their jobs might afford, including designer wardrobes, frequent holidays and dining out. Both are socially popular, with a huge range of wealthy, celebrity friends. Eugenie, for example, is close to models Suki Waterhouse and Cara Delevingne, pop stars Ellie Goulding and Robbie Williams, artist Tracey Emin and Kate Moss’s photographer boyfriend Count Nikolai von Bismarck.

Beatrice counts Dasha Zhukova, an art enthusiast and ex-wife of the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, among her ‘besties’.

With adoring parents who never let anyone forget their offspring’s royal status, we can perhaps forgive Beatrice and Eugenie for having a high opinion of their own significance. Privileged and socially effervescent, they are also, perhaps, just a shade naive. In an interview with Vogue magazine, Eugenie described herself and Beatrice as ‘working, young royal women’.

‘My sister, Bea, and I have charities we’re patrons of,’ she said. ‘We also try to support Granny and Grandpa in any way we can because that is what family is for.’

Admirable words and they are both rightly proud of their various patronages. It is to be hoped that their father’s downfall — charities and businesses are rushing to distance themselves from him — does not cause problems for them in their philanthropic endeavours.

A royal source said last night: ‘They are two young women with a real sense of duty and a real sense of what it means to be a part of the Royal Family.

‘[Their mother] has always drummed into them they must say please and thank you, they must always smile for the media, that attention is a part of their position. Smile and move on is the mantra.’

Smiling must be the last thing either feels like doing right now, but no doubt they will soldier on.

Does the Duke STILL not get it? Royal Family step in AGAIN and force Prince Andrew to cancel junket to Bahrain he was about to jet off on a day after ‘stepping back’ from public duties 

Prince Andrew was last night forced to pull out of a work junket to Bahrain this weekend after being persuaded by his family that it was ‘not a good idea’ following this week’s dramatic events.

He had planned to fly to the Middle East to attend an event connected with his Pitch@Palace initiative – less than 72 hours after being forced to retire from royal duties over the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

But hours after the Daily Mail contacted Buckingham Palace to say it was about to reveal details of Andrew’s foreign jaunt, sources said he had decided to cancel it. 

Prince Andrew (pictured leaving Buckingham Palace today) was told to cancel his trip to Bahrain amid the controversy over his friendship with Epstein

Prince Andrew (pictured leaving Buckingham Palace today) was told to cancel his trip to Bahrain amid the controversy over his friendship with Epstein

Prince Andrew (pictured leaving Buckingham Palace today) was told to cancel his trip to Bahrain amid the controversy over his friendship with Epstein 

Pictured: Sarah Ferguson arrives at Buckingham Palace, central London, today after coming out in support of Prince Andrew in light of the backlash over his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein

Pictured: Sarah Ferguson arrives at Buckingham Palace, central London, today after coming out in support of Prince Andrew in light of the backlash over his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein

Pictured: Sarah Ferguson arrives at Buckingham Palace, central London, today after coming out in support of Prince Andrew in light of the backlash over his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein

Prince Charles (pictured, with Camilla in New Zealand) agreed with the Queen that Andrew should step down

Prince Charles (pictured, with Camilla in New Zealand) agreed with the Queen that Andrew should step down

The Queen leaves Buckingham Palace this afternoon after carrying out investitures and heads to Windsor amid the furious backlash about her son's friendship with Epstein

The Queen leaves Buckingham Palace this afternoon after carrying out investitures and heads to Windsor amid the furious backlash about her son's friendship with Epstein

Prince Charles (left, with Camilla in New Zealand) agreed with the Queen (right, leaving Buckingham Palace for Windsor) that Andrew should step down and the family advised the Duke of York not to go to Bahrain 

‘He was persuaded by his family that it was not a good idea in light of this week’s events,’ they said. Despite the setback, he seemed upbeat yesterday. Dressed in a suit and tie, he gave a wave and a smile as he drove away from his family home in Windsor Great Park.

Later his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson was also all smiles as she was seen arriving at Buckingham Palace. Furore over Andrew’s former friendship with paedophile Epstein continued yesterday as:

■The duke walked away from some of his most beloved charities and organisations as he began the humiliating process of withdrawing from public life;

■The Outward Bound Trust said he had stepped down as patron while the University of Huddersfield said he had resigned as Chancellor;

■Lawyers for Epstein’s victims said they planned to subpoena Andrew, raising the prospect he could be questioned under oath about what he knows.

The prince announced on Wednesday evening his intention to ‘step back from public duties for the foreseeable future’ after he was widely criticised for his comments during a BBC Newsnight interview.

He was accused of showing a lack of empathy for Epstein’s victims and no remorse over his friendship with the financier. But yesterday’s cancelled plans to go to Bahrain proved, however, that he still clearly plans to continue working on private initiatives.

Last Friday, Sarah came out in support of Andrew with a statement posted on social media in which she praised his 'sense of honour and truth'

Last Friday, Sarah came out in support of Andrew with a statement posted on social media in which she praised his 'sense of honour and truth'

The Duke leaves the Royal Lodge family home at Windsor Great Park in Berkshire this morning after he stepped down from royal duties yesterday

The Duke leaves the Royal Lodge family home at Windsor Great Park in Berkshire this morning after he stepped down from royal duties yesterday

The Duke (right) leaves the Royal Lodge family home at Windsor Great Park in Berkshire this morning after he stepped down from royal duties yesterday and, left, his ex-wife’s supportive post on social media 

A source close to Andrew put a positive spin on this week’s dramatic events, saying: ‘Despite everything the duke is getting a lot of support. The entrepreneurs he helps have been tremendously sweet and kind. This really feels like a witch-hunt. He’d been hounded about this since 2011 non stop. So he’s very positive about it actually. He can concentrate on clearing his name.’

Losing his patronage of the Outward Bound Trust will be a major blow to the duke, who only took over the role earlier this year, succeeding his father, the Duke of Edinburgh. 

The charity helps disadvantaged children through outdoor activities. The University of Huddersfield had earlier stood by the duke but announced he was stepping down last night following an outcry by students.

Epstein (pictured) killed himself while facing trafficking charges

Epstein (pictured) killed himself while facing trafficking charges

Andrew appears to hold Jeffrey Epstein's victim Virginia Roberts, then 17, by the waist as the sex offender’s lover Ghislaine Maxwell looks on in 2001 in London

Andrew appears to hold Jeffrey Epstein's victim Virginia Roberts, then 17, by the waist as the sex offender’s lover Ghislaine Maxwell looks on in 2001 in London

Andrew (right) appears to hold Jeffrey Epstein’s victim Virginia Roberts, then 17, by the waist as the sex offender’s lover Ghislaine Maxwell looks on in 2001 in London. Epstein (left) killed himself while facing trafficking charges 

The Duke of York speaks to BBC Newsnight's Emily Maitlis in an interview shown on Saturday which led to a furious backlash about the prince's friendship with Epstein

The Duke of York speaks to BBC Newsnight's Emily Maitlis in an interview shown on Saturday which led to a furious backlash about the prince's friendship with Epstein

The Duke of York speaks to BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis in an interview shown on Saturday which led to a furious backlash about the prince’s friendship with Epstein 

The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions also announced yesterday that the duke was no longer its president. Andrew is patron of around 200 charities and groups and more resignations are now likely to follow.

It has been made clear that Andrew is very keen to keep his Pitch@Palace initiative, a Dragon’s Den-style scheme which helps find funding and provides mentoring for tech start-ups and entrepreneurs which he founded in 2014. 

The project is said to have created 6,000 jobs over give years and was, one courtier said, one of the ‘few’ real success stories of Andrew’s roller-coaster royal career.

He was fighting ‘tooth and nail’ to keep it – hence his defiance in initially planning to travel to Bahrain this weekend.

Royal officials confirmed yesterday that he would continue working on it but made clear that he would do so without the support of Buckingham Palace. 

While Andrew’s decision to step back from public life means he will no longer be able to pick up the bill for expensive travel from taxpayers, he is still likely to pocket as much as £250,000 a year, the sum he is rumoured to receive privately from the Queen to run his office.

Unlike the Sovereign Grant, which is government money, Andrew’s annual upkeep is paid from the Privy Purse, which is provided by the Duchy of Lancaster – land and assets owned by the Queen.

But, as ‘significant’ controller of Pitch@Palace, he will be entitled to two per cent of any deals made through the scheme for three years, the Daily Telegraph reports.

It is also understood that he will be able to hold events at palaces on commercial bases, with one planned for Pitch@Palace at St James’s next month. 

■More than half the public believe the prince did not tell the truth about his relationship with Epstein during his interview, a poll found. Just six per cent of the 1,600 adults surveyed thought he was being honest, according to the YouGov survey for The Times. Another 43 per cent said they did not know.

Andrew made the bombshell statement about stepping back yesterday after mounting pressure after his interview about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein

Andrew made the bombshell statement about stepping back yesterday after mounting pressure after his interview about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein

Andrew made the bombshell statement about stepping back yesterday after mounting pressure after his interview about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein

Sidelined: Prince Andrew’s top aide behind ‘car crash’ Newsnight interview is shunted into new job running his Pitch@Palace scheme

Prince Andrew’s right-hand woman is to be switched to running his tech awards and business funding scheme, a source said last night.

Thirsk (pictured) will lose her job, a royal source said

Thirsk (pictured) will lose her job, a royal source said

Thirsk (pictured) will lose her job, a royal source said

Amanda Thirsk, who was instrumental in persuading the beleaguered royal to agree to his disastrous Newsnight interview, was told yesterday by Andrew that she will no longer be his private secretary.

Instead she will become chief executive of Pitch@Palace, the prince’s Dragons’ Den-style scheme for entrepreneurs, and the Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA), which emulates the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.

Last night, mother-of-three Mrs Thirsk, who has loyally stood by Andrew for 15 years, was still at her desk and declining to comment.

Buckingham Palace also refused to comment on what it said were ‘private staffing matters’. 

But a royal source insisted: ‘Amanda has been told in no uncertain terms today that she will lose her job [as Andrew’s private secretary].’

A former banker, Mrs Thirsk was taken on in 2004 as the prince’s ‘office controller’. 

In 2012 she was made his private secretary – and gatekeeper. It has been said of her: ‘She is very, very loyal. It is hard to know where she begins and Andrew ends.’ 

 

 

Sidelined: Prince Andrew’s top aide behind ‘car crash’ Newsnight interview is shunted into new job running his Pitch@Palace scheme

Prince Andrew’s right-hand woman is to be switched to running his tech awards and business funding scheme, a source said last night.

Thirsk (pictured) will lose her job, a royal source said

Thirsk (pictured) will lose her job, a royal source said

Thirsk (pictured) will lose her job, a royal source said

Amanda Thirsk, who was instrumental in persuading the beleaguered royal to agree to his disastrous Newsnight interview, was told yesterday by Andrew that she will no longer be his private secretary.

Instead she will become chief executive of Pitch@Palace, the prince’s Dragons’ Den-style scheme for entrepreneurs, and the Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award (iDEA), which emulates the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.

Last night, mother-of-three Mrs Thirsk, who has loyally stood by Andrew for 15 years, was still at her desk and declining to comment.

Buckingham Palace also refused to comment on what it said were ‘private staffing matters’. 

But a royal source insisted: ‘Amanda has been told in no uncertain terms today that she will lose her job [as Andrew’s private secretary].’

A former banker, Mrs Thirsk was taken on in 2004 as the prince’s ‘office controller’. 

In 2012 she was made his private secretary – and gatekeeper. It has been said of her: ‘She is very, very loyal. It is hard to know where she begins and Andrew ends.’ 

How Duke of York’s meetings with Jeffrey Epstein have brought him decades of trouble since 1990s 

– 1990s

Andrew first meets Epstein, reportedly introduced through his friendship with Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell. Andrew welcomes Epstein to the Queen’s private Scottish retreat in Aberdeenshire. Andrew later says he sees Epstein ‘infrequently’, adding ‘probably no more than only once or twice a year’.

– 2000

Andrew and Ms Maxwell are seen on holiday with Epstein at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida. Epstein and Ms Maxwell attend a party at Windsor Castle hosted by the Queen to mark Andrew’s 40th birthday, the Princess Royal’s 50th, the Queen Mother’s 100th and Princess Margaret’s 70th.

– 2001

Virginia Roberts claims to have had sex with Andrew ‘three times, including one orgy’, with the first encounter allegedly taking place in Ms Maxwell’s London townhouse. Ms Roberts claims to have had sex with Andrew on two more occasions, at Epstein’s New York home and at an ‘orgy’ on his private island in the Caribbean.

– 2008

Epstein admits prostituting minors and is sentenced to 18 months in prison.

– 2010

Epstein is released from jail. Andrew is photographed with the disgraced Epstein in New York’s Central Park. Footage emerges years later, reportedly shot on December 6 2010, showing him inside Epstein’s Manhattan mansion, from where he is seen looking out from a large door of the property waving a woman goodbye after Epstein leaves to get into a chauffeur-driven car.

– 2011

The duke quits his role as UK trade envoy after the fallout from the Central Park photos.

– 2015

Buckingham Palace denies Andrew has committed any impropriety after he is named in US court documents related to Epstein. A woman, later named in reports as Ms Roberts, alleges in papers filed in Florida that she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17, which is under the age of consent in the state.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Andrew, in his first public engagement since he was embroiled in the allegations, responds, saying: ‘Firstly I think I must, and want, for the record, to refer to the events that have taken place in the last few weeks.

‘I just wish to reiterate, and to reaffirm, the statements that have already been made on my behalf by Buckingham Palace.’ In April the claims against Andrew are struck from US civil court records following a federal judge’s ruling.

– 2019

Newly released legal documents show that Johanna Sjoberg, another alleged Epstein victim, claimed Andrew touched her breast while sitting on a couch inside the US billionaire’s Manhattan apartment in 2001. Buckingham Palace said the allegations are ‘categorically untrue’. Epstein is found dead in his jail cell on August 10, having killed himself after being charged with sex trafficking.

Later that month a pilot on Epstein’s private jet claims Andrew was a passenger on past flights with the financier and Ms Roberts. The Sun newspaper reported that David Rodgers said in a testimony released in August that Epstein, Andrew and the-then 17-year-old travelled to the US Virgin Islands on April 11 2001. Buckingham Palace describes the evidence statement as having ‘a number of inconsistencies’ and said that Andrew was on a different continent in some cases.

Following Epstein’s death, a statement from the palace says that Andrew is ‘appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes’. Breaking his silence on the issue for the first time since 2015, Andrew then releases a statement on August 24 saying: ‘At no stage during the limited time I spent with him (Epstein) did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.’ 

On November 16, the prince gave a ‘disastrous’ BBC interview in which he spoke about his friendship with Epstein and addressed allegations of his own sexual conduct. He faced a barrage of criticism following his television appearance, with the royal accused of a lack of empathy with Epstein’s victims. 

During the interview, Andrew, questioned by Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, twice stated his relationship with Epstein, who died in jail while facing sex trafficking charges, had some ‘seriously beneficial outcomes’, giving him the opportunity to meet people and prepare for a future role as a trade envoy. The duke denied he slept with Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s victims, on three separate occasions, twice while she was underage, saying one encounter in 2001 did not happen as he spent the day with his daughter Princess Beatrice, taking her to Pizza Express in Woking for a party.

The same alleged sexual liaison, which the American said began with the royal sweating heavily as they danced at London nightclub Tramp, was factually wrong as the duke said he had a medical condition at the time which meant he did not sweat. He cast doubt on the authenticity of a picture that appears to show Andrew with his arm around the waist of Mrs Giuffre, when a teenager.

 

Former Epstein housekeeper says Prince Andrew was entertained by a ‘beautiful young neurosurgeon’ who she believes was ‘given’ to him by the pedophile during three-day visit his New Mexico ranch in 2001

By Jennifer Smith for DailyMail.com 

A former housekeeper at Jeffrey Epstein’s New Mexico has claimed Prince Andrew spent three days at the property where she said he was kept company by a ‘beautiful young neurosurgeon’ who she believes was being paid by Epstein. 

Deidre Stratton worked at Zorro Ranch when she claims Andrew visited alone in 2001. Public records confirmed she was employed there.

It was after he and Epstein had been seen on a yacht with topless women in Thailand, and Epstein was not there but arranged for his royal friend to stay, she claimed. 

Dozens of new photos and video give the most revealing insight yet into Jeffrey Epstein's notorious 'baby making Zorro Ranch' in the New Mexico desert

Dozens of new photos and video give the most revealing insight yet into Jeffrey Epstein's notorious 'baby making Zorro Ranch' in the New Mexico desert

Dozens of new photos and video give the most revealing insight yet into Jeffrey Epstein’s notorious ‘baby making Zorro Ranch’ in the New Mexico desert

She says that during the visit, Andrew was kept company by an unnamed female doctor who she described as a ‘beautiful young neurosurgeon’. 

Stratton says she believes the woman may have been ‘on retainer’ from Epstein and that it was ‘her job’ to ‘entertain’ his guests but that she was only ‘guessing’. 

There is no suggestion that Andrew knew she was possibly on Epstein’s pay roll and Stratton said it was merely her belief that the woman was being paid and that she did not know it for a fact. 

‘At the time, Jeffrey had this, she supposedly was a neurosurgeon, quite young…beautiful, young and brilliant, and she stayed in the home with him,’ she told the podcast Epstein: Devil in the Darkness.

Pictures from inside the main house show a 'party shower' for up to eight people with four shelves full of toiletries and oils

Pictures from inside the main house show a 'party shower' for up to eight people with four shelves full of toiletries and oils

Pictures from inside the main house show a ‘party shower’ for up to eight people with four shelves full of toiletries and oils

‘At one point we had all these different teas and you could pick the teas that you wanted and she asked me to find one that would make [Andrew] horny. 

‘I’m guessing she understood her job was to entertain him because I guess, the fear, I don’t know – the fear would be that Andrew would say, ‘no I didn’t really find her that attractive.’ 

 ‘I’m guessing she understood her job was to entertain him because I guess, the fear, I don’t know – the fear would be that Andrew would say, ‘no I didn’t really find her that attractive.’

Deidre Stratton, Epstein’s former housekeeper  

‘He would tell Jeffrey that and then she would be on the ropes,’ she said. 

Stratton added: ‘I’m guessing that, another theory is, that Jeffrey had her on retainer and she knew what her job would be, should be, to make these people happy.

‘Sex was all they thought about. 

‘I mean, I know for sure that Jeffrey would ideally like three massages a day. Massages being in air quotes. I don’t see how his guests wouldn’t know that.’

She also gave an anecdote of the Duke insisting on making himself breakfast but burning his bacon and settling instead for ‘croissants and green tea’. 

‘At that time, he was very, very pleasant… I offered to come up and fix his breakfast and he said, ‘no I want to try.’ 

‘When I got up there later to tidy up you could smell burnt bacon and he was like, ‘I didn’t do so well.’

‘He had like a croissant and green teas or something. I remember him trying to cook his own breakfast. Isn’t that cute? He couldn’t even fry bacon.’ 

Epstein died in August in jail

Epstein died in August in jail

Epstein died in August in jail 

Stratton said Andrew stayed in a three bedroom lodge on the property and his bodyguard stayed in the main house. 

‘For him to just be out on his own, I am sure was very different for him

‘We all felt like well what do we do, we’re like fish out of water, do we curtsy to this man? We were told no because we were not British subjects,’ she said.  

She added that she ‘does not remember how he passed his time’ but that she does not recall him being ‘very sporty’. 

There is no suggestion that the woman Andrew allegedly spent time with was underage.

He has repeatedly denied having sex with Virginia Roberts, who claims she slept with him in London when she was 17 at Ghislaine Maxwell’s house. 

Maxwell also denies Roberts’ claims.  

Buckingham Palace did not offer any new statement specifically in response to the new allegation when contacted by DailyMail.com on Thursday morning.

A spokesperson referred to Andrew’s past comments on Epstein instead.  

Andrew was this week stripped of his salary and stood down from royal duties following his disastrous BBC interview about his relationship with Epstein where he called the pedophile’s behavior ‘unbecoming’.  

EPSTEIN AND ANDREW: THE PRINCE’S TIMELINE AND HOW IT STANDS UP TO WHAT OTHERS SAY

THE FIRST MEETING 

What Andrew claims: Prince Andrew claimed in his disastrous BBC interview that he met Epstein through Ghislaine Maxwell in 1999. 

What others say: In a 2011 letter about his friendship with the pedophile, one of the Duke’s aides said they met in the early 1990s. The aide’s timeline corresponds with when Epstein and Maxwell met, following the death of her father in 1991. In a 2007 letter that was sent to prosecutors in Florida to try to lessen Epstein’s sentence for his first sex trafficking case, he was praised with helping her overcome her grief. 

THE ALLEGED INCIDENTS WITH VIRGINIA ROBERTS 

Roberts, now known by her married name Virginia Giuffre, claims that in 2001, she had sex with the Duke when she was 17 inside Ghislaine Maxwell’s London townhouse. She says it was the first of three encounters; the others taking place in New York and on Epstein’s Caribbean island. 

To support her allegations, which she first shared in a 2011, she released a photograph 

What Andrew claims: He never had sex with Roberts and does not even remember ever meeting her. 

What others say: No one but Roberts has gone on the record to verify her claims about Andrew specifically but she is among a group of Epstein victims  now demanding apologies and answers from anyone who was associated with his lifestyle. Her ex-boyfriend from Tony Figueroa has said he knew of the photograph of them. 

EPSTEIN’S FIRST CRIMINAL CASE 

In 2007, Epstein was charged with sexually trafficking minors in Florida. He negotiated a sweetheart deal for himself which involved pleading guilty in exchange for just one year of prison time, during which he was allowed to leave to go to work everyday. 

He was released in 2010 and Andrew then went to visit him in New York. The infamous Central Park photograph was taken during his trip. 

What Andrew claims: Andrew said in his BBC interview that he went to visit Epstein to end their friendship. 

‘I took the judgement call that because this was serious, and I felt that doing it over the telephone was the chicken’s way of doing it, I had to go and see him and talk to him,’ he said. He previously described the trip as ‘a mistake.’ 

What others say: In 2011, a Daily Beast article described a party which Epstein threw in the Duke’s honor during the trip. It listed Woody Allen and Katie Couric among guests. Literary agent Max Brockman also described seeing Andrew receiving a foot massage from a Russian woman inside Epstein’s home during the trip. 

He claimed, in an email, that Andrew complained about the treatment he received publicly, saying: ‘In Monaco, Albert works 12 hours a day but at 9pm, when he goes out, he does whatever he wants, and nobody cares. But, if I do it, I’m in big trouble.’ 

EPSTEIN’S SECOND ARREST 

Andrew said nothing of Epstein’s arrest in July at the time. It was only until after he had killed himself and questions had resurfaced about the Duke’s friendship with him that he issued a statement. In it he said he knew nothing of the allegations against him and that he sympathized with the victims. 

What Andrew says: Andrew said he saw Ghislaine Maxwell ‘this year’ but that they did not discuss Epstein’s case and that it ‘wasn’t in the news’ at the time. He said he had no knowledge of the allegations against his friend.

What others say: Prosecutors started looking into Epstein’s sweetheart deal with Alex Acosta as far back as February.

 

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