News World Ghislaine Maxwell ‘sat on throne’ during Prince’s tour
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Ghislaine Maxwell ‘sat on throne’ during Prince’s tour

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Ghislaine Maxwell had a private tour of Buckingham Palace organised by the Duke of York and sat on a throne, it has been reported.

British newspaper The Telegraph has published a photo showing the socialite reclining in the throne beside actor Kevin Spacey in 2002.

The paper said the pair were on a private tour of the palace organised by Prince Andrew for former US president Bill Clinton.

The photo emerged after Ms Maxwell was arrested in New Hampshire on Thursday (local time) over allegations she helped disgraced US financier Jeffrey Epstein, her former boyfriend, “identify, befriend and groom” girls, including one as young as 14.

The Telegraph said it was not thought that Epstein was on the palace tour when the picture was taken.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment.

Meanwhile, the duke has been urged to provide information in relation to the investigation after his friend Maxwell appeared in court accused of facilitating Epstein’s sexual exploitation of underage girls.

Audrey Strauss, acting US attorney for the southern district of New York, told a press conference that authorities would “welcome” a statement from the duke.

But a source close to Andrew said: “The duke’s team remains bewildered given that we have twice communicated with the Department of Justice in the last month and to date we have had no response.”

Lawyers for some of Epstein’s alleged victims on Friday added pressure on Andrew to speak about his friendship with Epstein, who took his own life in prison last year while awaiting trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.

Spencer Coogan said his clients were “relieved” that Ms Maxwell, daughter of late media mogul Robert Maxwell, had finally been arrested and urged Andrew to speak up about what he witnessed while visiting Epstein’s properties in New York, Palm Beach and the Virgin Islands.

One of Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Giuffre, claims she had sex with the duke at the socialite’s London townhouse in 2001.

Ms Maxwell, who has known Andrew since university and introduced him to Epstein, features in the background of a picture which apparently shows the duke with his arm around Ms Giuffre, also known as Virginia Roberts.

Prince Andrew categorically denies he had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Ms Giuffre.

Andrew’s lawyers say they are “utterly bewildered” by US prosecutors urging him to cooperate with an investigation into his involvement, insisting the duke has repeatedly offered to provide a witness statement.

-with agencies