Andrew avoids Epstein question on first overseas trip since scandal

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Prince Andrew has been photographed on his first royal overseas engagement since the scandal over his relationship with the late paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein.

The Duke of York attended a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Bruges on Saturday.

During his visit, Andrew did not answer when he was asked by Sky News correspondent Lisa Holland if he would cooperate with lawyers in America over his links with Epstein.

Prince Andrew
Image: The Duke of York inspected troops in Bruges in his role as colonel of the Grenadier Guards
the duke appeared to fumble as he laid a wreath during the ceremony
Image: The duke appeared to fumble as he laid a wreath during the ceremony

The duke was in Bruges in his role as colonel of the Grenadier Guards and as a guest of Prince Laurent of Belgium, the brother of King Phillipe.

Andrew, 59, inspected troops and appeared to fumble with a wreath, which he eventually laid with some help from an official at the Charles II memorial, surrounded by photographers and camera crews.

It is the second official royal event he has attended since Epstein’s death.

He returned to work at the end of August when he attended the Dartmouth Royal Regatta in Devon, an event of which he is patron.

More from Jeffrey Epstein

Several of Andrew’s public engagements in Northern Ireland were cancelled as a direct result of recent publicity about his relationship with Epstein.

The duke has been dogged by accusations of a lack of judgement about his links with Epstein, who was a registered sex offender after pleading guilty in 2008 to Florida state charges of unlawfully paying a teenage girl for sex.

Andrew – who was photographed with the disgraced billionaire in New York’s Central Park in December 2010 following Epstien’s release from prison – has denied any wrongdoing.

He was seen inside Epstein’s Manhattan townhouse in a video reportedly shot on 6 December 2010, around the time the royal was photographed with the disgraced billionaire in New York’s Central Park.

The video shows the duke peering out from a large door of the Manhattan townhouse waving goodbye to a woman after Epstein leaves to get in a chauffeur-driven car.

Andrew has said he is “appalled” by the recent sex abuse claims surrounding Epstein and the suggestion he would “condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent”.

Buckingham Palace has also been forced to issue strong denials over allegations made by Virginia Roberts Giuffre in court papers in Florida that she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17, which is under the age of consent in the state.

Prince Andrew and a 17-year-old Virginia Roberts at Ghislaine Maxwell's house in London in March 2001. Pic: Rex/Shutterstock
Image: Prince Andrew and a 17-year-old Virginia Roberts in March 2001. Pic: Rex/Shutterstock

Ms Giuffre claims she had sex with Andrew “three times, including one orgy” in London, at Epstein’s home, and at an “orgy” on his private island in the Caribbean.

Speaking outside a court in New York last week, she said he “knows what he’s done” and “I hope he comes clean about it”.

Prince Andrew, Duke of York, has denied being aware of any of Epstein's criminal behaviour
Duke’s accuser: ‘I hope he comes clean’

The palace said the allegations are “false and without any foundation”, adding “any suggestion of impropriety with under-age minors” by the duke is “categorically untrue”.

Epstein was found dead inside his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in Manhattan on 10 August where he had been awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.

He had apparently just been removed from “suicide watch” after attempting to take his own life weeks before.

The 66-year-old was facing a 45-year sentence if convicted of multiple counts of sexually abusing under-age girls.

Prince Andrew pictured on first royal trip overseas since Jeffrey Epstein scandal

Prince Andrew has been photographed on his first royal overseas engagement since the scandal over his relationship with the late paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein. The Duke of York attended a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Bruges on Saturday.

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