Prince Andrew has faced massive condemnation over his ties to late American financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, as well as his girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell.
The latter was sentenced to 20 years in prison on sex trafficking and sexual abuse charges.
Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell had such a close relationship that the Duke gave her “unrestricted access” to Buckingham Palace, The Sun reported citing a former royal police officer.
Palace police would reportedly wave Maxwell in as she was allowed to enter “at will” to visit the Duke’s apartments.
Security officer Paul Page, who worked at Buckingham Palace from 1998 to 2004, told The Sun that Maxwell was often seen coming in and out of Prince Andrew’s apartments.
“Myself and my other colleagues formed the opinion they were in some sort of relationship,” he told the outlet.
According to Page, Epstein’s girlfriend was one of Andrew’s most frequent visitors in the 00s – the time when the two grew closer, and Maxwell first introduced him to Epstein.
Among the visits, the officer recalled was “an intimate picnic” that allegedly took place “right outside The Queen’s bedroom window.”
Moreover, Page said he and his colleagues were instructed to keep Maxwell’s name out of visitors’ books – something that was “highly unusual”.
“She had access like no other individual outside the Royal Family. She was on another level,” he claimed. “We would wave her in and she would go straight to the quad and straight up to the Duke of York’s apartments.”
If she was for some reason denied access, Page said they would be “screamed and shouted at” by the Duke. Maxwell, in turn, was “not a friendly person” that “almost looked down” on the security guards.
Condemned over his ties to the late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, Prince Andrew has always claimed that his friendship with him was through the prism of Maxwell, whom he knew “since she was at university in the UK.”
Epstein, who in 2019 was found dead by suicide behind bars after being convicted for sex trafficking, was Maxwell’s boyfriend. The socialite is believed to have been a part of his sex trafficking ring – something she vehemently denies. In late June, she was sentenced to 20 years in prison on sex trafficking and sexual abuse charges.