Great Britain

Prince Andrew is forced to pull out of trip to Bahrain as pressure to give evidence over Epstein scandal mounts

PRINCE Andrew has pulled out of his trip to Bahrain amid mounting pressure for him to give evidence over ex-pal Jeffrey Epstein's crimes.

The royal was persuaded by his family that it was "not a good idea" to go on the trip - an event connected with his [email protected] charity - in light of this week’s dramatic events.

It comes as the Duke of York's ex-wife Sarah Ferguson arrived at Buckingham Palace for crisis talks earlier today, after Andrew's dramatic decision to quit his royal duties over the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

Sarah, 60, was videoed smiling at police officers who greeted her at the palace entrance late this afternoon.

She was driven into the palace about four hours after the Duke of York arrived for talks - the first time he's been seen in public since he announced he would be stepping down from royal duties.

He married and divorced the bubbly, flame-haired Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson, who herself has generated some of the most humiliating royal scandals of modern times.

The duke has remained on good terms with his ex-wife who always refers to him as her "bestest friend", and he has a close bond with their daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

The pair were reunited on the same day that Epstein's "teen sex slave" broke her silence vowing all sexual predators will soon be exposed as the "evil monsters" they really are.

Virginia Roberts tweeted her warning as Prince Andrew was spotted for the first time since the Queen sensationally sacked him yesterday.

The Duke of York, 59, put on a brave face just hours after releasing a bombshell statement revealing he was stepping down from his royal duties.

Andrew waved from behind the wheel of a car as he left his home in Windsor, Berks, this morning after being summoned to Buckingham Palace by his mother.

The embattled prince was stripped of his royal duties and £249,000 sovereign grant in the wake of a car-crash Newsnight interview over his relationship with paedophile Epstein.

He had earlier strongly denied claims he slept with Roberts on three separate occasions - twice while she was underage under US law.

And there is absolutely no indication the mum-of-three was referring to the Prince in her no-nonsense tweet - posted in response to one of her supporters.

Roberts replied to a tweet today from a woman criticising former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz who is currently suing her.

She has accused Dershowitz of sexual assault, but he has claimed they never met or had sex and that she has "made up the entire story for money."

Roberts told the follower: "Bullying survivors and protecting the predators is a thing of the past. Time to evolve and expose these evil monsters for what they are!"

The under-fire Prince was earlier criticised for showing a lack of empathy towards Epstein's victims and a lack of remorse over his friendship with the shamed tycoon in a "car crash" BBC interview.

Roberts - then aged 17 - claims she was “forced” by Epstein to have sex with the Duke in London, in the shamed financier’s New York mansion and on his private island of Little St James.

When asked about the shocking allegations by the BBC the Duke claimed his innocence.

“I don’t think that could have happened at all,” he told Emily Maitlis.

Roberts has claimed she partied with the royal in Tramp nightclub before having sex for the first time in Ghislaine Maxwell's home in Belgravia, London.

However, he said the alleged encounter in 2001 did not happen as he spent the day with his daughter, Princess Beatrice, taking her to Pizza Express in Woking for a party.

She also claimed she had sex with Andrew during a huge romp at Epstein's exclusive Caribbean island retreat.

“The third time I had sex with Andy was in an orgy on Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands,” she wrote in a filing to a Florida court in 2015.

“I was around 18 at the time. Epstein, Andy, approximately eight other young girls, and I had sex together."

However, her allegations were struck from the US court record later that year.

In response to the outrageous claims, the Palace has said: "Any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue.

"It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation."

Senior royal in disgrace

By Dan Wootton, Executive Editor

PRINCE Andrew thought his legacy-defining interview with Emily Maitlis would save his royal career and lavish lifestyle that was already on life support.

In the end it, somewhat inevitably, resulted in the exact opposite. He ends life as a frontline royal in disgrace.

Even the Queen couldn’t save her favourite son.

But in reality this is just the start of Randy Andy’s troubles. Cops, interviews, civil cases and potential new accusations are likely to dominate his immediate future.

And then could his accuser Virginia Roberts have her day in court?

I’m convinced the road back for Andrew to frontline royal duties is impossible.

Charles wants a streamlined monarchy anyway. He knows the PR damage to the institution was untenable and in the end insisted Andrew entered early royal retirement.

Andrew’s fall from grace is a lesson to younger royals about why staying in touch with reality, listening to advisers and, more importantly, the public matters.

There is a reason Andrew has been the public’s least favourite senior royal.

He’s a stuck-up charlatan who has done far more harm to the monarchy than good.

It has since been revealed Roberts has given an interview to BBC’s Panorama in which she is tipped to pile more pressure on the royal.

She is said to repeat claims the Duke of York bedded her and branded his recent denial of the claims as “appalling”.

Roberts - now living in Australia - is believed to be furious that her interview, filmed three weeks before Andrew’s BBC Newsnight chat, has not been aired.

Last night, a friend of Prince Andrew revealed: “The Queen summoned the Duke to Buckingham Palace to tell him her decision.

“It was a devastating moment for both of them. His reputation is in tatters. It is unlikely he will ever perform royal duties again. He is disgraced.”


The announcement followed days of media scrutiny after his attempts to defend himself in Saturday’s disastrous interview were ridiculed.

A royal source said: “The Queen was privately very disappointed with Prince Andrew, despite the public efforts to rally round.

“It’s wrong to think that she just accepted his version of events, that the interview had gone well and there was nothing to worry about.

“She saw the fallout and was very unhappy. She has spent her whole life protecting the monarchy and in just one week her son’s actions threatened to tear it apart.

"Something had to be done to draw a line under all of this.”

The Prince was also forced to retire as Chancellor of Huddersfield University after students passed a motion for him to resign with immediate effect.

The University said in a statement that he had "decided to step down immediately to allow the University to appoint a successor".

"The Duke has informed the University that he continues to unequivocally condemn Jeffrey Epstein’s activities and regrets his ill-judged association with him," it read.

The Duke has also pledged to co-operate with authorities investigating Epstein - opening him up to serious criminal risk.

Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Roberts describes 'having sex with Prince Andrew aged 17' in Ghislaine Maxwell's London townhouse in her first TV interview

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