22:00 GMT20 February 2020
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    Earlier this month New York Post’s Page Six reported that the Duke of York allegedly begged Ghislaine to clear his name over the Epstein sex scandal and allegations that the royal slept with an underage girl. Ghislaine, who is accused of recruiting girls for Epstein, reportedly refused Andrew’s plea.

    Prince Andrew had intimate picnics with Jeffrey Epstein’s ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell at Buckingham Palace, claims the royal’s ex-protection officer. In an interview with the Daily Mirror, former metropolitan police officer Paul Page, who worked as the Duke of York’s guard from 1998 to 2004, said Prince Andrew and Ghislaine were so close that she frequently visited Buckingham Palace. Page said that another protection officer claimed that he once saw Ghislaine coming in and out of Palace four times in one day.

    "The first occasion I had cause to meet Ghislaine was when the privy purse phoned down and said, ‘We’ve got a guest coming for Andrew but the name is not to be entered in the book’. That was about 2001". Page claimed that Ghislaine, who is accused of recruiting girls for the disgraced financier, had a picnic with Prince Andrew opposite the Queen’s bedroom window.

    The development comes as the Duke of York is facing more scrutiny over his relationship with Epstein, a convicted sex offender, who died in August 2019 awaiting trial on charges of running a sex trafficking ring of minors. It is rumoured that the royal will be questioned by the FBI. Paul Page, however, played down that something new would come out of the potential meeting and that Prince Andrew, who is accused of having sex with one of Epstein’s alleged sex slaves, would be in trouble.

    "Even if the FBI request information from the Royal Protection Command, they will get a big fat no. They’re not going to get any documentation from the British police in terms of Prince Andrew’s movements or anything else. If his legal team thought there was any possibility of indictments coming his way, they’d have shut the idea of doing the TV interview down. So he must have had some guarantees that this isn’t going anywhere to publicly speak”, Page told the Daily Mirror.

    Prince Andrew came under intense scrutiny in July after Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on sex trafficking charges. The royal gave an interview to the BBC and defended his ties with the disgraced banker. Prince Andrew admitted that he stayed in Epstein’s mansions and on his private island, but said he was unaware of the banker’s behaviour. In the same interview, he dismissed allegations from one of Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Giuffre, who claimed she was trafficked to London where she was forced to have sex with the royal in Ghislaine Maxwell’s home.

    The Duke of York said he didn’t remember meeting the girl, despite the fact that there is a photo showing the royal with Virginia Giuffre, with the prince’s hand on the girl’s waist. Commenting on the picture, Prince Andrew said: "Nobody can prove whether or not that photograph has been doctored but I don't recollect that photograph ever being taken".

    Prince Andrew stepped down from royal duties following the scandal and major companies that worked with him on his Pitch@Palace project distanced themselves from him, while charities ditched him as their patron.

    Tags:
    Sex Trafficking, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, Jeffrey Epstein, Buckingham Palace, Prince Andrew, Ghislaine Maxwell
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