Prince Andrew waved thankfully to the pedestrians today, who stepped aside to let his Range Rover through as the fallout from the interview with Ghislaine Maxwell continued.
The disgraced Duke, 62, was all smiles when he was spotted again in his Range Rover driving into Windsor.
As he continued down the stretch, the way forward was blocked by two walkers who had no idea he was behind them.
But they eventually stopped him and stepped aside, leading to a wide smile and wave from under fire Andrew.
The Royal, who was later seen grinning on a horse, looked ashen yesterday when he was seen with ex-wife Sarah Ferguson — hours after Jeffrey Epstein’s conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell called him a “best friend.”
Her amazing comments — in an exclusive in-prison interview with The Mail on Sunday — contradict Andrew telling a US court they hadn’t been close.
And both the Duke and Duchess of York looked gloomy when seen in public by Windsor the day after Sarah’s birthday.
The comments from Maxwell, 60 – a convicted sex trafficker described in court as an “advanced predator” – dealt a devastating blow to the Duke’s hopes of returning to public life.
He’s behind you! Hikers in Windsor get a surprise when Prince Andrew appears behind the wheel during their walk
Andrew, who was wearing a burgundy pullover, at one point looked distressed as his Range Rover journey continued today
But the two members of the public ran away from the roadway to allow the Prince safe passage in his 4×4″
The gentleman who said goodbye to the prince was treated to a wave and a smile from the royal and his male companion
Back in the saddle: Prince Andrew smiles on a horse as he enjoys the thrill of another riding session
Maxwell, who was convicted of helping Epstein abuse teenage girls, ignored the suggestion that she and Andrew had been a couple, stating, “I care about him.”
Her comments come as the MoS today unveiled a new photo of the disgraced former socialite taken this year at New York’s Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) before she was transferred to a Florida jail to face her 20-year-old. to serve a year in prison.
Andrew was stripped of his military titles and royal patronage in January when he fought allegations that he abused Mrs. Roberts, one of Epstein’s victims, as a teenager in London, Manhattan and the US Virgin Islands.
He has repeatedly and vehemently denied the allegations. He settled out of court with Mrs. Roberts, who now uses her married name Giuffre, for an undisclosed amount, but did not plead guilty.
A legal document presented to a US court by the Duke’s lawyers in January contained 41 separate denials of allegations by Ms. Roberts, including her claim that “Prince Andrew was a close friend of Ghislaine Maxwell.”
But in her MoS interview, Maxwell spoke in glowing terms about her friendship with the Duke. “I feel so sorry for him,” said the disgraced former socialite, who has known Andrew since attending Oxford University in the 1980s.
“Yes, I follow what’s happening to him. He pays such a price for the association [with Jeffrey Epstein]. I consider him a dear friend…I care about him.’
Prince Andrew with Sarah Ferguson in their car on Sunday afternoon, just hours after Ghislaine gave her interview
The pair looked incredibly serious as they drove the Range Rover through beautiful Windsor the day after Sarah’s birthday
Ghislaine Maxwell stares at the camera at Brooklyn Prison, as revealed yesterday in the exclusive Mail on Sunday
Maxwell believes the photo taken of Prince Andrew with his arm around then 17-year-old Virginia Roberts (above) laughing in the background is fake
Maxwell, who was convicted of helping Epstein (pictured together) abuse teenage girls, denied the suggestion that she and Andrew had been a couple
Maxwell was willing to discuss her friendships with some of the rich and powerful men associated with her and Epstein, including former President Clinton (all pictured together)
Maxwell’s bombshell comments about their friendship contradict Andrew’s denial in a US court that they had been close
Prince Andrew has always denied allegations that he abused Virginia Roberts, one of Epstein’s victims, but has settled with her
Asked about the denial by Andrew’s lawyers that they were close friends, Maxwell said, “I accept that this friendship would not survive my conviction.”
She dismissed a photo, first revealed by this newspaper, of the Prince with his arm around Mrs Roberts at Maxwell’s home in Belgravia, central London, in March 2001, saying: ‘I don’t recognize that photo and I don’t believe it. is a real photo. There are so many things wrong with it. There is no original and there is no real image and there are so many other things I can’t think of… I don’t know how many points there are, but there are more than 50 problems with the photo.”
Earlier this year, Euan Rellie, a former friend of Maxwell’s, told ITV that he believed she and Andrew were “probably girlfriend and boyfriend in the past.”
Asked about press reports that they were “as a couple, an item,” Maxwell said she would not comment on such speculation until after the appeal against her conviction. “I’ve read and seen and heard so many monstrous inaccuracies and reported that I can’t pull them all apart. If I take one apart and then don’t address everyone else, it will say, “Well, she said no to this one, and all the others?” I’m not going to talk about that until after the appeal.’
She has been in prison since July 2020 when more than 20 armed FBI agents raided her 156-acre, £800,000 home in New Hampshire.
Maxwell, pictured with Epstein, complained that she was portrayed as a ‘wicked witch’ Disney character and accused the media of ‘monstrous inaccuracies’
The MoS interviewed her in the MDC on June 22 of this year, six days before she was sentenced and weeks later after she was transferred to the Federal Correctional Institution in Tallahassee, a low-security prison in Florida.
She was willing to discuss her friendships with some of the rich and powerful men associated with her and Epstein, including former President Clinton.
“It was a special friendship that lasted through the years,” she said of Clinton. “We had a lot in common. I feel bad that he is another victim just because of his association [with Epstein].’
She also expressed her gratitude to former President Trump for wishing her well after her arrest.
“I was very grateful when he wished me well. He got bad media for it, but he dared while others didn’t. It gave me a huge boost.’
Maxwell said the food at the MDC was “really awful” and that she was once so hungry that she ate petroleum jelly. She is now in a 3-meter by 2-meter cell that is too small for her and her three cellmates to all stand up. “It’s far from a fun country club,” she said.
After Epstein committed suicide while awaiting trial, prison officers put her on suicide watch prior to her sentencing. Maxwell, who said she’d never contemplated suicide, described wearing an anti-suicide smock—a long tunic made of thick nylon—and added, “They rob you of whatever dignity you have left. They have you without clothes, and they put you in a suicide smock with Velcro on it. So there’s nothing to protect your modesty.’
The MoS revealed in June that a fellow inmate of the MDC had bragged that she was going to kill Maxwell and claimed there was a $1 million bounty on her head. Maxwell confirmed this weekend that a woman had threatened to kill her while she was sleeping.
Maxwell now works in the prison law library, helping other inmates with their cases.
Prince Andrew declined to comment last night.