A doting father and his two daughters are relaxing in the Caribbean sunshine.
These never-before-published photographs show Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, with Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, then aged 12 and 11, on holiday in the Bahamas in the week following Easter Sunday, 2001.
They were taken by the Duchess, the children’s mother. Almost ten years after their colourful separation and five years after divorce, the Duke and Duchess of York sought to maintain the cohesion of their family unit.
But all is not as it appears.
Charming as they are, the Bahamian swimming pool pictures suggest nothing of the calamitous misadventure into which the Duke had just plunged; one which would see him — eventually — banished from public life and wanted for questioning by the U.S. Department of Justice, as he is today.
At best Andrew was in the thrall of a disastrous association with a stranger whom he did not then know to be a predatory paedophile. At worst? Well, the Duke is accused of being provided with a sexually trafficked 17-year-old girl for his personal gratification.
These never-before-published photographs show Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, with Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, then aged 12 and 11, on holiday in the Bahamas in the week following Easter Sunday, 2001
They were taken by the Duchess, the children’s mother. Pictured: Beatrice and Eugenie
That girl, now a woman, is Virginia Roberts. She has claimed and continues to claim that about a week before these holiday images were taken, the Queen’s second son had sex with her in the massage room of the biggest townhouse in New York. Miss Roberts was then 17. She is one day less than five years older than Princess Beatrice.
The mansion on East 71st Street belonged to the billionaire Wall Street financier Jeffrey Epstein, whom Andrew had entertained at a Sandringham shooting weekend the previous December. Miss Roberts says it was Epstein who trafficked her across state lines so she could ‘service’ the Duke.
For his part, the Duke emphatically denies ever having had sexual relations with Miss Roberts or any minor. He says he cannot remember even having met her.
But as a victim of Epstein, her testimony has arguably been given weight by the existence of another photograph. This was allegedly taken in London in March 2001, and appears to show the Duke with his arm around his American accuser. She says they had posed minutes before the first of the three occasions they had sex together.
Yesterday, in the second part of a ground-breaking Mail investigation into Miss Roberts’s allegations against Andrew, we set out in unprecedented detail the Duke’s ‘working visit’ to New York and Boston on behalf of the charity the Outward Bound Trust, during Easter week 2001.
We revealed that the Duke and his senior police Personal Protection Officer (PPO) had spent the third night of the trip at Epstein’s mansion, despite Andrew’s denial of having done so during his disastrous BBC Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis last year.
We also proved that the gap in his busy official itinerary — set aside for ‘Private Time’ — could have allowed him to meet Miss Roberts at Epstein’s mansion two days earlier.
It was around this time she alleges the second sexual episode between them took place.
Pictured: Prince Andrew with Melania Trump, Jeffrey Epstein and Gwendolyn Beck at a party at the Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, on February 12, 2000
While on Little St James (pictured) at Easter 2001, sources say, the Duke’s interest lay not in a juvenile girl but in a beautiful middle-aged financier, whose own account seems to support this claim
Today, using sources in Florida and the Caribbean, previously unseen official documents and new eyewitness accounts, we can show that the Duke’s calamitous errors of judgment during this trip did not end in New York.
Immediately after leaving the city, Andrew tore up long-standing official travel arrangements involving Buckingham Palace, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Metropolitan Police — to delay and foreshorten his family holiday in the Bahamas.
This was done in order to follow Epstein to Little St James, the tycoon’s private island 1,000 miles to the south-east.
There, the Duke and his PPO spent 48 hours amid what one eyewitness has described as a ‘weekend-long party’, as helicopters constantly flew in and out with other Epstein guests.
Flight logs suggest that Epstein, his then girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, Miss Roberts, and another young female ‘masseuse’ Andrew had allegedly just met in New York had flown to the island ahead of the Duke. Maxwell had arranged the new travel plans of both the Duke and his PPO, the Mail has been told.
Miss Roberts has claimed that the third time she and the Duke had sex was during an orgy on Little St James that year.
The Mail’s latest revelations heap more embarrassment upon the embattled Duke.
His own recollection of these key events remains vague and, to many, unconvincing. Yet those close to him argue that he was then a single man in the grip of a ‘classic midlife crisis’, who had pursued a string of obviously mature 20, 30 and 40-something women — not a paedophile like Epstein, who committed suicide while on remand in a New York state prison in August 2019.
While on Little St James at Easter 2001, sources say, the Duke’s interest lay not in a juvenile girl but in a beautiful middle-aged financier, whose own account seems to support this claim.
His PPO, who kept a daily diary, also claims to have seen nothing which gave him cause for concern about his principal’s conduct on the island, the Mail understands.
In fact, according to sources, the policeman who was at Andrew’s side for 15 years says he does not recall ever having seen Miss Roberts.
There is no doubt she, like dozens of others, was a victim of the monster Epstein. Nor that Andrew’s public persona is easy to dislike.
His character was shaped from birth by institutional privilege and arcane protocol. He recently told an acquaintance: ‘The first person I can remember meeting from outside my immediate family first called me ‘Your Royal Highness’ and then ‘Sir’. And that was when I was at the age of four.’
Much of the new circumstantial evidence the Mail investigation has uncovered is also distinctly unhelpful to the Duke’s case.
It does not argue that he is a man of good judgment; quite the opposite, in fact.
Yet his supporters will doubtless argue that a man can still be foolish, sleazy, abrasive and entitled — in short, unlikeable — without also being an abuser of trafficked teenage girls. That is something else entirely — and is infinitely more serious.
There is a further consideration. During the course of the Mail’s investigations, questions have emerged about the precision of Miss Roberts’s recollection of some of the alleged events that concern the Duke, not least what did or did not happen on Little St James in 2001.
A SUDDEN CHANGE OF TRAVEL PLANS
On April 5, 2001, a royal aide faxed a letter to Cynthia Gibbs, the Secretary to the Governor General of the Bahamas.
The Mail has seen a copy of this correspondence. It reads: ‘As you may already be aware, the Duke of York will be visiting the Bahamas from 12th April to 18th April 2001. He will be arriving in Nassau at 1648 on 12th April 2001 on Flight AA5315 from Miami.
‘He will be accompanied by his Personal Protection Officer Inspector *****. After arriving in Nassau, he intends to join the Duchess of York and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.’
That same day the royal aide sent another fax to the office of the UK consul general in New York. The Duke was to stay at the consul’s Residence by Central Park on the night of his first arrival in the city — April 9. He would then move on to Boston before returning to New York for a night at what was discreetly described as a ‘private residence’ (in fact, Epstein’s mansion).
At issue was the hold luggage the Duke had brought to America for his Bahamian holiday.
‘His Royal Highness will be travelling on to the Bahamas with (his senior PPO),’ the royal aide told the consulate official. ‘I would be grateful if you could organise for the (holiday) luggage to be moved to the Residence, and I wonder if it might be possible for it to be stored there during the visit to New York and Boston and then returned to JFK (airport) to be loaded on to the flight to Nassau on 12th April?’
So all was set, as far as the Consulate General in New York and the Governor General’s office in Nassau were concerned. The Duke and his senior PPO would be arriving in Nassau on April 12.
Only they wouldn’t, as we can reveal.
The Mail’s investigations show, definitively, that the pair did indeed fly from New York to Miami on that day. But they did not catch the connecting AA5315 flight to Nassau, as was planned.
Instead, it appears that the Duke stayed the night of April 12 in Florida — very possibly at Epstein’s pink stucco mansion in Palm Beach (where Miss Roberts, who was then underage, claims she was first asked to give the tycoon an ‘erotic’ massage).
Meanwhile, his senior PPO flew on to Little St James to conduct a security ‘recce’ in advance of his boss’s arrival there.
It is unclear whether the police officer went by private jet or scheduled flight. But it is understood that the new travel arrangements were made by the Duke’s old friend Ghislaine Maxwell, who is currently on remand in the U.S. charged with aiding Epstein in sex-trafficking and perjury. She denies any wrongdoing.
Documents seen by the Mail show that the Duke followed his bodyguard to Epstein’s island the following day, Good Friday, April 13. Again it is unclear how he travelled.
Logs made by Epstein’s personal pilot, David Rodgers, suggest that on April 11 he flew the tycoon’s Gulfstream business jet from Teterboro Airport, near New York, to St Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. This is the nearest airport to Little St James.
The passenger manifest for Flight 1490 lists Epstein, Maxwell, Miss Roberts, another female teenager called Banu and a 21-year-old woman called Johanna Sjoberg.
In 2007 — some years before Miss Roberts went public with her allegations against the Duke — Miss Sjoberg would say that she met Andrew at the Epstein mansion that Easter week. She repeated this claim in legal deposition in May 2016.
Pictured is Prince Andrew driving to Windsor from the Royal Lodge earlier this year
She had sat on his lap ‘of my own volition’ for a photo to be taken with Miss Roberts, the Duke and a Spitting Image puppet in his likeness.
The Duke had put a hand on her breast as they posed, she said. But this was done in a ‘joking’ manner and Andrew had been ‘charming’, she said.
And so by Good Friday 2001, the main characters from Andrew’s alleged sexual rendezvous at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion were gathered again, this time in a new and more exotic location.
But there is another name which can be added to the dramatis personae: Gwendolyn Beck.
Still glamorous at 62, she is not only an investment expert and author of the book Flirting With Finance, but was once a would-be U.S. senator.
She is also central to the mire of allegations against the Duke of York and what did, or didn’t, take place between him and the teenage Virginia Roberts on Jeffrey Epstein’s Caribbean island.
Last year, it was suggested that Miss Beck — who was 42 in early 2001— may have met the Duke there, based on her name appearing on a flight log and her own brief reported comments.
Her presence on Little St James at Easter 2001 has now been verified conclusively by the Mail’s investigations.
Miss Beck told a New York-based journalist in 2015, in previously unpublished email correspondence: ‘I used to manage money for Mr Epstein when I worked at Morgan Stanley (1995), and had the great pleasure to meet Prince Andrew a few times.
‘After the business relationship ended, I didn’t see either one of them. Mr Epstein was kind enough to donate to my campaign, but I never spoke with him (it’s very common in the U.S. for politicians to reach out to all the wealthy people they know).
‘The Prince was always charming, polite and a gentleman to me. Just can’t imagine this is an accurate story, after all prostitution is illegal in the U.S.
‘If I hadn’t been in love at the time, I certainly would have given the Prince my number . . . actually, is he single now?’
In another email, she said: ‘I can’t imagine the allegations regarding Prince Andrew are true — as I said before, he was a total gentleman.
‘As I remember, he arrived very late at night (on Little St James) spent the next day/night, and left early the following morning.
‘He was in the bungalow next to me, and I heard no strange noises or anything unusual. If anything, he was flirting with me, but . . . I was in love with someone else.
‘We did have a lively conversation that day after the market closed (New York Stock Exchange) — I explained the four things you can do with your money and what a ‘derivative’ is. He said: ‘Brilliant, you should write a book.’ And that is how Flirting With Finance was born (which is why he is thanked in the acknowledgements).’
She explained in a further email to the same journalist why she was reluctant to give them a full interview about her relationship with the Prince: ‘I’m afraid it would all backfire — am too like a character out of a movie . . . And, anyone looking at the flight logs would clearly see I was working.
‘It’s very sad the Press is so brutal to HRH, especially sad for his daughters.’
Sources suggest Andrew was much taken with Miss Beck. She fitted his girlfriend archetype, according to those close to him then: beautiful, buxom, clever. This week Miss Beck did not respond to requests for comment.
THE TROPICAL PARTY BREAKS UP
The flight logbook of Epstein’s pilot, David Rodgers, suggests that on April 16 — Easter Monday — Miss Beck left the U.S. Virgin Islands en route for Palm Beach, Florida, aboard Flight 1491, in the company of Epstein, Maxwell, Miss Roberts and ‘Banu’.
Miss Sjoberg had already departed the island.
In her 2016 legal deposition, she explained: ‘They put me on a commercial flight. I wanted to be home in time for Easter.’
The Mail can reveal that Andrew and his PPO had finally set off to join the Duke’s family in the Bahamas on Easter Sunday, April 15, almost three days after they were supposed to have arrived there. He could be pictured with his daughters in that pool, at last.
The Little St James escapade shows the Duke in a very poor light, once again.
What was his primary motivation in diverting to Epstein’s hideaway rather than joining his family holiday on another Caribbean island, as planned?
Was it the opportunity for business-related discussions as he prepared to take up a new post as the UK’s special trade envoy? Or was it simply a rampant libido?
Miss Roberts alleges that the third and final time she had sex with Prince Andrew took place during an open-air orgy involving as many as eight other teenage girls, on Little St James — not during this Easter break but later that year.
It is perhaps the most shocking of her allegations against him: the Duke allegedly plumbing the depths of his entitled depravity, in the most reckless of circumstances.
But deeper analysis of what is in the public domain reveals as yet unexplained inconsistencies in Miss Roberts’s accounts. Over the past decade she has provided two versions of what appears to be the same event. And these versions differ in one crucial respect: the participation of the Duke of York.
The orgy conundrum: A group of young Russian girls flown in… an erotic photoshoot that descended into debauchery. But the mystery? In one version of accuser’s identical accounts, Duke is centre stage. In the other, he’s not mentioned
On May 3, 2016, Virginia Roberts was cross-examined in a U.S. court, having brought a defamation action against Ghislaine Maxwell, who had accused her of lying.
Maxwell’s lawyer asked her: ‘Again, is there more than one truth, Miss Roberts?’
She replied: ‘No, there’s not more than one truth.’
Not more than one truth, perhaps. But there is sometimes more than one version of an alleged event. And on occasion these versions can seem to vary or evolve into a different scenario altogether.
In 2011, Miss Roberts wrote the draft of a personal memoir. Titled The Billionaire Playboys’ Club, it describes her life from sexual abuse in childhood, homelessness and drug-taking in her teenage years, through being ‘recruited’ as an underage ‘sex slave’ by Epstein and Maxwell to her escape and redemptive marriage to her Australian husband, Rob Guiffre.
She offered the manuscript to at least two U.S. literary agents with a view to commercial publication. Her covering letter to one New York agent, which has become a legal exhibit, read: ‘I am very serious about getting my book published and believe this story will cover many genres of interest, not only by those following the lengthy case, but it is also a woman’s story of glitz, glamour, sorrow, compassion and true love.’
On May 3, 2016, Virginia Roberts (pictured in 2011) was cross-examined in a U.S. court, having brought a defamation action against Ghislaine Maxwell, who had accused her of lying
In another email to a journalist friend, she wrote: ‘I’m bringing down the house with this book!’
The substance promised to be a publishing sensation — and a legal minefield. She named prominent people — including Prince Andrew — who, she said, had taken advantage of her sexually. The allegations were ruinous to their reputations and might even land them in jail.
On pages 96-97, Miss Roberts describes one episode which, she said, took place on Little St James days after her 18th birthday: August 9, 2001. It is worth quoting at length for the purposes of comparison.
She wrote that, over breakfast: ‘Jeffrey announced that he was expecting a few guests coming over with Brunel (Jean-Luc Brunel, a French model agency boss) no one of importance, just his usual entourage of beautiful girls. Russian models this time, and Jeffrey was also having a photographer flown in to take modelling photos using the island as a background for a sexy shoot . . .
‘We were being photographed in next to nothing . . . the more provocative the more Jeffrey and Brunel loved it.’
Maxwell’s lawyer asked her: ‘Again, is there more than one truth, Miss Roberts?’ She replied: ‘No, there’s not more than one truth.’ Pictured: Jeffrey Epstein
She went on: ‘After the photoshoot we did some outdoor water sports . . . I knew it wouldn’t be long before we were all intimate with each other. Being the only girl that spoke English was also a huge blunder. The only way we could communicate was through hand gestures.’
Then: ‘After lunch on the beach, we were again ushered into another part of the island, Jeffrey’s cabana. There was no need for words here . . . Through glimpses in between bodies crossing over me, I could see Jeffrey and Brunel watching us, sitting in a chair with their hands around their penises . . .’
‘The best part is they don’t even speak English, so there’s never a need to keep them amused,’ I could hear one of the men divulge and (I’m) pretty sure it came from Jeffrey . . .’
A vivid description of a sequence of events, recalling detail of participants, locations, dialogue and aftermath. It is the only orgy described in the manuscript.
Now consider the testimony she gave under oath in January 2015.
‘The third time I had sex with Andy was in an orgy on Epstein’s private island,’ she stated.
‘I was around 18 at the time. Epstein, Andy, approximately eight other young girls, and I had sex together. The other girls all appeared to be under the age of 18 and didn’t really speak English. Epstein laughed about the fact they couldn’t really communicate, saying that they are the ‘easiest’ girls to get along with. My assumption was that Jean-Luc Brunel got the girls from Eastern Europe (as he procured many young foreign girls for Epstein). Afterwards we all had dinner by the cabanas. The other girls were chatting away among themselves and Epstein and the Prince chatted together . . . Prince Andrew must have flown early the next morning.’
Pictured: Ghislaine Maxwell wrestles with a close friend of Jeffrey Epstein on the financier’s private island
In April 2015, the Sunday newspaper which had reported her first interview in 2011, published an updated version. Her allegations of sexual encounters with the Duke that had been excised from the original for legal reasons were now included.
While on Epstein’s island ‘seven Russian girls who didn’t speak a word of English turned up with a modelling agent’, Miss Roberts was reported to have said.
‘Jeffrey was so excited. He said: ‘We’re going to do a big photoshoot with you and the girls.’ The agent took the pictures. They were very provocative. We were topless and he had us in sexual positions.
‘Then we were told to assemble in a big cabana. When I walked in, Andrew and Jeffrey were seated in chairs. Jeffrey directed us with hand gestures. Jeffrey and the Prince were laughing. The next day, Andrew was gone.’
All three accounts have a number of striking similarities: the seven or eight Russian or East European girls provided by Brunel; their lack of English; Epstein’s joke about the utility of the language barrier; the provocative photoshoot which degenerates into an orgy. It is surely the same event.
But in the first account, which appears in her memoir, the Duke simply does not appear. Epstein’s voyeuristic, if not participatory, companion at the orgy is Brunel. In the two other versions the Brunel figure has become the Duke.
Pictured: Ghislaine Maxwell wrestles with a close friend of Jeffrey Epstein on the financier’s private island
The Mail asked Andrew’s spokesperson a series of questions about his trip to Little St James in April 2001 and the allegations made by Miss Roberts, but they said: ‘It would not be appropriate to comment on any of these matters.’
Miss Roberts’s representatives in New York have not responded to repeated requests to comment. She has been consistent in alleging that she had sex with Andrew on three occasions.
In her 2015 legal deposition — and a number of media interviews before and since — she states that they had sex first in London, then New York and finally on the private island of Little St James.
But the most detailed of all her accounts that are in the public domain — the memoir — suggests that the third instance was not during an orgy on the island at all, but while she and the Prince were alone at Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico.
If the Queen’s favourite son had participated in such a sensational event on Little St James, why did Miss Roberts not mention it in her manuscript?
Miss Roberts has conceded in an interview that ‘you are left with a foggy memory sometimes, you really are’; and ‘I might be wrong on dates absolutely and I might be wrong on places even, sometimes’.
During the 2016 cross-examination, Miss Roberts said of her manuscript: ‘Just to make it known, this is based on true events.’ She conceded that there were ‘a few mistakes here and there’.
Given that these events are alleged to have taken place almost 20 years ago, mistakes are natural. Memories fade.
Some traumatised people are even prone to what is termed ‘post-event information’ — including media reports distorting what they remember. And legal testimony given under oath is not the same as a memoir. Nonetheless, the variances in her story remain.
ENTER THE BUSTY ‘BRAIN SURGEON’
The Duke’s Personal Protection Officer (PPO) says he never saw Miss Roberts on the island during that April visit, nor anywhere else, sources have told the Mail.
But he did recall speaking to the resident housekeepers, a South African couple. Sources say that as a result of the conversation, the bodyguard felt ‘something wasn’t quite right’ on the island.
In 2011, after they had left Epstein’s employ after his arrest, the housekeepers — Miles and Cathy Alexander — gave an interview to a Sunday newspaper.
They said they hadn’t seen any orgies but there were often a lot of girls there, some ‘very young looking’ and scantily dressed who ‘looked like they had stepped out of an underwear catalogue’.
The Alexanders said the Duke had first visited the island just before they took up their posts in February 1999, which tallies with flight logbook records which show him on an Epstein jet heading for the U.S. Virgin Islands that month.
The Duchess of York and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie had also stayed there, they said.
Now retired back in South Africa, the couple declined to comment further when approached by the Mail this week. Mr Alexander said: ‘We want our privacy respected.’
But a source who was on Little St James at the relevant time, and asked not to be named, did speak to us. They said the housekeepers had been tasked with collating passport numbers and dates of births of guests along with any dietary requirements.
The source said they had found only one girl — a French national — was underage. She had a letter of consent from her parents and was ‘strictly chaperoned’, they claimed.
The housekeepers have not been approached by the FBI, said the source. But investigators from the American Virgin Islands’ government had been in touch with them.
So what evidence is there left to find?
The Mail has been told by former staff on the island that after Epstein was first arrested in 2006 — he was subsequently briefly jailed for procuring underage prostitutes — one of his corporate lawyers flew in to St Thomas, the nearest town, to speak to Mr Alexander.
The lawyer collected all the records of the comings and goings on Little St James, which were kept in official log books.
In their 2011 interview, the Alexanders recalled the Duke of York’s second visit to the island, when both Epstein and Maxwell were present. This is believed to be the April 2001 visit.
But the first visit they witnessed was far more memorable. ‘The Duke came via helicopter with his bodyguard and a woman in her 30s, who said she was a brain surgeon,’ Mrs Alexander is reported to have said.
‘She was tall, bleached blonde and had big boobs. They shared a room and spent most of their time windsurfing, sailing or doing other water sports.’
Shown photographs of several women connected to Epstein with whom the Duke has been linked, the source thought the ‘bleached blonde’ might have been Gwendolyn Beck. She is a financier.
But there was a brain surgeon among Epstein’s female entourage. And as we shall see tomorrow, she allegedly spent at least one weekend in the Duke’s company. But not on the private island.