A well-respected former royal protection officer has asked questions about Prince Andrew’s ‘alibi’ on the night he was allegedly having sex with the victim of teenage trafficking Virginia Roberts.
In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, the officer says he believes the Prince may have returned to Buckingham Palace in the early hours of March 11, 2001 – in contradiction to his report that he was “home” all night after he had his daughter Beatrice to Pizza had brought Express to Woking.
Mrs. Roberts, then 17, claims that she was forced to have sex with the duke earlier that night after flying to London by serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
A well-respected former royal protection officer has asked questions about Prince Andrew’s ‘alibi’ on the night he was allegedly having sex with the victim of teenage trafficking Virginia Roberts. Pictured: the duke behind the wheel in 2002
Speaking for the first time, the officer – who had an “exemplary” 23-year career with the Metropolitan Police – remembers how the Duke of York arrived in the middle of the night with the car in front of the palace and hurled abuse to the guards when they didn’t open the gates fast enough.
Crucially, he believes it could have been the same evening that the duke had allegedly had sex with Mrs. Roberts in the home of socialite Ghislaine Maxwell after dancing at the Tramp nightclub in London.
If correct, his bombshell account would shatter Andrew’s so-called alibi.
The officer has not requested or received any payment for his interview and wishes to remain anonymous. But he says he has expressed himself through a desire “to see justice done.”
He has agreed with the lawyers acting for the victims of Epstein, who have repeatedly urged the Prince to cooperate with them.
The amazing claims – foreseen in a statement signed by the officer – will probably also be taken over by the FBI. Agents want to talk to the duke about Epstein, a productive sex offender who abused Roberts and committed suicide last year awaiting a lawsuit against sex indictment.
His account will put new pressure on the Metropolitan Police to reveal all information about Andrew’s whereabouts on the day he was accused of having sex with Mrs. Roberts, 24 years younger.
The force has previously refused to reveal where the duke’s police bodyguards were that day and claimed that the information could endanger national security.
‘AN IDEAL ROLE MODEL’: the Royal protection officer (right) is honored for ‘dedicated’ work with the Met
But the former officer intends to use data protection and freedom of information to gain access to his own schedule and other documents to confirm whether his account is correct.
“After considering Prince Andrew’s alibi with my own memories, I believe that the unlawful confrontation with the kingship could have been in the early hours of Sunday, March 11, 2001,” the officer said.
‘I want 100 percent access to my duty roster for that month. I believe I have the right to know my own shift patterns. ”
Last night Lisa Bloom, a Los Angeles-based lawyer who represents several of Epstein’s victims, said, “We hoped that another witness would come and we encourage others to contact me.”
“I’d really like to talk to the officer. It is now more necessary than ever for Prince Andrew to do what he has promised and to cooperate with the FBI investigation. “
A lawyer representing several other victims also said he wanted to meet the officer and added, “We urge Prince Andrew to tell the FBI what he knows and we will continue to do so.”
Mrs. Roberts – now 36 years old and married with her married surname Giuffre – claims that she was ordered to have sex with the duke in Mrs. Maxwell’s Belgravia home, less than a mile from Buckingham Palace.
This was the first of three alleged sexual encounters with the Prince.
Mrs. Roberts – now 36 years old and married with her married surname Giuffre – claims she was ordered to have sex with the duke in Mrs. Maxwell’s Belgravia home. Pictured: Prince Andrew with Virginia Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell in March 2001
Andrew has repeatedly and categorically denied having had any sexual contact with Mrs. Roberts and gave an “alibi” for the first time during a disastrous interview with the BBC’s Newsnight in November. In a conversation with Emily Maitlis, he said it “could not have happened” because he was at home with his children.
‘I was at home, I was with the children and I had brought Beatrice [then aged 12] to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party, I think four or five in the afternoon, “he said.
“And because the duchess was gone, we have a simple rule in the family that when one is gone, the other is there.” He remembered this specifically “because it’s an unusual thing for me to go to Pizza Express in Woking.” Asked if he was “absolutely certain that you were home on March 10,” he said, “Yes.”
But for the experienced former police officer, Prince Andrew’s statement caused a disturbing memory from his time at Buckingham Palace with SO14, Scotland Yard’s Royalty Protection Command elite. When he entered employment in January 2000, the officer was warned that Andrew had the reputation of being rude.
“For example, he would go with the munchies to Buckingham Palace kitchens late at night and set the alarm,” the officer said.
“We would not be sent to deal with him. It should be an inspector. He would not deal with officers of my rank. The inspectors told us about their experiences with Andrew. I remember it in my head, he screamed sentences like, “I’ll go where I want. It’s my house.”
It is generally believed that the “house” to which Andrew refers in the Newsnight interview was Sunninghill Park, the Berkshire mansion that he shared with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson and their daughters.
It is approximately ten miles from Woking.
But the report of the Duke’s angry insistence that Buckingham Palace, where he has a private apartment, was his “house,” raises questions about whether he might have referred to the palace in the Newsnight interview.
The former officer said there was a period in 2000 and 2001 when women would arrive at Buckingham Palace unannounced to see Andrew.
They include the Caprice Bourret model and, on at least one occasion, Mrs. Maxwell.
The former officer also said there was a period in 2000 and 2001 when women would arrive at Buckingham Palace unannounced to see Andrew. They include the Caprice Bourret model (photo) and, on at least one occasion, Mrs. Maxwell
“I remember Maxwell was visiting once when I was on duty,” he said.
“She just showed up without an appointment, her name was not in the security book and we were told to let her in.”
In 2000, news about Andrew’s friendship with Mrs. Bourret made headlines. In a magazine interview at the time, he said, “Of course I know Caprice, but just because I’m going to eat with someone who is blonde and incredibly beautiful, it doesn’t mean that it should end up in the newspapers.”
Unlike other senior royal households, Andrew said, the officer said, he didn’t want to tell the police what he was doing and resented it when they kept records of his guests.
“He always feels that the police are curious and that we should not know things. We should not write things down about his guests that it has nothing to do with us. “
According to the officer, the most extraordinary example of the Duke’s hostility toward the police came from what the former PC now believes it was in the early hours of March 11, 2001.
The officer, who worked regularly on Saturdays and at the weekend, served at the North Center Gate, the main route through which cars enter and leave Buckingham Palace. He remembers that Andrew left the palace earlier in the evening in what he thought was a green Jaguar.
I want to see justice happen, praised officer for his honesty
As a Royal Marine, he fought for his country, as a police officer chasing armed robbers, and as a Royal protection officer, he secured Buckingham Palace against terrorist attacks.
Today, a man who has served Queen and Country for more than 30 years has chosen to break the silence that is normally held by members of the elite SO14 unit because he “just wants to see justice done.”
Like Prince Andrew, he served in the Falklands War in 1982.
By that time he had completed two journeys through Northern Ireland.
In 1986, after 12 years as Royal Marine’s command, he was honorably fired with “exemplary” testimonies of his “honesty and, above all, loyalty.”
He became a member of the Metropolitan Police and, thanks to his firearm training, joined the first armed response vehicle to patrol London in search of active IRA service units.
After winning a courage medal for intercepting three bank robbers, he was first placed with the Met’s Specialist Firearms Command (SO19) and then the Flying Squad (SO9).
In January 2000, he was chosen for royalty protection (SO14) in Buckingham Palace.
He was later described by commander John Yates – who later became assistant commissioner – as “in all respects an ideal role model for younger and older officers.”
The then Chief Inspector SO14, Peter Prentice, said he was “fully committed” and “all that is best in the Metropolitan Police.”
Although formally stationed at Buckingham Palace, he was also chosen to protect the queen when she took her summer vacation in Balmoral in Scotland. He retired to the police in December 2009.
From Michael Gillard
The former officer remembers Andrew and his bodyguard back in the car in the car. The duke was furious, the gates were closed.
“I remember a car arriving at the north central gate,” the former officer said. “The lights flashed. The horn blared. I thought, “God! Who the hell is that?”
“I go outside quickly and I think,” Damn, it’s him, he’s back. ” It was Prince Andrew. “
The duke apparently used the radio of his bodyguard to shout abuse at the shocked uniformed officers at the gate.
“The abuse started as soon as the lights flashed outside the North Center Gate and it took until the North Arch was unlocked,” he said. “The reason the incident is so unusual is because Prince Andrew was first in the car radio station and secondly because he was shouting abuse on the radio. The abuse I remember was phrases like, “Open these bloody gates, you bastards! Open these bloody gates!”
‘He did not swear, but used crude language with a raised voice. I found the experience small. All my colleagues would have heard it, including those in the control room. “
The duke has been repeatedly accused of rude behavior and impatience. In 2016 it was reported that he rammed his gates at Windsor Great Park with his Range Rover closed to prevent a 1.5 km detour to his home at Royal Lodge.
The former officer, who retired in 2009 with a certificate of exemplary service, understandably never forgot the extraordinary night when he says that the second son of the queen behaved so horribly.
He said: “After seeing the BBC interview, I realized that the abuse incident that I was experiencing could question Prince Andrew’s alibi if it was the same night.
“If I’m right, Prince Andrew would have returned to Buckingham Palace early in the evening from Pizza Express or Sunninghill Park. Then he left, went to Tramp and Maxwell’s house, which is very close to the palace, and returned to his private quarters in the early hours of the morning. “
It is not the first time that Andrew’s ‘alibi’ has been called into question. In December, this newspaper revealed that a witness had come to confirm allegations that the duke was dancing with Mrs. Roberts in Tramp.
And although he claimed to be surprised at his reputation as “party prince,” The Mail also discovered on Sunday that he had attended a birthday party at Tramp for purebred horse breeder Guy Sangster, just 72 hours after Roberts claimed she had been there with him.
The detailed testimony of the former officer raises new questions about Met’s first investigation into Ms. Roberts’ claims in 2015. She filed a criminal complaint against Epstein and Maxwell in July of that year, but in November 2016 Scotland Yard decided not to to continue with an investigation. It is understood that the complaint contained no criminal accusations against the Prince.
However, the former protection officer says that, in addition to his own schedule, the Met is likely to maintain other records that can confirm his account, since the guest and the time they arrived were always recorded in a security book.
“It is possible that people will come in right away, but it is still written in the book upon arrival,” he said.
The duty rosters and any notes or reports written by Andrew’s personal protection officers can also provide crucial evidence.
“Much of the evidence that would prove or refute what Virginia Roberts and I say is in the hands of the Metropolitan Police in its human resources department and the Royal protection department,” he said.
“These include illnesses, duty rosters, annual leave, prior security checks, appointment books from the palace, especially for the North Center Gate. There must be so many files. Everything is written down by the police. “
The former PC said he had informed his inspector about Andrew’s behavior, but was told that he was not allowed to make a formal complaint. “He said these stories about dealing with Prince Andrew don’t go anywhere, so just swallow it. That is why I have not submitted any complaints, but I have never forgotten the incident. “
The email on Sunday spoke with the inspector who remembers the source who complained about Andrew’s behavior at the gate, but could not remember when the incident occurred.
Two former guards of the duke refused to comment last night, just like a spokesperson for Prince Andrew.
The MET said it would consider any request from the ex-officer for his archives, but added: “We are not prepared to discuss archives that we may or may not retain with regard to protection.”
It said that its position on Mrs. Roberts’s complaint in 2015 has not changed since last November when it issued a statement stating that the MET was “not the right authority” to investigate because it “would focus largely on activities relations outside the UK ‘.