Royal author Clive Irving, who wrote The Last Queen: How Queen Elizabeth II Saved the Monarchy, reflects on the ominous message from New York for Prince Andrew

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Ghislaine Maxwell found guilty in sex trafficking trial

As the Queen prepares for what should be, literally, the crowning glory of her reign – 70 years on the throne – the last thing she needs is new concerns over Prince Andrew’s part in the depraved world of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.

But that is inevitable now.

The New York jury that returned guilty verdicts on five of the six counts Maxwell faced was not speaking just to a court. They were the voice of victims, signifying that powerful people can no longer deny justice to the powerless.

And that’s the real trouble with Andrew, no matter how close he was, or was not, to the ghastly sex traffickers. Like Maxwell, he has the values of the world he has chosen to enjoy moving among, incautiously and avidly.

The Queen will mark her 70th year

No other royal has associated with such a wide circle of the sleazy rich since the Duke and Duchess of Windsor spent their last decades attracting a grotesque entourage in Europe and America.

Andrew has actually gone further than the Duke could. He’s served as a pay-to-play gatekeeper to provide access to other royals. And, in what now seems a particularly ill-judged step, in 1999 he entertained Epstein and Maxwell at Balmoral, as shown in a picture produced at Maxwell’s trial. That must have seemed deplorable to the Queen because Balmoral is a special place to her.

Jeffrey Epstein and then-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell at the Queen’s log cabin at Glen Beg, Balmoral



Andrew and his lawyers have worked hard to discredit Virginia Giuffre, who alleges she was forced into sex with him in the Epstein-Maxwell menage. This effort seems increasingly desperate, claiming her case against him in the US should be dismissed as she is domiciled in Australia. Andrew has “absolutely and categorically” denied her allegations.

The message from New York is ominous for them.

The Duke of York has an arrogant sense of entitlement, writes Clive Irving



Maxwell’s lawyers were woefully unsuccessful in their effort to discredit the evidence of the young women she groomed for Epstein.

Andrew’s vulnerability lies in the assumption his rank makes him safe, based on his arrogant sense of entitlement, enhanced by being the Queen’s second son.

  • The Last Queen: How Queen Elizabeth II Saved the Monarchy, by Clive Irving, is published by Biteback at £20.

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