- Pressure mounting on Prince Andrew following the unsealing of Epstein papers
King Charles is preparing to stop paying for Prince Andrew’s home security at Royal Lodge, it has been reported.
Pressure is mounting on the Duke of York as the unsealing of hundreds of pages of court documents connected to the Jeffrey Epstein scandal continues apace.
The latest tranche of papers, which have heaped fresh embarrassment on Andrew, claim the royal enjoyed daily massages and stayed in the ‘blue room’ at Epstein’s Palm Beach lair.
Ghislaine Maxwell also claimed there was a Prince Andrew ‘puppet’ at Epstein’s New York property after the royal was accused of using it to grope a young woman.
The duke, who has consistently denied any wrongdoing, has also been accused taking part in an ‘underage orgy’.
In a fresh blow to Andrew, The Telegraph has reported that he will have to fund the multi-million pound security costs at Royal Lodge himself if he wants to stay in the 30-room mansion in Windsor Great Park.
The move will be seen as the monarch distancing himself publicly from his younger brother, who less than two weeks ago walked to church with the royal family on Christmas Day.
Buckingham Palace said it does not comment on security matters.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, the former director of public prosecutions, yesterday backed calls for Scotland Yard to launch an investigation into the claims made about Andrew.
New revelations from the unredacted legal papers show how Epstein’s former housekeeper claimed Andrew had daily massages when he allegedly spent ‘weeks’ at the paedophile financier’s Florida home.
Juan Alessi, who worked at Epstein’s Palm Beach residence, said both Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York, were friends with Epstein and the now convicted sex-trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell.
It comes after a source told the Mirror that Charles has told his brother he ‘won’t be abandoned’.
‘Charles promised his late mother he would not abandon Andrew once she was gone and that remains the situation, unless of course he finds himself engaged in a criminal matter,’ they said.
The duke greeted well-wishers outside church in Sandringham, Norfolk on December 25, with Sarah back in the royal fold and at his side. But he was caught demanding to know why fans who had stood in the cold to see the Royal Family ‘have their cameras on’.
But as the New Year began, previous allegations Andrew sexually assaulted Virginia Giuffre three times when she was 17 including during an orgy resurfaced in newly-published court documents.
He strenuously denies the claims, and in 2022 paid millions to Ms Giuffre to settle a civil case out of court, saying he never met her.
The Metropolitan Police said no new investigation has been launched, but Mr Starmer said where ‘credible’ accusations are made they should be investigated.
Sir Keir said: ‘I think wherever there’s a complaint made it’s inevitable that it should be looked at.
‘I mean, we have to start with the victims here and look at what allegations have been made. I’ve seen the headlines on this, not the detail… but frankly whoever it is, where there are allegations, credible allegations made, then of course they should be looked at.’
Republic – the anti-monarchist group – reported the duke to Scotland Yard and is calling for the accusations to be properly investigated in the UK.
During his video-taped interview under oath in 2009, Mr Alessi was questioned on the duke’s relationship with Maxwell and Epstein.
Lawyer Katherine Ezell asked whether Andrew and Sarah ever had massages at the Florida home.
Mr Alessi replied: ‘Prince Andrew did.
‘I think Sarah was there only once and for a short time. I don’t think she slept in there. I cannot remember.
‘I think she was visiting Wellington and she came to the house and we met her.
‘But Prince Andrew, yes, Prince Andrew spent weeks with us.’
Ms Ezell then asked: ‘Where would he sleep?’
Mr Alessi said: ‘In the main room, the main guest bedroom. That was the blue room.’
The lawyer then said: ‘And, so, when he would come and stay, during that time would he frequently have massages?
Mr Alessi replied: ‘I would say, daily massages.’
Asked if it was sometimes more than one a day, Mr Alessi said: ‘I can’t remember if he had more than one, but I think it was just a massage for him. We set up the tables and…’
Ms Ezell interjected: ‘Do you have any recollection of (Virginia Giuffre) coming to the house when Prince Andrew was there?’
Mr Alessi replied: ‘It could have been, but I’m not sure.’
In a further interview under oath by an Epstein employee, who is labelled only as ‘the witness’ in the documents, they claimed Maxwell took the paedophile financier to England ‘to introduce him to royalty’.
The staff member said there were ‘many pictures’ of the duke with Epstein in the property they worked at.
They also said they never saw the duke visit the property, but ‘he called’.
In a resurfaced video-taped interview with Maxwell, the disgraced socialite said she did not know how Epstein met the duke and she insisted she did not introduce them.
Maxwell admitted, however, that there was a Duke of York puppet in Epstein’s New York apartment.
Andrew was accused by Johanna Sjoberg of groping her breast while posing with what is reported to have been a Spitting Image puppet of himself in Epstein’s Manhattan home in 2001.
Maxwell said she did not recollect putting the hand of the caricature on Ms Sjoberg’s breast.
‘There was a puppet – not a puppet – there was a – I don’t know how would you describe it really… a caricature of Prince Andrew that was in Jeffrey’s home,’ she said.
A US judge ordered hundreds of documents to be unsealed as part of Ms Giuffre’s previously settled civil claim against Maxwell, which was filed in 2015.
Epstein was found dead in his cell at a federal jail in New York, in August 2019 while he awaited trial on sex-trafficking charges. The death was ruled a suicide.
It was previously reported the duke was offered the much smaller Frogmore Cottage, which used to be home to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, in a bid to relocate him from Royal Lodge.
But the duke was said to have signed a 75-year lease on the mansion in 2003.
Andrew stepped down from public life after the furore over his friendship with Epstein, and paid millions to settle a civil sexual assault case with Ms Giuffre, a woman he claimed never to have met.
He was cast out of the working monarchy and no longer uses his HRH style after Ms Giuffre, who was trafficked by Epstein, accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was 17. The duke strenuously denies any wrongdoing.
Meanwhile, the Royal family is said to be split over whether Andrew should be cast out for good.
Christmas Day saw Andrew join the family for the annual festive church service on the Sandringham Estate – a show of unity that baffled many, given that the release of new Epstein papers was imminent.
The documents last night also revealed how Maxwell, the disgraced socialite claimed she ‘never introduced Prince Andrew to Jeffrey Epstein’.
The deposition, from 2016, showed Maxwell describe Ms Giuffre’s alleged meetings with the duke as a ’tissue of lies’.
In an exchange with Ms Giuffre’s lawyer Sigrid McCawley, Maxwell was asked: ‘Did you introduce him to Jeffrey?’
Maxwell responded: ‘That would be another of Virginia’s lies and the lies you perpetrate.
‘I never introduced Prince Andrew to Jeffrey Epstein at any time ever, so just add that the (sic) to long list of lies.’
Ms McCawley continued: ‘Did Jeffrey know Prince Andrew?’
Maxwell replied: ‘Clearly he knew him.’
Pressed on whether she knew how Andrew met Epstein, Maxwell said: ‘I do not know (sic) Jeffrey met Prince Andrew.
‘What I do know is that I did not introduce them.
‘That is one of the many lies. Are we tallying all the lies?’
Maxwell has been imprisoned since July 2020 despite attempts by her defence counsel to have her released on bail.
She was sentenced to 20 years in prison at the federal court in the Southern District of New York in June 2022.