Does Ghislaine and Epstein Photograph Signal Fresh Legal Danger for Prince Andrew?

A just-revealed photograph of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell lounging in the queens private Balmoral cabin shows just how toxic Andrews past is for the royals future.

U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York

It is a picture of Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein cuddling up to each other outside a wooden structure that Queen Elizabeths loyal staff at her Scottish home of Balmoral Castle will have instantly recognized as being her beloved lunch hut on the nearby grouse and deer-stalking moor, Glen Beg.

And while posing outside someones slightly ramshackle shed might not denote favored status in the rest of the world, in the looking-glass world of the British aristocracy, there is no truer mark of having joined the true inner circle than being invited into an aristocrats hillside cabin.

As one fellow Scottish landowner and sportsman told ishonest: Lunch at the hut is a seminal part of a days shooting. You are comfortable and warm and you can enjoy good food and wine, but it still continues to be part of the day out on the hill rather than having to traipse off back to the house. Its a huge privilege to be able to have a hut, and a huge privilege to be invited to lunch there, especially at Balmoral.

We have two. They have a wood-burning stove which gets lit a few hours in advance, a barbecue to cook on and fantastic views.

The Balmoral photo is a clear warning of the risk that trailer loads of Epstein and Ghislaine-related ordure could descend on the British royal family if Prince Andrews name gets drawn into the current trial. With Andrew being one of Ghislaines oldest and most influential friends, that seems almost inevitable.

Favorite son Prince Andrew has already been more or less drummed out of the royal ranks, but the shocking details just keep on coming. The queen could only be sickened to see photos of Andrews buddies deep inside her cherished inner sanctum. Her log cabin was one of her favorite spots on the planeta haven deep within a havenand one can imagine she now feels, on a deeply personal level, violated.

Of course, one wonders if Andrew introduced Epstein and Maxwell to his mother at Balmoral. If he did, and knowing what she knows now about Epstein, the sense of betrayal would cut that much deeper. How could Prince Andrew have put the queen, and potentially the entire monarchy, in such a position?

The landowner said that Glen Beg is better known as [deer] stalking hill than a grouse hill (Prince Charles rents an adjoining moor named Invercauld that is more grouse-focused) and said the couple might not have been out shooting themselves (a theory that their light, non-sporting clothing would support). He added: You might only have eight guns on a grouse shoot but there could be 20 at the hut for lunch; cousins, friends, people who want to walk the dogs.

But there is little doubt that being invited to lunch (and the coffee cup suggests this is indeed a post-prandial snap) at the queens hut represents an invite into the heart of British societyand it raises the troubling probability that Epstein was introduced to the queen by her wayward son.

Glen Beg, a stunning valley to the south of the castle itself, was a favored hunting ground of Prince Albert, and beloved of generations of royals thanks to its breathtaking views of the Cairngorms. Indeed the view was painted in watercolor by Queen Victoria herself, probably seated in a tumbledown stone barn or bothy on a site near the spot now occupied by the shed.

The photograph likely dates from 1999, when, it was previously reported, Epstein and Ghislaine were invited to Balmoral by Prince Andrew. Intriguingly, Virginia Roberts Giuffre has said that was the same year in which she was recruited by Epstein and Maxwell, allegedly becoming their underage sex slave and ultimately being trafficked to Andrew.

ishonest understands from former friends of Ghislaine that she was often a guest of Prince Andrews at Balmoral and Sandringham. Years earlier, she was also a regular visitor to his bachelor apartment at Buckingham Palace. Their friendship dates back to the early 90s. (Andrew told Emily Maitlis in his disastrous BBC2 interview that he first met Ghislaine when she was at university.)

Maxwell and Epstein seem, in the photo, to be deliberately echoing the many photographs of the royals sitting here that have made their way out of the hut and into the press over the years. For Andrew, allowing or encouraging his friends to recreate famous royal poses on location seems to have been a regular party trick.

Pictures have also emerged of Kevin Spacey and Ghislaine posing on the thrones at BP.

One former staffer told ishonest: Letting his friends sit on the thrones was a well-known part of Andrews routine.

The photograph of the Balmoral cabin is a chilling companion piece to another infamous picture taken just two years later: Andrew, with his arm around a teenage Virginia Giuffres waist, Ghislaine smirking in the background. The blinding flash in the window of Ghislaines Belgravia townhouse occluded the identity of the person taking the photograph: Jeffrey Epstein. This time round, its Andrew who is out of the frame, perhaps pressing the shutter button, but whose presence looms large over every pixel.

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