So much for family ‘rule’ cited by Prince Andrew that one parent was always at home

During his disastrous TV interview, Prince Andrew suggested he could not have met Virginia Roberts at Tramp nightclub because he was ‘at home with the children’.

The Duke of York said he was taking care of Beatrice and Eugenie because his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson was away.

Andrew said he and the duchess had a ‘simple rule in the family that when one is away the other is there’.

He used this as part of his defence against the allegations that he danced with Miss Roberts – the most high profile of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s victims – at the famed celebrity nightspot in Mayfair before having sex with her on the night of March 10, 2001.

Andrew said he and the duchess had a ‘simple rule in the family that when one is away the other is there’. But photographs and reports suggest otherwise. November 4, 2000: Prince Andrew with Steven Spielberg while the duchess was in India

Andrew said he and the duchess had a ‘simple rule in the family that when one is away the other is there’. But photographs and reports suggest otherwise. November 4, 2000: Prince Andrew with Steven Spielberg while the duchess was in India

Andrew said he and the duchess had a ‘simple rule in the family that when one is away the other is there’. But photographs and reports suggest otherwise. November 4, 2000: Prince Andrew with Steven Spielberg while the duchess was in India

However, photographs and reports from the time, unearthed by the Daily Mail, show the duke and duchess broke this pact only four months earlier.

Andrew flew to New York at the end of October 2000 to attend a ‘hookers and pimps’-themed Halloween party – where he was pictured with Epstein’s girlfriend, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.

The duke then travelled to a showbusiness ball at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, where he handed a Bafta award to film director Steven Spielberg on November 4.

He also carried out some official duties on behalf of the Queen. Reports from the time said he returned to the UK on November 10. At the same time, the duchess travelled to India to make a film for the BBC about the floods that devastated the Bengal plains.

At the same time as the duke was travelling, the duchess travelled to India to make a film for the BBC about the floods that devastated the Bengal plains. Pictured: Sarah Ferguson in India on November 3

At the same time as the duke was travelling, the duchess travelled to India to make a film for the BBC about the floods that devastated the Bengal plains. Pictured: Sarah Ferguson in India on November 3

At the same time as the duke was travelling, the duchess travelled to India to make a film for the BBC about the floods that devastated the Bengal plains. Pictured: Sarah Ferguson in India on November 3

She trekked up to the foothills of the Himalayas and was photographed in Dharamshala, the Dalai Lama’s residence, on November 4. Other press photographs show her meeting aid workers at a missionary in Kolkata, then called Calcutta, two days later.

At the time of their trips, Beatrice was 12 and was halfway through her first term at St George’s School in Ascot, Berkshire, where she was a day pupil. Eugenie was ten and attended Coworth Park School in Windlesham, Surrey.

No pictures could be found of the girls during this period and it is unclear who looked after them.

A little over four months later, Andrew is accused of dancing with Miss Roberts at Tramp.

Miss Roberts, now known as Virginia Giuffre, claims she was forced to have sex with the duke at Maxwell’s mews house in Belgravia afterwards. She was 17 at the time and claims it was the first of three sexual encounters with Andrew. The prince denies the allegations.

When asked during the Newsnight interview whether he remembered dancing at Tramp, he replied: ‘No, that couldn’t have happened because the date that’s being suggested I was at home with the children.’

When asked during the Newsnight interview whether he remembered dancing at Tramp, he replied: ‘No, that couldn’t have happened because the date that’s being suggested I was at home with the children’

When asked during the Newsnight interview whether he remembered dancing at Tramp, he replied: ‘No, that couldn’t have happened because the date that’s being suggested I was at home with the children’

When asked during the Newsnight interview whether he remembered dancing at Tramp, he replied: ‘No, that couldn’t have happened because the date that’s being suggested I was at home with the children’

He was then asked by Emily Maitlis whether he was sure of this, to which the duke replied: ‘On that particular day that we now understand is the date which is the tenth of March, I was at home, I was with the children and I’d taken Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party at, I suppose, sort of four or five in the afternoon.

‘And then because the duchess was away, we have a simple rule in the family that when one is away the other one is there. I was on terminal leave at the time from the Royal Navy so therefore I was at home.’ In March 2001, Andrew, his ex-wife and their daughters lived at their 12-bed Sunninghill Park home in Surrey. It is roughly ten miles from Woking, a drive of perhaps 23 minutes.

The 30-mile drive to Mayfair in central London on a Saturday evening might take just over an hour.

The duchess does appear to have been away at the time in question – promoting Wedgwood china in the US, where she was pictured on March 9. 

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