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Royal Family to 'Banish Prince Andrew' from Christmas Events Over Epstein Scandal

Duke of York to be banned over fears of backlash from campaigners, report reveals

 on 5th December 2019 @ 1.00pm
prince andrew may be banned from the royal family s official christmas engagements © press
Prince Andrew may be banned from the Royal Family's official Christmas engagements

The Royal Family is planning to "banish" Prince Andrew from attending official Christmas engagements as the ongoing scandal involving his friendship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein continues to spiral, according to reports.

Royal staff plan to ban Andrew, the Duke of York, from attending the Royal Family's Christmas Day church service over fears of a backlash from anti-sex abuse campaigners, a royal source has reportedly revealed.

Courtiers are apparently concerned that sex abuse campaigners, calling for the Queen's second-born son to face justice, could infiltrate the crowds.

Should Andrew attend official events over the festive period, it would divert attention back to the Duke of York's relationship with the accused child sex trafficker Epstein and away from the Royal Family and Christmas.

Last month, in the wake of his disastrous interview with the BBC over Epstein and allegations he raped a 17-year-old girl, Virginia Roberts, Andrew was forced to step down from public duties.

The duke strenuously denies any wrongdoing, despite mounting allegations to the contrary. 

royal staff fear sex abuse campaigners will attend christmas engagement  demanding justice for allegations he raped virginia roberts © press
Royal staff fear sex abuse campaigners will attend Christmas engagement, demanding justice for allegations he raped Virginia Roberts

Last night a royal insider told The Sun: "There are now genuine concerns over sex abuse campaigners planning to be part of the crowds to jeer the duke publicly.

"They know the world's media would be there and it would end up dominating headlines of the day.

"There is now real fear from officials about the protest turning violent.

"It's more about the further embarrassment it would cause to the Royal Family."

But the source added that the Prince, who is often seen attending church with the Queen, could insist on attending the sermon.

Her Majesty, who has been left "deeply upset" by the Epstein saga, would be unable to tell her son not to attend, the source added.  

It comes as sources revealed on Wednesday that Prince Charles "read the riot act" to his brother in a dramatic showdown at Sandringham. 

The Prince of Wales is said to have dragged his younger sibling to the royal estate for a crunch summit where he effectively retired the duke from his public duties.

Charles told his embattled brother there was "no way back into the family in the near future" after the public outcry that followed his car crash BBC interview.

Prince Philip also joined his sons for the light lunch, which took place shortly before the BBC interview with Andrew's accuser Virginia Roberts aired on Monday.

Andrew faced fresh humiliation this week after Miss Roberts gave an interview to the BBC in which she reinforced claims she was forced into sleeping with the royal.

Sources close to Andrew last night accused the BBC of allowing his accuser to "cry a lot" and protested over the differing treatment of their two separate BBC interviews.

The crisis deepened last night as a new witness claimed she was "feet away" from Prince Andrew and Miss Roberts as they danced in a nightclub.

Lisa Bloom, a lawyer for victims of Jeffrey Epstein, says an as-yet-unnamed woman "vividly remembers" seeing the pair at Tramp nightclub in Mayfair in March 2001. 

Miss Roberts has claimed that she was forced to have sex with Andrew that evening by her alleged sex trafficker Epstein, having danced with the prince inside the club.

Roberts says she was taken as a "sex slave" by Epstein when she was 15-years-old and "trafficked" to Prince Andrew when she was 17.

In his own "disastrous" BBC interview with Emily Maitlis last month, Andrew claimed he "was never in Tramp's" with Miss Roberts, now known as Virginia Roberts-Guiffre. 

He also added that it could not have happened on the date suggested as he spent the day with his daughter Princess Beatrice, taking her to Pizza Express in Woking.

However, Miss Bloom has revealed the new witness claims to have seen Andrew with the then-17-year-old and was willing to speak to Scotland Yard and the FBI.

Ms. Bloom told The Sun: "She says that in 2001 she was at the Tramp nightclub and recalls seeing Prince Andrew.

"It was pointed out to her by a member of her group.

"The woman remembers it vividly. She had never seen a royal before or since.

"It was a very big moment for her — she stared at him.

"She says he was with Virginia, who looked very young and not happy, but Andrew was smiling and seemed to be very much enjoying himself on the dancefloor.

"She remembered it all these years and when she saw Prince Andrew on television a few weeks ago denying he knew Virginia, she was very displeased about that.

"We decided the best thing to do is to go to the FBI and Scotland Yard. I believe her to be credible.

"She is not asking for any money or making a legal claim — she just wants to tell her story.

"She is very afraid but thinks speaking out is very important."

prince andrew attending last year s christmas day morning church service at st mary magdalene church in sandringham  norfolk with prince charles © press
Prince Andrew attending last year's Christmas Day morning church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk with Prince Charles

After dancing at Tramp, Miss Roberts claims she was forced to have sex with Andrew at the nearby Belgravia home of alleged pimp Ghislaine Maxwell.

It was here that the now notorious photo of the prince and Miss Roberts was allegedly taken.

The Duke of York has previously been pictured at Tramp, which has marked its half-century this year.

He met former girlfriend Koo Stark there and was also photographed there with the Duchess of York.

Photographers captured him leaving the bar as a 23-year-old in 1983, in the early hours of the morning in 1986, and with pregnant wife Sarah in March 1990.  

Miss Roberts has previously claimed that during their first meeting, when she was 17, a group including Andrew had dinner and then went dancing at Tramp.

But he told Emily Maitlis in his BBC interview: "I'm convinced that I was never in Tramp with her.

"There are a number of things that are wrong with that story, one of which is that I don't know where the bar is in Tramp's.

"I don't drink, I don't think I've ever bought a drink in Tramp's whenever I was there."

Miss Roberts repeated her assertion that Andrew raped her, saying: "Ghislaine tells me I have to do for Andrew what I do for Jeffrey and that made me sick.

"I just didn't expect it from royalty. I didn't expect it from someone people look up to and admire.

"It didn't last very long. The whole thing, procedure - it was disgusting.

"He got up and said 'thanks' and walked out and I sat there in bed.

"The next day Ghislaine pats me on the back and said, 'you made him really happy.'

"I had just been abused by a member of the Royal Family." 

She alleges that the duke raped her on three separate occasions, twice in the States where, at 17, she was underage.

And Epstein didn't kill himself.

[RELATED] Epstein Victim: 'Prince Andrew Should Go to Jail' for Rape

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