An American school bus emblazoned with a photograph of Prince Andrew and the words, ‘If you see this man ask him to call the FBI’, drove around Buckingham Palace today.
The yellow bus drove through central London and around the perimeter of the palace, putting mounting pressure on the Duke of York to answer questions about his friendship with billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
A banner on the side read: ‘If you see this man please ask him to call the FBI to answer their questions.’
The duke has stepped away from royal duties following his disastrous Newsnight interview which probed his relationship with disgraced U.S. financier Epstein, who was found dead in a New York prison cell last August.
As a result, several charities he was associated with no longer receive his patronage and he was notably absent from the main annual Christmas service at Sandringham on Christmas day.
The bus featured the website address for attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing several alleged victims of billionaire paedophile, Jeffrey Epstein.
During a press conference in New York last year Ms Allred said Prince Andrew ‘has an obligation’ to meet with investigators to disclose what he knew about Epstein.
This comes as the Duke was seen today for the first time leaving Royal Lodge, the Windsor residence he shares with his ex-wife, Fergie, since his paired-back 60th birthday celebrations.
The yellow bus drove through central London and around the perimeter of the palace
The banner on the school bus is urging to people to ask the Duke of York to call the FBI
Prince Andrew seen for the first time since turning 60 leaving his home, Royal Lodge today
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The Duke reportedly celebrated his birthday last week with his ex-wife at Royal Lodge – in stark contrast to the weekend-long party he enjoyed at St James’s Palace for his 50th birthday.
It is not known whether Ms Allred is involved in the bus stunt.
According to onlookers, the bus made its way through Mayfair before it was pulled over by police in Park Street.
One bystander who spotted the ‘weird bus’ said officers spoke to the driver for around ten minutes before the bus was allowed to drive off.
The prince has categorically denied having any knowledge that Epstein was sexually abusing teenage girls.
But the scandal reignited last November when Andrew gave a disastrous interview to BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis in which he failed to express any regret for continuing his friendship with the disgraced financier after he was jailed for child sex abuse.
The prince told the BBC he did not regret his friendship with Epstein, because ‘the people that I met and the opportunities that I was given to learn either by him or because of him were actually very useful’.
He told Miss Maitlis he would give investigators a statement under oath ‘in the right circumstances’.
After a public furore, in which he was forced to withdraw from royal duties, he issued a statement saying he would ‘of course’ speak to investigators ‘if required’.
The fallout saw several charities cut ties with the duke and put the future of his Dragons-Den style pet project Pitch@Palace in jeopardy as major supporters pulled the plug and their financial support.
Andrew was the patron of 189 charities and organisations including 28 golf clubs and societies – who all needed new patrons.
An onlooker said the yellow American High School bus telling anyone who sees Prince Andrew to call the FBI was pulled over by police in central London this morning.
The businessman, who asked not to be named, said the vehicle was stopped at 11.55am in Victoria Street, south London, outside the Labour Party headquarters.
The bus made its way through Mayfair before it was pulled over by police in Park Street
The future of Prince Andrew’s pet project Pitch@Palace appears in jeopardy as yet major supporters pulled the plug and their financial support
The Duke of York, speaking for the first time about his links to Jeffrey Epstein in an interview with BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis
‘I saw this big yellow US school bus come around the corner from Buckingham Gate into Victoria Street as I left work to get a sandwich,’ he said.
‘It was quite surreal to see it in central London. Lots of people on the street were looking at the message about Prince Andrew in large letters along the side. I was trying to work out who had done it.
‘Behind the bus was a police patrol car with blue flashing lights who followed it into Victoria Street and ordered the driver to stop.
‘Two police officers got out and spoke to the driver, presumably to check the vehicle’s registration documents.
‘Once they were satisfied the papers were fine, he was allowed to continue on his journey.’
Earlier this month, Prince Andrew was urged by lawyers to ‘get on a plane’ and answer questions from the FBI as part of a reciprocal deal that would see US spy’s wife Anne Sacoolas sent to the UK where she is accused of killing teen Harry Dunn.
The demand was made in an extraordinary press conference in New York where Lisa Bloom, lawyer for alleged victims of Epstein, teamed up with Dunn family lawyer Radd Seiger in an attempt to break the stalemate that has ensnared both of their cases in political red tape.
Andrew’s much anticipated appearance on BBC’s Newsnight to defend his reputation in the wake of the Epstein sex scandal, saw him admit the friendship with the disgraced financier ‘gave him the opportunity to meet people’
Mrs Sacoolas was charged with causing Mr Dunn’s death by dangerous driving in December but US secretary of state Mike Pompeo rejected an extradition request for the 42-year-old last month.
Nineteen-year-old Mr Dunn was killed when his motorbike crashed into a car outside US military base RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on August 27 last year.
The lawyers appeared alongside one of Epstein’s accusers, a model named Kiki who appealed to the Queen to persuade Prince Andrew to help the US authorities with anything he witnessed in his time with Epstein.
Ms Bloom highlighted what she called ‘eerie parallels’ between the cases that involved ‘everyday teenagers’.
How Duke of York’s annual meetings with Epstein including after he was sent to jail caused Prince Andrew decades of trouble
Here is a timeline of the duke’s relationship with Epstein.
Andrew first meets Epstein, reportedly introduced through his friendship with Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell.
Andrew welcomes Epstein to the Queen’s private Scottish retreat in Aberdeenshire. Andrew later says he sees Epstein ‘infrequently’, adding ‘probably no more than only once or twice a year’.
Andrew and Ms Maxwell are seen on holiday with Epstein at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.
Epstein and Ms Maxwell attend a party at Windsor Castle hosted by the Queen to mark Andrew’s 40th birthday, the Princess Royal’s 50th, the Queen Mother’s 100th and Princess Margaret’s 70th.
Virginia Roberts claims to have had sex with Andrew ‘three times, including one orgy’, with the first encounter allegedly taking place in Ms Maxwell’s London townhouse. Ms Roberts claims to have had sex with Andrew on two more occasions, at Epstein’s New York home and at an ‘orgy’ on his private island in the Caribbean.
Epstein admits prostituting minors and is sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Epstein is released from jail. Andrew is photographed with the disgraced Epstein in New York’s Central Park.
Footage emerges years later, reportedly shot on December 6 2010, showing him inside Epstein’s Manhattan mansion, from where he is seen looking out from a large door of the property waving a woman goodbye after Epstein leaves to get into a chauffeur-driven car.
The duke quits his role as UK trade envoy after the fallout from the Central Park photos.
Buckingham Palace denies Andrew has committed any impropriety after he is named in US court documents related to Epstein. A woman, later named in reports as Ms Roberts, alleges in papers filed in Florida that she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17, which is under the age of consent in the state.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Andrew, in his first public engagement since he was embroiled in the allegations, responds, saying: ‘Firstly I think I must, and want, for the record, to refer to the events that have taken place in the last few weeks.
‘I just wish to reiterate, and to reaffirm, the statements that have already been made on my behalf by Buckingham Palace.’
In April the claims against Andrew are struck from US civil court records following a federal judge’s ruling.
Newly released legal documents show that Johanna Sjoberg, another alleged Epstein victim, claimed Andrew touched her breast while sitting on a couch inside the US billionaire’s Manhattan apartment in 2001.
Buckingham Palace said the allegations are ‘categorically untrue’.
Epstein is found dead in his jail cell on August 10, having killed himself after being charged with sex trafficking.
Later that month a pilot on Epstein’s private jet claims Andrew was a passenger on past flights with the financier and Ms Roberts.
The Sun newspaper reported that David Rodgers said in a testimony released in August that Epstein, Andrew and the-then 17-year-old travelled to the US Virgin Islands on April 11 2001.
Buckingham Palace describes the evidence statement as having ‘a number of inconsistencies’ and said that Andrew was on a different continent in some cases.
Following Epstein’s death, a statement from the palace says that Andrew is ‘appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes’.
Breaking his silence on the issue for the first time since 2015, Andrew then releases a statement on August 24 saying: ‘At no stage during the limited time I spent with him (Epstein) did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.’
On November 16, the prince gave a ‘disastrous’ BBC interview in which he spoke about his friendship with Epstein and addressed allegations of his own sexual conduct.
He faced a barrage of criticism following his television appearance, with the royal accused of a lack of empathy with Epstein’s victims.
During the interview, Andrew, questioned by Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, twice stated his relationship with Epstein, who died in jail while facing sex trafficking charges, had some “seriously beneficial outcomes”, giving him the opportunity to meet people and prepare for a future role as a trade envoy.
The duke denied he slept with Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s victims, on three separate occasions, twice while she was underage, saying one encounter in 2001 did not happen as he spent the day with his daughter Princess Beatrice, taking her to Pizza Express in Woking for a party.
The same alleged sexual liaison, which the American said began with the royal sweating heavily as they danced at London nightclub Tramp, was factually wrong as the duke said he had a medical condition at the time which meant he did not sweat.
He cast doubt on the authenticity of a picture that appears to show Andrew with his arm around the waist of Mrs Giuffre, when a teenager.