Relaxed Prince Andrew all smiles in Dartmouth after flying back to UK amid Jeffrey Epstein storm
PRINCE Andrew was all smiles today as he relaxed on a yacht at the Dartmouth Regatta – despite the ongoing Jeffrey Epstein scandal.
The Duke of York arrived by boat in Devon for the Port of Dartmouth Royal Regatta, which he is patron of.
He cracked jokes while shaking hands with organisers and was heard remarking what a "nice day" it was.
One onlooker said: ''He looked very relaxed and happy and seemed to be taking everything in his stride.''
His appearance at the regatta is the first time he has attended in 25 years since its 150th anniversary celebrations in 1994.
It comes after The Sun revealed that Andrew has flown home from a golfing holiday in Spain for crisis talks with royal advisers.
Andrew has faced continued scrutiny over his relationship with paedo Epstein, who hanged himself on August 10 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges.
The financier's alleged sex slave Virginia Roberts claims she had sex with the prince aged 17 – which he strongly denies.
Ms Roberts, 36, who now uses the surname Giuffre, had her claims against the royal thrown out by a judge who deemed them “immaterial” to her defamation case against "madam" Ghislaine Maxwell.
Prince Andrew released a statement this week condemning his former pal.
Buckingham Palace also said the Duke of York would help authorities in any investigations into the disgraced millionaire.
Andrew said: "It is apparent to me since the suicide of Mr Epstein that there has been an immense amount of media speculation about so much in his life.
"This is particularly the case in relation to my former association or friendship with Mr Epstein. Therefore I am eager to clarify the facts to avoid further speculation.
"I met Mr Epstein in 1999. During the time I knew him, I saw him infrequently and probably no more than only once or twice a year. I have stayed in a number of his residences.
"At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction."
The Duke was last pictured with Epstein in New York in 2010 after the hedge fund manager had been released from prison and was a registered sex offender.
He was infamously pictured with his arm around Ms Roberts at Ms Maxwell's home in London in 2001.
She once again spoke out about the Duke this week in which she said Andrew should "come clean" about their alleged encounters.
At least five women who say they were abused by Epstein have filed lawsuits against his £458million estate after the paedo killed himself.
All said Epstein used a “vast enterprise” of associates to recruit them, subject them to unwanted sex acts and keep them under his control.
He was arrested on July 6 over claims he was involved in the sex-trafficking of dozens of girls as young as 14 from at least 2002 until 2005.
Epstein had denied the charges and was being held in prison until his trial where he was facing up to 45 years in prison if convicted.
A previous Buckingham Palace statement said: "The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged crimes.
"His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent."
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