Prince Andrew to Prince Charles—Royal Family's Most Ill-Advised Friendships

Prince Andrew's notorious friendship with Jeffrey Epstein is just one in a series of the royal family's controversial connections.

Royal family members meet some of the most famous and powerful people in the world—but they can also be targets for people with bad intent.

Prince Charles and Britain's Most Notorious Pedophile

Prince Charles and Princess Diana became friends with a famous U.K. children's entertainer, Jimmy Savile, who was exposed after his death as a prolific paedophile, rapist and necrophiliac with 450 victims.

A new Netflix documentary, Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story, shows Charles asked the BBC presenter for PR advice a month after the December 1988 Lockerbie Bombing.

In January 1989, Charles wrote: "Perhaps I am wrong, but you are the bloke who knows what's going on. What I really need, is a list of suggestions from you. I so want to get to parts of the country that others don't get to reach."

Savile replied with an action plan and a further letter from the prince confirmed he had shown the recommendations to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.

Charles was not the only person Savile convinced. He was also pictured with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Prince Charles and the Pedophile Bishop

Prince Charles offered support to Church of England Bishop Peter Ball even after the clergyman was given a police caution in 1992 following abuse allegations.

Ultimately, Ball was jailed for 32 months in 2015 for sexual offences against 17 teenagers and young men but only after a prolonged period when his crimes were minimised by a variety of establishment friends, an independent inquiry heard in 2018.

Among evidence at the inquiry, Prince Charles wrote Ball a letter in February 1995: "I wish I could do more. I feel so desperately strongly about the monstrous wrongs that have been done to you and the way you have been treated."

Quoted by The Guardian, one victim, Cliff James, told BBC documentary Exposed: The Church's Darkest Secret: "He kept mentioning his friendship with Prince Charles in a flippant way, [as] anyone would talk about a friend—but he's talking about Prince Charles.

"Here he was having a friendship with someone as low down as me ... The next minute he's dropping into the conversation, 'oh, he's counsellor to royalty'. It just reinforced his specialness and the idea he was impregnable."

Some of Ball's victims were as young as 15 and the inquiry ruled the Church of England played a role in covering up evidence for more than 20 years, The Independent reported.

Meghan Markle's Chandelier Earrings

The Duchess of Sussex never met Mohammed bin Salman and certainly would not count him as a friend but she did accept earrings from the Saudi ruler as a wedding present.

She wore them twice in October and November 2018 even as the world's media was full of early stories about MBS's link to the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The move backfired in the days before her Oprah Winfrey interview, in March 2021, when the origin of the earrings was leaked to U.K. newspaper The Times.

Meghan Markle in MBS' Earrings
Meghan Markle leaves Kensington Palace to attend Prince Charles' 70th birthday party at Buckingham Palace on November 14, 2018. Her chandelier earrings were given by Mohammed bin Salman. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Prince Andrew and the Fashion Tycoon

The Duke of York's most famous ill-advised friendship was with Jeffrey Epstein, but he was also under scrutiny after the arrest of Peter Nygard who is awaiting trial in Canada.

The businessman, 80, will face six counts of sexual assault and three of forcible confinement between 1987 and 2006.

Nygard has been accused of luring girls as young 14 to his Caribbean mansion, where they were drugged and raped, U.K. newspaper The Times reported.

The newspaper reported that Andrew stayed at Nygard's mansion in The Bahamas in 2000. There is nothing to suggest the prince knew about the abuse.

Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre
Prince Andrew seen with his arm around Virginia Giuffre on the night she says she was forced to have sex with him aged 17 by Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. Prince Andrew arrives at the headquarters of CrossRail, in London, on March 7, 2011. Virginia Giuffre/Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Prince Andrew, Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein

Prince Andrew's most notorious friendships were with Jeffrey Epstein and the New York financier's former lover Ghislaine Maxwell.

The duke said he had a stronger friendship with Maxwell who introduced him to Epstein in the late 1990s.

However, Andrew was forced to retire from public life following allegations the pair forced a 17-year-old to have sex with him in 2001.

Virginia Giuffre sued him in a New York civil lawsuit connected to the alleged crime, which the royal settled in March 2022 for an undisclosed sum estimated by experts to be in the ball park of $10 million.

Epstein was convicted of soliciting a minor for prostitution in 2008 and died in his jail cell in an apparent suicide in August 2019 facing more severe charges.

Maxwell was convicted of sex trafficking and grooming girls to have sex with in December 2022 and awaits sentencing in June.

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