Prince Andrew ‘in prison of own making’ as crisis grips Royal Family

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PRINCE ANDREW is “in a prison of his own making” after “cancelling his annual golfing holiday”, according to a royal expert.

Andrew has been under intense scrutiny since his friend, the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested last year and investigated for operating an international sex trafficking ring. Epstein killed himself before his trial last year but his ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested in early July in New Hampshire. She has been charged for multiple offences related to Epstein’s sexual abuse of young women and girls.

She is also believed to have introduced Andrew to Epstein approximately 20 years ago.

Andrew himself has been accused by Virginia Giuffre — then known as Virginia Roberts — of having sex with her three times.

Mrs Giuffre claims she was 17 years old and being trafficking by Epstein and Ms Maxwell at the time.

Andrew has denied all allegations made against him and there is no indication that he is guilty of any wrongdoing.

Prince Andrew stepped down from his royal duties last year

Prince Andrew stepped down from his royal duties last year (Image: Getty)

Andrew pictured with socialite and friend of Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell

Andrew pictured with socialite and friend of Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell (Image: Getty)

Buckingham Palace say the claims are “false and without foundation”.

However, the Duke of York cancelled his annual golfing holiday this year.

A palace insider told The Sun that the Duke of York postponed this year’s trip because he is “nervous” of leaving the UK.

This followed an official request from the US Justice Department to question him as a witness in the Epstein enquiry.

Andrew with convicted sex offender and disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein (R)

Andrew with convicted sex offender and disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein (R) (Image: Getty)

Yet, Andrew’s lawyers say that they have offered a witness statement to the DOJ on multiple occasions.

Author of explosive new biography ‘Prince Andrew, Epstein and the Palace’ Nigel Cawthorne told Express.co.uk this week: “The prince appears not to plan to go on his yearly golf trip to Spain and nor to make any other European travel.

“[Film director] Roman Polanski was famously arrested by Swiss authorities on behalf of the US and it may be that the prince’s ‘working team’ of experts are taking precautions against any surprises.”

The Duke of York’s love of golf has been well publicised over the years with some believing he had even reached professional level at one stage.

His golfing excursions were even scrutinised at one point for the extraordinarily high costs he accumulated in pursuit of the sport.

Mr Cawthorne continued: “But, as far as Andrew himself is concerned, I would think he is a very worried man.

Andrew has allegedly cancelled his annual golfing holiday this year

Andrew has allegedly cancelled his annual golfing holiday this year (Image: Getty)

Andrew did not appear in any of Beatrice's official wedding photographs

Andrew did not appear in any of Beatrice’s official wedding photographs (Image: Royal Family/Twitter)

“He could have helped the FBI shortly after offering his assistance, but instead he’s delayed and delayed it, much to the public frustration of the Manhattan prosecutors.

“He has acknowledged that his reputation is now so low that he would even overshadow the happy occasion of his daughter’s birthday if he appeared even in a photograph.”

Princess Beatrice, Andrew’s eldest daughter, married in a secret, low-key ceremony this month.

When official photographs were released, royal watchers were quick to spot Andrew’s absence — despite supposedly walking his daughter down the aisle.

Mr Cawthorne continued: “Mentally and emotionally the past six months since his attempt to clear his name on the BBC must be draining, and increasingly he seems to be in prison himself – one of his own making.”

Andrew is the Queen's second son and third child

Andrew is the Queen’s second son and third child (Image: Getty)

Andrew attempted to explain his relationship with Epstein during an interview with BBC Newsnight last November, but it was widely considered to be a “car crash” that triggered a crisis for the Royal Family.

His lawyers also responded to the US authorities who have called again for Andrew’s assistance.

They said: “As the public record indicates, the [US] Department of Justice has been actively investigating Mr Epstein and other targets for more than 16 years, yet the first time they requested the Duke’s help was on 2nd January 2020.”

They added: “On at least three occasions this year, [he] offered his assistance as a witness to the Department of Justice.”

‘Prince Andrew, Epstein and the Palace’ by Nigel Cawthorne was published in 2020, by Gibson Square Book Ltd.

Source: EXPERSS CO UK