As Buckingham Palace release a statement denying all allegations made against Prince Andrew as part of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, we take a look at the pair's history
Buckingham Palace this week broke their Victorian mantra of "never compain, never explain" to release a statment denying the allegations brought against Prince Andrew as part of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. But how do the two know each other and why is the Duke of York implicated at all?
Here's everything you need to know.
Who is Prince Andrew?
Prince Andrew is the third child and second son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. He was born on 19 February, 1960, and at his time of birth was second in line to the throne, behind Prince Charles and ahead of his older sister Princess Anne. Since the birth of Archie Mountbatten-Windsor he is now eight in line
Read more: Was Lord Mountbatten a pedophile?
He married Sarah Ferguson in 1986 with the pair separating in 1992, and eventually divorcing in 1996. The two share two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, and still maintain a very close relationship. With daughter Eugenie saying: "They are the best divorced couple I know."
Andrew served in the Royal Navy for over 20 years and now is a full-time Royal, attending official functions and carrying out duties for his parents. As Andrew remains unmarried, he oftens stands in for his father Prince Philip as his mother's companion for royal occassions.
Who is Jeffrey Epstein?
Jeffrey Epstein is an American financier who started his career as a teacher in the early 1970s before going on to work at the investment bank Bear Stearns. He founded his own firm, J. Epstein and Co., in 1982 providing financial services for high net-worth individuals.
Epstein moved in glittering circles, often seen with high profile people including Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump.
In 2008, Epstein was sentenced to 18 months in prison after being found guilty of solicitation of prostitution involving a minor. Epstein served 13 months and became a registered sex offender.
In July 2019, Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking, facing a 45-year prison term if found guilty. He was denied bail and later died while in jail on 10 August, 2019. His death was ruled a suicide by hanging by the New York City medical examiner.
How is Prince Andrew associated with Jeffrey Epstein?
The pair have known each other since they were first introduced in the 1980s, and were last photographed together in 2010 while walking in Central Park.
In 2011, it was reported in The Telegraph that Epstein paid Sarah Ferguson's former personal assistant Johnny O'Sullivan £15,000 at the request of Prince Andrew, which reportedly "allowed a wider restructuring of Sarah's £5 million debts to take place."
At the time, Sarah Ferguson told The Telegraph: "I personally, on behalf of myself, deeply regret that Jeffrey Epstein became involved in any way with me. I abhor paedophilia and any sexual abuse of children and know that this was a gigantic error of judgment on my behalf. I am just so contrite I cannot say. Whenever I can I will repay the money and will have nothing ever to do with Jeffrey Epstein ever again. I cannot state more strongly that I know a terrible, terrible error of judgment was made, my having anything do with Jeffrey Epstein. What he did was wrong and for which he was rightly jailed."
Unsealed court documents from 2015 relating to a defamation lawsuit against Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's alleged co-conspirator, contain allegations against Andrew. Reports from The Daily Beast state that the documents contain allegations from a woman named Johanna Sjoberg, who claims that Andrew groped her at a party at Epstein's home. While Virgina Giuffre, the woman who brought the suit against Maxwell, claims she was ordered by to have sex with Andrew by Maxwell.
After The Daily Mail released a video of Prince Andrew waving goodbye to a woman from Epstein's home in 2010, Buckingham Palace released a statement saying: “The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes. His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent.”
On 21 August, 2019, David Rodgers who was a pilot for Epstein, revealed in court testimony that Prince Andrew joined Jeffrey Epstein and Virgina Roberts for one flight. Roberts claims that herself and Prince Andrew had sex in 2001 while she was 17, a claim he was always strenuously denied.