Controversial royal touches down in Australia

Holly Hales
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
The Queen's second eldest son Prince Andrew is in Australia on a 'working' visit. Photo: Getty Images

Prince Andrew has arrived in Australia on an official ‘working visit’ as rumours about the extent of his friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein continue to swirl.

The Queen’s second eldest son touched down in Perth on Monday ahead of Pitch@Palace, which will see young Aussie entrepreneurs put forward their business ideas in a bid to qualify for the event’s global championships in London.

Regular visitor

Although low-key in nature, the trip marks Andrew’s second official jaunt down under in less than two years—and comes after his brother Prince Edward stopped by New South Wales last month.

But while the tournament will no doubt find enthusiasm among students, it takes place at a time when the prince’s name is increasingly mentioned alongside that of his former pal.

Just last week, the UK’s Sunday Times reported the FBI was widening its net for victims of Epstein who could potentially divulge information about the embattled royal.

Compounding this is another reported allegation by one of Epstein’s victims who claimed Andrew had been a regular visitor to Epstein’s luxe Paris apartment where a multitude of trafficking-based offences are said to have taken place.

Prince Andrew has always strongly denied any wrongdoing and has repeatedly called the claims “without foundation”.

Prince Andrew is undertaking his second Australian visit in two years. Photo: Nine News

One reason to celebrate

In the same report, the former head of royal protection at Scotland Yard, Dai Davies, is quoted as saying an extensive report into Epstein and his associates’ crimes should be in the prince’s best interests.

“I would have thought it's in Prince Andrew's interests to clear this matter up,” she said.

“Any residue of doubt or innuendo should be cleared up by a clear, unequivocal, structured investigation.”

Amid the scandal, the Yorks have one reason to celebrate—with the duke’s daughter, Princess Beatrice becoming engaged last week.

The 31-year-old royal is now expected to wed beau of 11 months Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in 2020, an occasion both Andrew and ex-wife Sarah describing themselves as the “luckiest people ever”.

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