Prince Andrew has denied underage sex allegations by claiming that the “perspiring” man accused of the crime wasn’t him – because he couldn’t sweat.
Andrew said: “There’s a slight problem with the sweating because I have a peculiar medical condition which is that I don’t sweat, or I didn’t sweat at the time and that was…was it…yes.
“I didn’t sweat at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenalin in the Falkland’s War when I was shot at and I simply…it was almost impossible for me to sweat.
“And it’s only because I have done a number of things in the recent past that I am starting to be able to do that again.
“So I’m afraid to say that there’s a medical condition that says that I didn’t do it so therefore…”
Andrew was interviewed in Buckingham Palace by the BBC’s Emily Maitlis in a programme which was screened on BBC2 at 9pm on Saturday night.
The Royal has been under scrutiny over his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead in prison earlier this year while awaiting federal trial for sex trafficking.
One of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Giuffre, has said she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew in London, New York and on a private Caribbean island between 2001 and 2002, when she was 17.
She says Epstein kept her as a “sex slave”.
When asked whether he had sex with any young woman trafficked by Epstein, the duke said that “never happened”.
He added: “Without putting too fine a point on it, if you’re a man it is a positive act to have sex with somebody. You have to have to take some sort of positive action and so therefore if you try to forget it’s very difficult to try and forget a positive action and I do not remember anything.
“I can’t, I’ve wracked my brain and thinking oh…when the first allegations, when the allegations came out originally I went well that’s a bit strange, I don’t remember this and then I’ve been through it and through it and through it over and over and over again and no, nothing.”
When asked by Maitlis over whether he believed Giuffre was “lying”, the duke said it was a “difficult” question to answer.
He said: “I’m not in a position to know what she’s trying to achieve but I can tell you categorically I don’t remember meeting her at all. I do not remember a photograph being taken and I’ve said consistently and frequently that we never had any sort of sexual contact whatever.”
The duke also questioned the validity of a photograph showing him with his arm around 17-year-old Giuffre inside what is said to be the house of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell in Belgravia, London.
Prince Andrew said that while he recognises himself in the picture, he claimed it is not possible to prove whether the image had been faked.
He also claimed the picture could not have been taken in London as he was in his “travelling clothes”.
He said: “I don’t believe it’s a picture of me in London because when I would out to… When I go out in London, I wear a suit and a tie.
“That’s what I would describe as… those are my travelling clothes if I’m going to go… If I’m going overseas.”
Asked by presenter Emily Maitlis if the picture had been faked, Andrew said: “Nobody can prove whether or not that photograph has been doctored but I don’t recollect that photograph ever being taken.”
He denied remembering having his arm around Giuffre’s waist, adding: “I’m terribly sorry but if I, as a member of the Royal Family, and I have a photograph taken and I take very, very few photographs, I am not one to, as it were, hug and public displays of affection are not something that I do.
“So that’s the best explanation I can give you and I’m afraid to say that I don’t believe that photograph was taken in the way that has been suggested.”
Maitlis said Guiffre alleged she went back to a house in Belgravia with the duke after dancing in Tramp Nightclub and had sex with him on March 10, 2001.
But Prince Andrew said he had “no recollection” of the event, and that there were “a number of things” wrong with the story.
He said: “No, I’ve no recollection of ever meeting her, I’m almost, in fact I’m convinced that I was never in Tramps with her.
“There are a number of things that are wrong with that story, one of which is that I don’t know where the bar is in Tramps. I don’t drink, I don’t think I’ve ever bought a drink in Tramps whenever I was there.
“On that particular day, that we now understand is the date which is the 10th of March, I was at home.
“I was with the children and I’d taken Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party at I suppose, sort of, four or five in the afternoon.
“And then because the Duchess of York was away, we have a simple rule in the family that when one is away, the other one is there.”
Andrew said he was on leave from the Royal Navy at the time and was therefore at home with the children.
Maitlis asked why he remembered going to Pizza Express “so specifically”.
The duke replied: “Because going to Pizza Express in Woking is an unusual thing for me to do, a very unusual thing for me to do.
“I’ve never been… I’ve only been to Woking a couple of times and I remember it weirdly distinctly.
“As soon as somebody reminded me of it, I went: ‘Oh yes, I remember that’.”
Prince Andrew has previously admitted it was a “mistake” visiting Epstein after the American paedophile’s release from an 18-month prison term in 2010 for prostituting children.
And on the Newsnight show the Prince claimed that he only decided to travel to New York to meet Epstein, after the predator was released from jail, to tell him face-to-face that their friendship was over.
Epstein had been freed from prison in July 2010 and Andrew flew to the Big Apple that December.
He attended a dinner hosted by the pervert and stayed at the sex offender’s mansion while he was in the city.
The Royal said he did not want to end their relationship over the phone because that was a “chicken’s way of doing it”.
When Maitlis asked the prince why he made the journey, he said: “Right, I have always … ever since this happened and since this has become, as it were, public knowledge that I was there, I’ve questioned myself as why did I go and what was I doing there and was it the right thing to do?
“Now, I went there with the sole purpose of saying to him that because he had been convicted, it was inappropriate for us to be seen together.
“And I had a number of people counsel me in both directions, either to go and see him or not to go and see him and I took the judgement call that because this was serious and I felt that doing it over the telephone was the chicken’s way of doing it.”
The prince also attempted to explain the visit by claiming he made the decision because he has a “tendency to be too honourable”.
He said: “At the time, I felt it was the honourable and right thing to do and I admit fully that my judgement was probably coloured by my tendency to be too honourable but that’s just the way it is.”
Andrew said he was telling Epstein they could no longer be friends when the photo of them walking in Central Park was taken, adding that he had no further contact with Epstein after leaving the city the next day.