Prince Grumpy! Andrew looks glum on horseriding trip around Windsor amid claims he stays in all the time binge-watching TV box sets after Ghislaine Maxwell called him a ‘dear friend’ last week

  • Prince Andrew, 62, was spotted looking grumpy as he rode around on the Windsor Estate in a blue jacket 
  • He had travelled to the estate from his house at the Royal Lodge where he lives with ex-wife Sarah Ferguson
  • Andrew is said to be a ‘virtual recluse’ who only ventures out a few times a week to horse-ride or swim 
  • His outing comes days after Ghislaine Maxwell said in an interview that she feels ‘so bad’ for him 

Prince Andrew has been spotted looking glum in Windsor horse-riding amid claims that he is in a ‘self-imposed lockdown’ binge-watching TV box sets all the time at home and he was called a ‘dear friend’ by Ghislaine Maxwell in an interview last week.

The 62-year-old appeared grumpy as he rode around on the Windsor Estate, clad in a blue jacket and dark trousers.

He had travelled to the estate from his house at the Royal Lodge, where he lives with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, and was seen with a groom on another horse. 

Prince Andrew is said to be a ‘virtual recluse’ who only ventures out to go horse-riding twice a week, for the occasional swim, or to walk the royal corgis Muick and Sandy and his and Fergie’s five Norfolk terriers, insiders have revealed. 

And his days outside have also decreased after his mother died at Balmoral last month. He used to visit her almost daily.  

Today’s rare trip out comes after he was called ‘a dear friend’ by convicted sex-trafficker Maxwell last week.

She also said in the interview with the Sun, her first since she was arrested in July 2020, that she feels ‘so bad’ for him as she spoke to the outlet from prison.

Maxwell, who is serving 20 years for sex trafficking, also said that she follows what is happening to him as Andrew remains under scrutiny for his friendship with her and Jeffrey Epstein, who died in 2019. 

Ghislaine also spoke of her friendship with Andrew. She said: ‘I accept that this friendship could not survive my conviction’ after she was told that the Prince’s lawyers had said they were never close.’

The 62-year-old appeared grumpy as he rode around on the Windsor Estate, clad in a blue jacket and dark trousers, pictured

He had travelled to the estate from his house at the Royal Lodge, where he lives with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, and was seen with a groom on another horse, pictured. Prince Andrew is said to be a ‘virtual recluse’ who only ventures out to go horse-riding twice a week, for the occasional swim, or to walk the royal corgis Muick and Sandy and his and Fergie’s five Norfolk terriers, insiders have revealed

Epstein had been under arrest for allegations of sex trafficking and child sexual abuse when he passed away. 

Andrew was also quizzed over an image with Virginia Guiffre, who was an alleged sex trafficking victim of Epstein and Maxwell.

But Andrew has maintained that the photograph was not real, and has strenuously denied being involved in their sex trafficking ring. 

This comes even after a car crash interview with Emily Maitlis about his relationship with the criminals and settling out of court with Virginia Guiffre for an undisclosed sum after she sued him over sex abuse allegations in her teens. 

Today’s rare trip out, pictured, comes after he was called ‘a dear friend’ by convicted sex-trafficker Maxwell last week. She also said in the interview with the Sun, her first since she was arrested in July 2020, that she feels ‘so bad’ for him as she spoke to the outlet from prison

Maxwell, who is serving 20 years for sex trafficking, also said that she follows what is happening to him as Andrew remains under scrutiny for his friendship with her and Jeffrey Epstein, who died in 2019. Pictured: Andrew on a day out today 

Also in the interview, she told of her friendships with Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. She also spoke of her gratitude to former President Trump, who bestowed his good wishes on her after her arrest. Pictured: Andrew on his horse ride today

Also in the interview, she told of her friendships with Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. She also spoke of her gratitude to former President Trump, who bestowed his good wishes on her 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 big boost.’

She added that being involved with Epstein had damaged those that she loved and said she was a ‘wicked witch’ hate figure because of their relationship. 

Maxwell said that meeting Epstein was the greatest mistake of her life and wishes she could go back and make different choices. 

She also dismissed the photograph, first revealed by the Mail on Sunday, of the Prince with his arm around Ms Roberts at Maxwell’s home in Belgravia, Central London, in March 2001, saying: ‘I don’t recognise that picture and I don’t believe it is a real picture. There’s so many things wrong with it. 

‘There is no original and there isn’t a true picture and there are that many other things besides that I cannot hardly get into… I don’t know how many points there are, but there are over 50 problems with the picture.’

Maxwell believes the image taken of Prince Andrew with his arm around then 17-year-old Virginia Roberts (above) as she smiles in the background is a fake

 Maxwell, pictured with Epstein, complained she has been portrayed as a ‘wicked witch’ Disney character and accused the media of ‘monstrous inaccuracies’

Her association with Epstein also saw her lose a friend in Bill Clinton, another friendship she had valued. 

She described their friendship as ‘special’ and called him another ‘victim’ because of being associated with Jeffrey.

And she acknowledged that he can no longer be called a friend by him and others.  

Friends claim Andrew privately admits his appearance on the BBC’s flagship news programme in 2019 – where he was grilled by Emily Maitlis over claims that he abused Epstein ‘sex-slave’ Virginia Roberts Giuffre while she was a minor under US law – was ‘by no means his finest hour’. 

Though furious allies believe he was ‘thrown under a bus’ and cast as the ‘archetypal pantomime villain’ in the fallout, they insist the duke is ‘philosophical’ about his exile from public life.

Instead, the three years have been a period of ‘intense self-reflection’ for the duke – once dubbed the ‘Playboy Prince’ – who has spent time poring over ‘every aspect of his life’ to understand how ‘everything went so wrong, and why’.

Maxwell was prepared to discuss her friendships with some of the rich and powerful men connected to her and Epstein, including former President Clinton (all pictured together)

Maxwell, who was convicted of helping Epstein (pictured together) abuse teenage girls, failed to deny suggestions that she and Andrew had been a couple

Friends say Andrew, who was stripped of his HRH title, military affiliations and royal patronages in the fallout from Newsnight, has finally resigned himself to playing a ‘back seat’ role and is committed to acting ‘absolutely in the background’ as a ‘supportive figure’ for ‘The Firm’.

However, Andrew is regularly visited by his daughters Princess Beatrice – who it has emerged was the only person in his inner circle to warn him against the Newsnight interview – and Princess Eugenie, and their husbands Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi and Jack Brooksbank. The father-of-two is also focusing on spending more time with his grandchildren, Beatrice’s daughter Sienna and Eugenie’s son August, both one.

It is reported that ‘jobless’ Andrew – who receives no taxpayer funding, may be paid just £20,000 a year from his Royal Navy pension yet recently splashed out on a new £220,000 Bentley Flying Spur – likely lives on the proceeds of the £15million purchase of Sunninghill by a Kazakh billionaire in 2007. It is also claimed that he is being financially supported by Fergie’s business interests, including her lucrative book deal with Mills & Boon, which the Telegraph claims could be ‘in the low millions’.

There is also speculation that the Queen might have ‘added to their coffers’ to keep the duke financially secure and thereby ‘protect the monarchy’.

Yet allies have indicated that Andrew is wary that Ms Giuffre could speak up again, having only been tied into what the paper claims is a one-year gagging clause after the duke reportedly paid around £8million out of court to settle her bombshell sex abuse lawsuit in the US. 

A friend told the Telegraph: ‘He has a much better understanding of the challenges he faces than at any other point in his life. He has a better sense of perspective – partly because he’s had these three years to reflect – to do the work, and to focus on his immediate family. The Duke of York of today is much more thoughtful and more mindful than he has ever been.’

They added:  ‘He acknowledges privately that Newsnight was by no means his finest hour. 

‘The feeling that he has been treated abysmally is held by his nearest and dearest, but the duke’s attitude is more along the lines of: It is what it is.’

Representatives for the duke declined to comment when approached by MailOnline. 

The Duke of York is a ‘virtual recluse’ who only goes out horse-riding twice a week, allies say

The Duke of York speaking about his links to Jeffrey Epstein in his car-crash Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis in 2019

Andrew and Maxwell at Ascot in 2000. A legal document submitted to a US court in January by the duke’s lawyers contained 41 separate denials of allegations made by Virginia Roberts that he sexually abused her when she was a minor under US law, including her claim that ‘Prince Andrew was a close friend of Ghislaine Maxwell’

Andrew has always denied claims that he abused Ms Roberts

Earlier this year, Euan Rellie, a former friend of Maxwell’s, told ITV he believed she and Andrew ‘had probably been girlfriend and boyfriend in the past’.

Asked about press reports that they were ‘like a couple, an item’, Maxwell said she would not address such speculation until after the appeal against her conviction. ‘I have read and seen and heard and had reported to me so many monstrous inaccuracies that I can’t start to pick apart all of them. If I pick apart one and then don’t address all the others, it’s going to say, “Well, she said no to this, what about all those others?” I’m not going to discuss anything of that nature until after the appeal.’

She has been in jail since July 2020 when more than 20 armed FBI agents raided her 156-acre, £800,000 New Hampshire home.

Andrew with Sarah Ferguson in their car just hours after Ghislaine Maxwell gave her interview to the MoS

Bombshell comments by Maxwell about their friendship contradict Andrew’s denial to a US court that they had been close 

Maxwell told the Mail on Sunday in an interview that the food at the MDC prison was ‘truly terrible’ and she was once so hungry she ate Vaseline. She is now in a cell measuring 10ft by 8ft that is too small for her and her three cellmates to all stand up in. ‘It’s very far from a cushy country club,’ she said.

After Epstein killed himself as he awaited trial, prison bosses put her on suicide watch prior to her sentencing. Maxwell, who said she had never contemplated taking her own life, described wearing an anti-suicide smock – a long tunic made of thick nylon – adding: ‘They strip you of any remaining shred of dignity that you have. They have you with no clothes, and they put you in a suicide smock, which has Velcro straps on it. So there’s nothing to protect your modesty.’

The MoS revealed in June that a fellow inmate at the MDC had bragged she was going to murder Maxwell, claiming that there was a $1 million bounty on her head. Maxwell this weekend confirmed that a woman had threatened to murder her as she slept.

Maxwell now works in the prison’s legal library, where she helps other inmates with their cases.

The duke declined to comment when the MoS contacted him. 

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