After photos of Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein's alleged accomplice, sitting alongside Kevin Spacey on Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's thrones in Buckingham Palace were published in The Telegraph, many people wondered how two non-royals got the chance to get a photo op while sitting on historical artifacts. It's one more connection between Epstein and Prince Andrew — People reports that he's the one that set up Maxwell and Spacey's private tour of the palace.
People explains that Andrew reportedly arranged for the duo to have a tour back in 2002, though the publication notes that it's unclear whether or not Andrew knew what was happening or if he was present for the photo in the throne room. Like Maxwell, Spacey has been associated with accusations of sexual assault. Spacey pleaded not guilty and ultimately, the criminal case was dismissed. Maxwell was arrested on July 2 "for her role in the sexual exploitation and abuse of multiple minor girls by Jeffrey Epstein," The Telegraph reports.
"You don't see this hardly ever, if ever," Michelle Tauber, People's Senior Editor, said in an episode of the magazine's video series, The Royal Report.
Tauber goes on to say that the thrones are strictly for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip and that Maxwell and Spacey's actions are understandably drawing questions. While the thrones are something visitors can admire, sitting on them is something else entirely.
"These are chairs — thrones — that would be roped off with the proverbial red velvet rope that you're picturing in your mind. They are not something that anyone would be expected to sit in," she added. "They are considered historic artifacts, so it's not something that would be in any way an appropriate use of the thrones regardless of who you are — unless you happen to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip."
The palace has not issued a statement on the matter, but Tauber says that things are probably (and understandably) tense: "Behind the scenes, we expect no one was happy at the palace, including Her Majesty."
The palace shared a photo of the thrones back in June and explained just how important it is to the monarchy and that it has been used for important ceremonies, like coronations, since the 14th century.
Today is the 67th anniversary of The Queen's Coronation. Two chairs used by The Queen during the Coronation Service are in the Royal Collection; the Chair of Estate, kept in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace, was used before the moment of crowning and can be seen just behind The Queen in her Coronation portrait by Sir Herbert Gunn. The crowning takes place in the Coronation Chair, kept at Westminster Abbey and used for coronations since the 14th century. After this moment, The Queen moved to her Throne Chair, which is kept in the Garter Throne Room at Windsor Castle. #Coronation #Anniversary #OTD #BuckinghamPalace #WestminsterAbbey #CoronationChair #History #Onthisday #Thisdayinhistory
A post shared by Royal Collection Trust (@royalcollectiontrust) on Jun 2, 2020 at 3:57am PDT
Federal prosecutors continue to investigate Prince Andrew's association with Epstein and, by proxy, Maxwell. Reports have been circulating that Andrew isn't being cooperative, though he did refute the claims, People notes.
"The Duke of York has on at least three occasions this year offered his assistance as a witness to the DOJ. Unfortunately, the DOJ has reacted to the first two offers by breaching their own confidentiality rules and claiming that the Duke has offered zero cooperation," Blackfords LLP, Andrew's legal firm, said in a statement. "In doing so, they are perhaps seeking publicity rather than accepting the assistance proffered."