Prince Andrew's disappearing act: Duke deletes his Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as he lowers profile after being stripped of royal patronages and use of HRH title

  • Prince Andrew's @thedukeofyork Twitter account is not available today having still been live yesterday
  • Armed Forces Minister James Heappey slams Andrew saying 'his associations are horrifically ill-advised'
  • Queen removed Andrew's honorary military roles last Thursday and he gave up his use of the HRH style
  • It comes after revelations in ITV documentary last night including from ex-girlfriend Lady Victoria Hervey

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Prince Andrew's Twitter account has been deleted and a Government Minister slammed his 'horrifically ill-advised associations' as pressure intensified on the Queen's son one week after she removed his honorary military roles.

Social media users visiting the Duke of York's official Twitter page @thedukeofyork today were greeted with a message saying 'this account doesn't exist - try searching for another' just hours after it was still live yesterday.

The Duke's Facebook and Instagram accounts - which both have the handle @hrhthedukeofyork - were still live this morning, six days after Andrew lost his titles and gave up his use of the HRH style last Thursday.

However a source close to Andrew told MailOnline today that all of his social media channels had now been removed and were no longer live, but some of them were taking longer to filter through. The source said: 'The changes have been made to reflect the recent statement from Buckingham Palace regarding The Duke of York.' 

It comes after a series of revelations in an ITV documentary last night which saw his ex-girlfriend Lady Victoria Hervey claim Jeffery Epstein and former US president Bill Clinton 'were like brothers' and 'loved' being around him.

And Lady Victoria, the 45-year-old former 'It Girl', also said Ghislaine Maxwell used her as 'bait' to entertain Epstein's friends, adding that the US paedophile and financier had Maxwell 'sort of go fishing' for girls for him. 

The documentary on at 9pm yesterday also aired allegations by former royal protection officer Paul Page that Andrew's love of his soft toy collection meant he would throw a tantrum if the teddy bears were moved.

Mr Page said a laminated picture of his toys was kept in a drawer to help household staff properly place them on his bed – and he would 'shout and scream and become verbally abusive' if they were not put back correctly.

Two of those speaking on the programme - viewed by a peak of 3.3million viewers - suggested Andrew and Maxwell were so comfortable around each other they gave the impression they had been in a relationship.

Euan Rellie, who socialised with Maxwell, told the documentary: 'I got the sense that Prince Andrew and Ghislaine had probably been boyfriend and girlfriend in the past. They had an easy warmth around each other.'

And Mr Page, who said he believes he first met Maxwell in 2001, added: 'From the way she was allowed to enter and exit the palace, go in and out, we thought she was having an intimate relationship with Prince Andrew.'

Andrew, who was born an HRH, will not use the style in any official capacity, and was also stripped last week of his remaining royal patronages in a decision which represented the Duke's complete removal from official royal life. 

Social media users visiting the Duke of York's official Twitter page @thedukeofyork today were greeted with a message saying 'this account doesn't exist - try searching for another' (left) just hours after it was still live yesterday (right, as it appeared)

Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts stand together with Ghislaine Maxwell in the background in London on March 13, 2001

The Duke's Facebook and Instagram accounts - which both have the handle @hrhthedukeofyork - were still live this morning, but a source close to Andrew told MailOnline today that they had been removed but were taking longer to filter through

Armed Forces Minister James Heappey told LBC today that the associations kept by Andrew were 'horrifically ill-advised'

The Queen's dramatic move came one day after the lawsuit against Andrew in New York took a big step forward when a judge threw out his motion to dismiss the sexual assault case against him and ruled it can go to trial.

Speaking about Andrew on LBC radio today, Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said: 'He is out of public view. 

Special Jubilee medal awarded to Prince Harry, Meghan and Andrew 

Prince Harry, Meghan and Prince Andrew are set to be awarded special Platinum Jubilee medals by the Queen next month.

The commemorative medals are also being presented to frontline staff at the police, fire and emergency services who have completed five years' service, as a token of thanks. Members of the royal household with one year of qualifying service will receive medals too.

Prince Andrew next to Harry and Meghan on the Buckingham Palace balcony in 2019. Also pictured (front) are the Queen (left), James, Viscount Severn and Isla Philips (both right)

But as with previous jubilees, the Queen will pay privately for medals to be given to members of her 'wider' family, both working and non-working.

And this year the non-working number will include Andrew, Harry and Meghan. The Duke of York was forced to relinquish his remaining royal roles and stop using his HRH title last week as he faces his US sex case as a 'private citizen'.

Harry and Meghan, who quit as working royals and moved to the US in pursuit of lucrative commercial careers while repeatedly criticising the Royal Family, will also be awarded medals as a matter of course.

A royal source said: 'In common with previous jubilees, it is likely that wider members of the Royal Family would receive the Platinum Jubilee medal... they are funded privately and are commemorative.'

It is understood that Andrew, Harry and Meghan would be entitled to wear their medals with 'civilian dress' if they are invited to an event where the dress code says 'decorations'.

But the Queen may not be able to award Harry and Meghan's medals in person. Harry is threatening to seek a judicial review of a Home Office decision not to allow him to pay for police protection while in Britain.

Without this security, he feels unable to travel to the UK, a spokesman said. The medals will also go to frontline prison and Armed Forces staff, as well as living individual recipients of the George and Victoria Cross.

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'My personal reflection is his associations are horrifically ill-advised and he has caused enormous challenges for the Royal Family in a year when we should be celebrating the extraordinary service of Her Majesty the Queen as she reaches her Platinum Jubilee. 

'But I'm also a Minister of the Crown and it would not be appropriate for me to give any further comment that might risk being too colourful.'

It comes as Lady Victoria told yesterday how Maxwell used her as 'bait' to entertain Epstein's friends. The socialite and model, who dated Andrew in her early twenties, said the US paedophile and financier had Maxwell 'sort of go fishing' for girls for him.

The 45-year-old former 'It Girl', who is the daughter of the 6th Marquess of Bristol, first met the pair 20 years ago when she said she was 'young and naive'.

On the ITV documentary last night called 'Ghislaine, Prince Andrew And The Paedophile', Lady Victoria spoke about the relationship between Epstein and Mr Clinton, who was photographed on a number of occasions with the paedophile, and is reported to have flown on his private jet at least nine times.

She said: 'Clinton was definitely very close to Jeffrey. I don't know if you saw the paintings that were in Jeffrey Epstein's house? One of them being a portrait of Bill Clinton wearing the dress that Monica Lewinsky wore when they had the affair.

'So yeah, he was super close to Jeffrey Epstein. They were like brothers, you know, and he was close to Ghislaine as well,' the socialite said. 

In 2010, Maxwell was a guest at the wedding of Chelsea Clinton, Bill Clinton's daughter. The former president denies being close with Epstein. 

Andrew is accused of having sex with Virginia Giuffre when she was a teenager, then called Virginia Roberts, who claims she was trafficked by Epstein and Maxwell. The Duke strenuously denies the accusations.

When asked by presenter Ranvir Singh what she thought Epstein and Maxwell wanted from their friendship with Andrew, Lady Victoria said: 'Prince Andrew was the son of the queen of England. Americans love that. Jeffery loved that. Bill Clinton loved that.'

She also said of Epstein and Maxwell: 'It was kind of like Batman and Robin – they were a double act. I don't think Jeffrey could have done any of it without Ghislaine.'

Ms Singh asked her: 'And Ghislaine was crucial to getting those girls, was she, do you think, to those dinners?'

Lady Victoria replied: 'He just kind of sat back and sort of waited for her to sort of go fishing and go find however many girls were needed to entertain his friends. I was pretty much used as bait. Looking back, I was really young and naive.'

Maxwell, 60, was found guilty of facilitating the sexual abuse of schoolgirls at a New York trial last month. 

She will be sentenced on June 28 and faces a prison term of up to 65 years. 

Epstein, 66, killed himself in a Manhattan jail in 2019 while awaiting trial.

Lady Victoria also appeared on ITV's Lorraine yesterday and suggested that Maxwell was initially a victim of Epstein but later became an accomplice. 

Prince Andrew is said to have visited Jeffrey Epstein at a number of the billionaire's residences - including Epstein's island of Little St James - and his name is recorded on the flight logs of Epstein's private jet that become known as the Lolita Express

Epstein's luxury home on his island - Little St James - where Virginia Giuffre, previously known as Virginia Roberts, alleges the Duke of York sexually abused her. Prince Andrew denies all the allegations made against him

Lady Victoria Hervey and Ghislaine Maxwell in Hollywood in February 2004. Lady Victoria first met her about 20 years ago

Lady Victoria Hervey (looking towards the camera) stands near Prince Andrew (left) at a party in London in January 2002

She added: 'She is a scapegoat right now, so unfortunately for her, she is being taken down for what he has done as well.'

Maxwell used me as bait for Epstein, says ex-It Girl 

Lady Victoria Hervey told yesterday how Ghislaine Maxwell used her as 'bait' to entertain Jeffrey Epstein's friends.

The socialite and model, who dated Prince Andrew in her early twenties, said the US paedophile and financier had Maxwell 'sort of go fishing' for girls for him.

The 45-year-old former 'It Girl', who is the daughter of the 6th Marquess of Bristol, first met the pair 20 years ago when she said she was 'young and naive'.

Prince Andrew's ex-girlfriend Lady Victoria Hervey appears in 'Ghislaine, Prince Andrew and the Paedophile' on ITV last night

On an ITV documentary last night, Lady Victoria said: 'It was kind of like Batman and Robin – they were a double act. I don't think Jeffrey could have done any of it without Ghislaine.'

Presenter Ranvir Singh asked her: 'And Ghislaine was crucial to getting those girls, was she, do you think, to those dinners?'

Lady Victoria replied: 'He just kind of sat back and sort of waited for her to sort of go fishing and go find however many girls were needed to entertain his friends. I was pretty much used as bait. Looking back, I was really young and naive.' 

Lady Victoria also appeared on ITV's Lorraine yesterday and suggested that Maxwell was initially a victim of Epstein but later became an accomplice. She added: 'She is a scapegoat right now, so unfortunately for her, she is being taken down for what he has done as well.'

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Meanwhile the Grenadier Guards greeted the news that Andrew had lost his honorary role as their colonel with 'three cheers' for the Queen.

After Buckingham Palace announced the decision to strip the Duke of his military affiliations, the regiment's ceremonial commander Roly Walker confirmed the position had 'returned to Her Majesty with immediate effect'.

Lieutenant General Walker said in an email sent to all troops: 'I am sure you will offer a personal 'Three Cheers' for the colonel, an appointment she first held in 1942, 80 years to the day on February 24 this year.'

Andrew, 61, inherited the role with the Grenadier Guards from his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, when he retired from public life in 2017.

It was one of the positions that he clung to when he first stepped back from official duties in 2019. But there were repeated reports that officers felt 'uncomfortable' at having to drink to Andrew's health at the end of regimental dinners.

Lt Gen Walker also said in his email: 'Buckingham Palace have informed me that in due course the colonelcy, along with the duke's other titles and affiliations, will be reallocated to another member of the Royal Family.'

He added that he would write to Andrew 'to thank him for his time as colonel'.

Formed in 1656 by Charles II, the Grenadier Guards have fought in almost every major campaign of the British Army, including the Napoleonic, Crimean, Boer, First and Second World Wars.

York Racecourse yesterday confirmed it will rebrand one of its most historic events, the Duke of York Stakes, in a bid to distance itself from Andrew.

The six-furlong sprint was first staged in 1895 and derives its name from Prince George, Duke of York, who became George V.

The racecourse's head of marketing and sponsorship, James Brennan, said: 'It has never been directly about Prince Andrew. However, we are going to explore how we can make the name a lot clearer about its history – and that the name refers to an entirely different Duke of York.'

Andrew was a patron of the course, and a regular attendee at flagship fixtures, until he relinquished the role in 2019.

The prince has now been forced to withdraw entirely from public life in the wake of his association with disgraced paedophile Epstein and his sex trafficker girlfriend, Maxwell.

Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre claims she was lent out by the pair and forced to have sex with Andrew three times when she was 17. She is now suing him for rape and sexual assault in a civil court.

The prince has always vehemently denied the claims. He was last week forced by the Queen to hand back all his royal privileges in order to fight the US case as a 'private citizen'.

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