The royal family has once more been dragged into the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.
British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested by the FBI last week, with her charges in relation to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, Maxwell’s ex-boyfriend.
The 66-year-old multimillionaire businessman and registered sex offender died in an apparent suicide last year. At the time, he was being held without bail on charges of sex trafficking girls (some as young as 14).
Over the past decade, Ghislaine Maxwell has been accused of aiding Epstein, with some claims that the socialite lured young women into Epstein’s houses and forcibly coerced them into performing sexual acts.
Prince Andrew has found himself involved in the case due to his close relationship with both Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein, and the reports made by one woman, Virginia Guiffre, formerly Roberts, that she was allegedly brought to the UK aged 17 to have sex with the royal.
The royal family has denied the claims, with Prince Andrew explaining during his controversial Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis that he had no recollection of meeting her.
The Duke of York has since stepped back from his public duties, stating that he unequivocally regrets his ‘ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein’. Despite this however, a top attorney claimed that Prince Andrew had ‘provided zero cooperation’ in the investigation. This is something that the Prince is said to be ‘bewildered’ by.
Ghislaine’s arrest by the FBI last Thursday has prompted all of this to resurface, with the socialite (charged with ‘enabling, facilitating, or participating’ in sex trafficking and the abuse of multiple women) said to be prepared to name some big names.
A surprising addition to the reports emerged today however, as photographic evidence emerged solidifying Prince Andrew's connection to Epstein.
The photograph in question, released by The Telegraph, shows Ghislaine Maxwell and Kevin Spacey sitting on The Queen and Prince Philip's thrones, something that reportedly happened while Prince Andrew was giving them a tour of Buckingham Palace.
'You don't see this hardly ever, if ever,' Michelle Tauber, Senior Editor at PEOPLE, explained in the most recent episode of The Royal Report.
'These are chairs - thrones - that would be roped off with the proverbial red velvet rope that you're picturing in your mind. They are not something that anyone would be expected to sit in.'
She continued: 'They are considered historic artifacts, so it's not something that would be in any way an appropriate use of the thrones regardless of who you are — unless you happen to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.'
Speaking of the Queen's reaction, Michelle added: 'Behind the scenes, we expect no one was happy at the palace, including Her Majesty.'
The Palace has not yet responded to the photograph release.
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
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