The image of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell sitting alongside “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey, who has also faced allegations of sexual misconduct, apparently at the Queen’s London residence in 2002, was published by the UK-based Daily Telegraph newspaper on Saturday.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the photograph. A spokesperson for Prince Andrew also declined to comment.
Prince Andrew was a friend of Epstein and has been photographed with Giuffre and Maxwell in the past. In a November BBC interview, Prince Andrew said he had never met Giuffre and suggested that the photo of him and Giuffre may have been doctored.
CNN’s royal correspondent Max Foster said that the throne represents a symbol of a monarch’s authority, and “no one else has the right to sit in it. That would be seen as a sign of disrespect towards Queen and country.”
Sitting on the throne at Buckingham Palace is seen as less of an insult than being on the “senior throne” at nearby St. James’s Palace, he said. No one apart from the monarch has ever sat in the Coronation Chair at Westminster Abbey, as far as anyone knows.
A US attorney has since urged Prince Andrew, who was a friend of Epstein, to provide information to the investigation. Audrey Strauss, acting US attorney for the Southern District of New York, said at a press conference that authorities would “welcome” a statement from the Duke, who is Queen Elizabeth’s second son.
In response, a source close to Andrew said: “The Duke’s team remains bewildered given that we have twice communicated with the DOJ in the last month, and to date, we have had no response.”
On Saturday, a friend of Maxwell told the BBC that the socialite would “never” pass on information about the royal in the Epstein investigation.
Former investment banker Laura Goldman, who said she knew Maxwell after she moved to the United States, said she would “have to” go for a plea deal with prosecutors.
Asked on Radio 4’s Today program if Maxwell would speak about the duke as part of the investigation, Goldman said: “She has always told me she would never, ever say anything about him.
“I think she felt he was her friend and she was never going to say anything about him.”
CNN’s Erica Orden, Kara Scannell, Max Foster and Samantha Beech contributed to this report.