- Queen summons son to convey concerns over links to Jeffrey Epstein
- Billionaire met Beatrice when she was nine and Eugene at eight
- Duke lobbied for Azerbaijan on MONDAY
Prince Andrew’s convicted paedophile friend Jeffrey Epstein was given permission to land his private jet at an RAF base to visit the Duke at Sandringham.
The flight log of Epstein’s Gulfstream revealed it touched down at RAF Marham on December 7, 2000, before he was hosted by the Andrew at the Queen’s Norfolk residence.
Aboard the jet that day were someone with the initials ET – thought to be Miss Maxwell’s assistant Emmy Tayler – a woman called Kelly Spam, Epstein’s friend Tom Pritzker and an unnamed female.
Registered sex offender: Jeffrey Epstein was given permission to land his private jet at RAF Marham for a visit to Sandrigham, the Queen’s residence in Norfolk, to be hosted by Prince Andrew, pictured at the ExCeL centre in London today
The Ministry of Defence said it ‘routinely granted permission’ for civilian aircraft to land at the base, which houses four squadrons of Tornadoes, and that Epstein had received no special treatment.
A spokesman for the pilots union Balpa told The Daily Telegraph that aircraft could land at RAF bases ‘with permission and by arrangement’.
However, civil aviation authorities called the situation ‘unusual’.
It had been alleged that the Duke’s friend, Ghislaine Maxwell, was on board Epstein’s Gulfstream which flew in to RAF Marham on December 7 2000, but it was later denied.
Epstein and Miss Maxwell are reported to have stayed at Sandringham as Andrew’s guests, before leaving the country two days later on the same aircraft from Norwich International Airport.
Miss Maxwell says the allegations are ‘entirely false’.
‘The allegations made against me are abhorrent and entirely untrue and I ask that they stop,’ she said in a statement released through solicitors.
Billionaire Epstein was jailed for 18 months in 2008 after admitting soliciting an under-aged girl for prostitution.
He is alleged to have used his fleet of private aircraft to traffic under-aged girls around the world for sex.
‘Unusual’: Epstein’s private Gulfstream jet was given permission to land at RAF Marham in Norfolk
Visit: Epstein was hosted by Prince Andrew at Sandringham,The Queen’s home in Norfolk
Entries in the Gulfstream’s flight log reveal he regularly flew alone with Virginia Roberts, who has claimed she was used as a ‘sex slave’ by Epstein from the age of 15. Roberts was photographed with the Duke.
The latest details to have emerged in the deepening quagmire have increased calls for a full investigation into Prince Andrew’s relationship with Epstein.
‘We need to know if there is any official cause for concern,’ said Graham Smith of the campaign group Republic.
Big grin: The Duke of York visits The Big Bang: UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair at the ExCeL centre, London today
‘Given the nature of the allegations against him I think it’s fair to ask if the visit to Sandringham, for example, was all above board.
‘There is a legitimate need for some kind of investigation if only to clear him of wrongdoing.’
The flight log for Epstein’s Gulfstream also recorded an April 1998 flight to Nassau in the Bahamas where Epstein met Sarah Ferguson and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, then aged nine and eight.
The Duchess of York’s name appears again on notes seized at Epstein’s house, which showed that on January 25, 2005, she called his Florida home just before midnight.
The revelations follow the news that the Queen has summoned the Duke of York to Buckingham Palace for a meeting because of her own mounting concerns over the allegations.
It also emerged today that Prince Andrew lobbied for Azerbaijan on Monday this week – despite concerns about his links with the country where elections have been rigged.
He met Mark Field, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on Azerbaijan, to ask Parliament to support British investment in the country, the Guardian revealed.
‘He wants to raise the profile of the all-party group and wants us to make the case in parliament and to the business secretary of the business opportunities out in Azerbaijan,’ Mr Field told the newspaper.
‘He feels it is a Cinderella country that has tremendous opportunities.’
After nearly three weeks of damaging scandal, the Queen called him in for an hour-long summit amid fears that there could be more skeletons in the closet.
Revelation: Prince Andrew puts his arm around 17-year-old Virginia Roberts at Epstein’s house in 2001. At the time, she was being exploited by Epstein, 58
Questions: The Duke, pictured here at the ExCeL centre today, lobbied for Azerbaijan as recently as Monday it has emerged
She is understood to be deeply concerned that his friendship with Epstein and accusations of inappropriate links to Libya are being allowed to overshadow the forthcoming royal wedding.
Andrew is the Queen’s favourite son and she continues to believe his role as Britain’s trade ambassador is important and highly valued.
But the feeling is that his grip on the unpaid role is becoming increasingly tenuous and, if further evidence emerges of his unsuitability, he might be forced to stand down from the post.
Andrew was at his Windsor home, Royal Lodge, on Tuesday morning when he was told that his 84-year-old mother wanted to see him.
The pair normally spend time together at Windsor Castle, where they met on Sunday, and a senior source said this latest summons was ‘extremely unusual’.
The 51-year-old duke was chauffeur-driven to Buckingham Palace and spent an hour with the Queen in her private apartments.
Buckingham Palace: Prince Andrew was summoned to see the Queen in an ‘extremely unusual’ move
Allegations: Prince Andrew has been summoned to see the Queen as the scandal rumbles on
Over afternoon tea of cucumber sandwiches and cake, he was left in no doubt about the gravity of his position.
It is understood that mother and son discussed the impact of continuing negative headlines on the image of the monarchy.
Andrew is believed to have told his staff that he would not be ‘forced out of the job I love’ by what he considers to be a ‘vendetta’.
But a senior aide said: ‘The feeling is that this can’t go on for ever and the only person who could make that clear to the duke is the Queen.
‘He would never resign of his own accord but if his mother tells him that he has to he will.
‘I understand that she asked him if any more stories are going to come out in the next few days. If the answer was yes then his position will be untenable.
‘I suspect he will make a decision in the next 48 hours or so. He must be hoping that a major news event will occur and take him off the front pages.’
The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is now less than 50 days away, yet world headlines are being dominated by photographs of William’s uncle rather than what are supposed to be the bright new faces of the monarchy.
Even tossing pancakes for the cameras in Belfast on Tuesday could not earn Kate more column inches than Andrew.
Aides have apparently attempted to steal back the spotlight, with the secret trip to Northern Ireland, revelations about Kate’s dress designer and even an announcement yesterday about the date and venue of Zara Phillips’s wedding.
The source added: ‘The impression is that all the good being done by the royal wedding is being undone by the scandal around Andrew.’
The duke has been dogged by the nicknames ‘Air Miles Andy’ and ‘Randy Andy’ for years, but the run-up to crisis point began on February 20 with the publication of a photograph of him strolling through New York’s Central Park with Epstein.
The pair had been friends since the early 1990s, but it was the first time they had been pictured together since the billionaire financier’s conviction for soliciting prostitution from under-age girls.
A week later, a second photograph emerged of the duke with his arm around the bare midriff of Virginia Roberts, a 17-year-old who was at the time being exploited by Epstein, 58.
David Cameron has faced calls from the floor of the Commons for Andrew to be sacked as special representative with UK Trade and Investment, an unpaid post he has held since 2001.
Buckingham Palace last night refused to comment. A spokesman has consistently said: ‘The Duke of York remains committed to the role of special representative.’
WHO’S WHO IN THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK
It begins with hundreds of the most famous and powerful figures in the world, as well as their personal assistants, chauffeurs and even their private jets.
It ends with reams of female masseuses, often using first names only.
Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘little black book’ of contacts shines a fascinating light on the world in which he – and at times Prince Andrew – lived.
Ghislaine Maxwell: ‘She was strange’
Formula One’s Bernie Ecclestone, Eddie Irvine, Jacques Villeneuve and Flavio Briatore – with nine numbers including ‘boat/plane’ – are listed.
And royal hat designer Philip Treacy, socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, actor Ralph Fiennes and fashion designer Tom Ford show the breadth of Epstein’s contacts.
Tony Blair’s spin doctor Alastair Campbell is also there, but only alongside numbers for 10 Downing Street, suggesting he was not a close friend.
After the alphabetised list of famous contacts comes the phone numbers of Epstein’s service providers organised by location – London, Florida, New York, Paris, Kenya, Brazil and ‘the island’, referring to Little St James, his private possession in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Among them are many masseuses, including ‘Sonya (speak little English)’ and ‘Tanya (speaks NO English)’.
Yesterday the Daily Mail tracked down one of the British masseuses listed. The woman, now middle-aged and working at an exclusive London spa, was employed to give ‘medical’ massages to Epstein and his ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell at her West London home around a decade ago.
But she quit after five hour-long sessions with Ghislaine and three with Epstein. She said: ‘They made me feel uncomfortable. Epstein was quite pervy. He would always be naked and I didn’t find it respectful. Hints seems to be dropped about threesomes.
‘When I first met Ghislaine, I thought she was glamorous, calling me up from New York. But she was strange.
‘Once she tried to pay me all in £1 coins. And she was very vulgar in her language. My intuition told me the whole thing was sleazy so I stopped.’
Ask your tyrant friend to free my son, father begs the prince
By DANIEL MARTIN
The distraught father of a political prisoner locked up in Azerbaijan has begged the Duke Of York to use his contacts at the very top of the regime to get him out of jail.
Emin Fatullayev pleaded with Prince Andrew ‘from one father to another’, to intercede with the country’s autocratic president who it emerged yesterday is a ‘close friend’ of the duke.
His impassioned appeal came on the day that the Daily Mail revealed Andrew has visited President Ilham Aliyev in Azerbaijan eight times over the past five years.
Their friendship has blossomed despite accusations that the Aliyev regime has tortured protesters, rigged elections and thrown political opponents in jail.
Close friends: Andrew has visited President Ilham Aliyev in Azerbaijan eight times over the past five years
One of these opponents is Eynulla Fatullayev, a newspaper editor who was locked up four years ago on what human rights groups dismiss as ‘trumped up’ charges, after writing critical stories about the Aliyev regime.
His father Emin, who has received death threats for campaigning for his son’s release, has appealed to the duke to ask his ‘friend’ President Aliyev to get him out.
He told the Mail: ‘The government of Azerbaijan is persecuting my son for writing the truth.
‘They have smeared his name, called him a drug addict, and taken away his liberty.
‘All I want is for my son to be released from prison – he has done nothing wrong. He is a good journalist.
‘I have received many messages of support from people in the UK who believe in free speech.
‘But Prince Andrew could actually help my son. He is friends with President Aliyev, so maybe he will listen to him.
‘As one father to another, I am asking Prince Andrew to speak with President Aliyev and urge him to release my son.’
The appeal will be embarrassing for the duke, who has come under mounting pressure over his links to a range of unpleasant characters including American paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, a Libyan gun runner and the family of the deposed Tunisian president.
Eynulla Fatullayev, 34, was jailed for eight and a half years in April 2007 after writing a series of articles critical of the Azerbaijani regime.
He was found guilty of defamation, terrorism, tax evasion and incitement to racial hatred.
Following a challenge by the European Court of Human Rights, the 2007 charges were dropped in October last year.
But by this time he was serving a two-and-a-half year sentence for drug possession, meaning he was not released. The drugs charges are widely believed to have been fabricated to keep in him jail.
His lawyer claims his trials were not fair by international standards. Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said: ‘President Aliyev’s government exercises tight control over free speech in Azerbaijan.
‘Street protests are effectively banned and newspapers can be shut down for saying the wrong thing.‘Independent journalists like Eynulla are harassed and jailed on fabricated charges, and beaten by police.
‘Foreign reporters were kicked out of the country in 2009 and haven’t been allowed back.
‘We even reported last week on two youth activists who were arrested after a Facebook posting calling for protests.
‘President Aliyev should stop trying to silence his own people and start respecting their rights.’
The duke, for ten years Britain’s trade envoy, met President Aliyev in 2005. His most recent meeting was in January, at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He last visited Azerbaijan, where he is referred to as ‘dear guest’, in November 2010 – his eighth visit in five years.
At least two of those visits were private, leaving him open to criticism that he is blurring his public and private interests.
Buckingham Palace has strenuously denied rumours that the duke has private business interests in the country.
A spokesman said that if Mr Fatullayev wrote to the duke, his private office would reply after consulting the Foreign Office.
Tomorrow, activists plan to hold a ‘day of rage’ in the Azerbaijan capital of Baku to campaign for the types of reforms seen in Egypt and Tunisia.
But already, protesters who have advertised the demonstrations on the social networking site Facebook have been arrested.
Leyla, the champagne connection
By PAUL HARRIS
Friendship: The duke and the glamorous Leyla Aliyeva are said to have become friends
Given his lifelong interest in matters cultural and commercial, who could doubt what might first have attracted the Duke of York to Leyla Aliyeva?
She’s connected – the daughter of Azerbaijan president Ilham Aliyev.
Rich – with a plush penthouse overlooking Hyde Park in her international, multi-million-pound property portfolio.
Motivated – the London-educated editor-in-chief of a glossy magazine promoting her country, and a champion of worthy causes.
Oh yes. She is also strikingly beautiful, with huge brown eyes and tumbling dark hair. Even her mum is something of a looker.
Little wonder the duke and the glamorous Miss Aliyeva are said to have become friends while he forged links between the UK and the oil rich Caspian state in his role as a trade envoy for Britain.
The fact that her father has been accused of rigging elections and torturing protesters probably wasn’t their first topic of conversation in a country that welcomes him as a frequent guest.
But neither the duke’s considerable ego nor the 25-year-old socialite’s East-meets-West mission to attract wider interest in her homeland will have suffered during their time in public together.
The duke clearly likes to be seen in the company of attractive young women; Leyla could hardly have wished for a higher profile connection than a member of the Royal Family, until recently at least.
Leyla is married to dishy, U.S.-educated singer Emin Agalarov, whose billionaire father is close to Russian premier Vladimir Putin. She also has a close group of friends, once running up a bill of £300,000 for Cristal champagne at a gathering for a dozen girlfriends.
Leyla, who has two young children, is a leading campaigner for young people in Azerbaijan and has spearheaded a drive to encourage young Azerbaijanis to donate blood to sick children.
For the last 12 months or so she has been fronting a string of London events to introduce the West to the culture of Azerbaijan, once nicknamed the Paris of the East, in the run-up to its celebration in October of 20 years of independence from the Soviet Union. One was entitled Flying Carpet to Fairy Tale, an exhibition of antique Azerbaijani rugs at the One Marylebone venue in London.
Among the guests were Lord Mandelson, communications minister Ed Vaizey, Marks & Spencer tycoon Sir Stuart Rose and Rupert Murdoch’s daughter Elisabeth – her husband Matthew Freud’s organisation was behind the event.
‘I want people to know more about us,’ said Leyla. ‘We have an amazing culture and history. I would like Azerbaijan to become a bridge between civilisations.’
Leyla is said to be ‘a strong mother’, taking the children with her on her travels around the world.
Yet friends also describe her as a ‘society girl’, fiercely proud of her roots but enthusiastically embracing Western culture. She studied Spanish at college and lived in Spain for a year in her teens. She Tweets, and, naturally, has a Facebook page.
Yesterday – just hours after she found herself in the headlines through her links with Prince Andrew, it was updated with flattering photographs of her arm-in-arm with her husband.
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