Ranvir Singh attempts to call Prince Andrew's mobile
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The Duke’s ties to convicted sex offenders Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein were laid bare during ITV’s bombshell documentary ‘Ghislaine, Prince Andrew and the Paedophile’, which aired this week. It comes at a difficult time for Andrew as he faces a civil trial in the US over allegations by Virginia Roberts Giuffre of sexual assault, which he vehemently denies. Ms Giuffre, an alleged sex trafficking victim of Epstein, claims the royal sexually assaulted her in 2001 when she was 17.
A photograph, said to have been taken in March 2001, resurfaced in 2019 and appeared to show Andrew and Ms Giuffre in Maxwell’s Belgravia apartment, with Maxwell herself standing in the background.
The Duke says he has no recollection of the photo or of ever meeting Ms Giuffre.
His lawyer attempted to have the case against him dismissed by referring to a settlement made by Ms Giuffre and Epstein in 2009 which barred her from pursuing legal action against other “potential defendants”.
But Judge Lewis A Kaplan rejected this argument and ruled that the case should go to a full trial.
It means that Andrew could be heard in court later this year.
He is likely to face a further blow following ITV’s documentary where Ranvir Singh delved into his personal relationship to Maxwell and Epstein.
In one instance, retrieving the contacts kept in Maxwell’s so-called ‘little black book’, Ms Singh comes across one name that she describes as “really [catching] your attention” — the prince himself.
She noted: “Obviously, you can’t choose whose address book you’re in, and there’s no suggestion any of the people who were in the book or attended parties were aware or involved in Maxwell and Epstein’s crimes.”
Ms Singh said the names and numbers found within the black book were “vast”, and went on to read the Duke’s entry aloud: “The Duke of York, Buckingham Palace, London is his address, it says here.
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“And then there are numbers for Sunning Hill, Wood Farm, his equerry, Balmoral.
“There’s what looks like a mobile phone number on here for him and I’m going to give it a go.”
The call went straight to the answerphone, with a voice that appears to sound like Andrew saying: “I’m afraid I’ve not been quick enough to get to the phone before it went off to take your message.
“If you do have a message please leave it and I will get back to you as soon as I can.”
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Ms Singh, smiling at the crew behind the camera, left a message on the answerphone: “Hello, I think this might be Prince Andrew.
“This is Ranvir Singh from ITV. We found your number on [Ghislaine Maxwell’s] little black book and we’d like to have a chat with you if you could get back to us. Thank you.”
She added: “I mean, that sounded like Prince Andrew’s voice… Prince Andrew’s voice on a voicemail?”
Andrew did not respond to the documentary’s requests for comment.
The Palace is unlikely to comment on the documentary given that it recently stripped Andrew of his military titles and royal patronages, all returned to the Queen.
He will also stop using the style ‘His Royal Highness’ in an official capacity, something which The Mirror reported resulted in his breaking into “tears”.
Sean Coughlan, the BBC’s royal correspondent, said the move could be seen as “inevitable”, as the palace would likely have wanted to avoid “facing endless awkward questions” about Andrew’s future.
In a statement, Buckingham Palace said of the titles and patronages: “With the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen.
“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”
Several other allegations were made during the documentary, including the number of times Maxwell went in and out of the Palace in a single day.
Paul Page, a former royal protection officer who worked at the Palace for six years between 1998 and 2004, said he first met Maxwell in 2001.
He told Ms Singh: “From the way she was allowed to enter and exit the Palace at will, we suspected that she may have had an intimate relationship with Prince Andrew.
“A colleague of mine remembers her coming in [to the Palace] four times in one day, from the morning to the evening.
“She kept coming in and out, in and out.”
Watch ‘Ghislaine, Prince Andrew and the Paedophile’ on ITV Hub.
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