Prince Andrew ate Christmas lunch with The Queen at Windsor Castle, but days later the British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of recruiting and trafficking young girls for Jeffrey Epstein
Prince Andrew was “in good spirits” on Christmas Day as he “thought Ghislaine Maxwell would be cleared”.
But just days later the British socialite was convicted of recruiting and trafficking young girls to be sexually abused by the late American financier Jeffrey Epstein.
The Duke of York’s legal team reportedly told him they believed Maxwell would be cleared, and Andrew was said by sources to be in “good spirits” as he ate Christmas lunch with The Queen at Windsor Castle, The Sunday Mirror has revealed.
However, the prince did not join the royal family for the main Christmas day church service at Sandringham, after deciding to “keep a low profile” over the festive period as he “did not want to be a distraction”, according to sources.
Maxwell, 60, was found guilty on December 30 on five of the six counts she faced after five full days of deliberation by a 12-person jury in New York.
It means the socialite could spend the rest of her life behind bars.
Among the guilty verdicts was the most serious charge of sex trafficking a minor. She was also convicted of:
- transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
- conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity
- conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors
- conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts
She was cleared of the other charge of enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.
Her lawyer, Bobbi Sternheim, told reporters shortly after the verdict that “we firmly believe in Ghislaine’s innocence”.
Maxwell’s legal team has since called for a retrial after two jurors subsequently said they were a “victim of sexual abuse”.
Prince Andrew recently missed a family skiing trip to Geneva with his daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie, after his team advised him it would be “inappropriate” for him to be seen on holiday while facing sex allegations.
Hours after the royal party returned home, Andrew suffered a further blow with the publication of a testimony from one of Maxwell’s victims.
TNS via Getty Images)
Waiving her right to anonymity, Carolyn Andriano, 35, claimed Andrew’s accuser Ms Giuffre had texted her in March 2001 to say she was going for dinner in London with Andrew, Maxwell and Epstein.
She also alleged Ms Giuffre, now 38, later showed her the infamous picture of herself with Andrew inside Maxwell’s London mews house.
The prince is currently waiting to hear whether he will face a civil lawsuit by Virginia Giuffre in the US over sex abuse allegations, which he has always denied.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.