Does Ghislaine and Epstein’s photograph signal a new legal danger for Prince Andrew?

ByDavid M. Conte

Dec 11, 2021


Among the photographs published this week as part of the prosecution evidence in the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, one image sent frozen tentacles of terror into the hearts of senior courtiers at Buckingham Palace.

This is a photo of Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein snuggling up to each other outside a wooden structure that Queen Elizabeth’s loyal staff at her Scottish home at Balmoral Castle will instantly take recognized as his beloved ‘lunch hut’ on nearby grouse and deer hunting moorland, Glen Beg.

And while posing in front of someone’s slightly dilapidated shed may not denote privileged status in the rest of the world, in the mirror world of the British aristocracy, there is no truer mark of having joined. the true inner circle of being invited into the hill of an aristocrat cabin.

As another Scottish landowner and sportsman told The Daily Beast: “Lunch at the hut is a key part of a day of filming. You are comfortable and warm and you can enjoy good food and wine, but it continues to be part of the day on the hill rather than having to come home. It’s a huge privilege to be able to have a cabin, and a huge privilege to be invited to lunch there, especially at Balmoral.

“We have two. They have a wood stove that lights up a few hours in advance, a barbecue for cooking and fantastic views.

Balmoral’s photo is a clear warning of the risk that loads of garbage trailers linked to Epstein and Ghislaine could befall the British Royal Family if Prince Andrew’s name is implicated in the ongoing trial. Andrew being one of Ghislaine’s oldest and most influential friends, it seems almost inevitable.

Like Christopher Andersen, the royal historian and author of the new book Brothers and wives, who sensationally claimed Prince Charles was the ‘royal racist’, told the Daily Beast: ‘It’s hard to imagine how things could get worse for the Royal Family, but as the Maxwell trial unfolds, things almost certainly will be. At the palace, they are just waiting for the other stiletto heel to fall.

“Favorite son Prince Andrew has already been more or less knocked out of royal ranks, but the shocking details continue to emerge. The Queen could only be disgusted to see photos of Andrew’s pals deep in her beloved inner sanctum. Her log cabin was one of her favorite places on the planet – a safe haven in the heart of a peaceful haven – and one can imagine that she now feels, on a deeply personal level, being raped.

“Of course, one wonders if Andrew introduced Epstein and Maxwell to his mother at Balmoral. If he did, and knowing what she now knows about Epstein, the feeling of betrayal would be even deeper. How the Prince Could Andrew have put the Queen, and potentially the entire monarchy, in such a position?

While no further context was given for the photo, another source told The Daily Beast that Glen Beg’s hut is only regularly used for filming lunches, so it’s likely that Epstein and Ghislaine were with a summer party which was begins on the “glorious” August 12 and ends in December) or stag (whose season runs from July 1 to October 20). The Queen typically welcomes visitors to Balmoral in August.

The owner said Glen Beg is better known as “[deer] hunt down a hill than a hill of grouse ”(Prince Charles rents an adjacent moor named Invercauld which is more grouse-oriented) and said the pair may not have been shooting each other (a theory that their light, non-athletic clothing would support). He added, “You might only have eight rifles on a grouse shot, but there could be 20 at the lodge for lunch; cousins, friends, people who want to walk the dogs.

But there is no doubt that being invited to lunch (and the cup of coffee suggests that this is indeed a post-prandial cliché) in the Queen’s hut represents an invitation to the heart of British society – and it increases the disturbing likelihood that Epstein was introduced to the Queen by his rebellious son.

Glen Beg, a beautiful valley south of the castle itself, was a privileged hunting ground of Prince Albert, and loved by generations of royals for its breathtaking view of the Cairngorms. Indeed, the view was painted in watercolors by Queen Victoria herself, probably sitting in a dilapidated stone barn or both at a site near the site now occupied by the shed.

The photograph probably dates from 1999, when, as previously reported, Epstein and Ghislaine were invited to Balmoral by Prince Andrew. Oddly enough, Virginia Roberts Giuffre said it was the same year she was recruited by Epstein and Maxwell, allegedly becoming their underage sex slave and ultimately trafficked by Andrew.

The Daily Beast includes Ghislaine’s old friends that she was often Prince Andrew’s guest at Balmoral and Sandringham. Years earlier, she was also a regular visitor to her bachelor apartment at Buckingham Palace. Their friendship dates back to the early 1990s. (Andrew told Emily Maitlis in his disastrous BBC2 interview that he first met Ghislaine when she was “in college.”)

Maxwell and Epstein appear in the photo to deliberately echo the many photographs of the royals sitting here who have come out of the hut and in the press over the years. For Andrew, allowing or encouraging his friends to recreate famous royal poses “on the spot” seems like a regular sleight of hand.

The Daily Beast has previously published the extraordinary account of a young woman – a friend of Ghislaine’s – who was invited to dinner with Andrew and Ghislaine at her Buckingham Palace apartment, where after-dinner entertainment included racing through the halls of the palace with Andrew, seated on the throne and stepping out onto the balcony to greet drunkenly an imaginary crowd.

“Letting his friends sit on the thrones was a well-known part of Andrew’s routine.“

– Friend of Prince Andrew

Images have also emerged of Kevin Spacey and Ghislaine posing on thrones at BP.

A former staff member told The Daily Beast: “Letting friends sit on thrones was a well-known part of Andrew’s routine.”

Balmoral’s cabin photograph is a spooky accompaniment to another infamous photo taken just two years later: Andrew, with his arm around the waist of a teenage Virginia Giuffre, Ghislaine smiling back – plan. The blinding flash in the window of Ghislaine’s Belgravia townhouse obscured the identity of the person who took the photo: Jeffrey Epstein. This time it’s Andrew who is out of the frame, perhaps by pressing the shutter button, but whose presence weighs on every pixel.