ITV News Royal Editor explains the situation and what could come next
The claims which have been made about could not have been more serious - and therefore Palace aides decided to override their default position: that is when claims are made about members of the Royal Family, say nothing at all.
The well-worn Victorian-era mantra ‘never complain, never explain’ was adopted by the Queen Mother and, by and large, it has served the Royal Family well over the ups and downs during many decades of claims and allegations and leaks.
But every so often, circumstances arise in which the Palace is compelled to either complain or explain.
And now, the circumstances surrounding the Duke of York, his one time friendship with , and the allegations of under-age sex, have all contributed to another moment when Buckingham Palace feels the need to make a statement.
They’ve been here before.
The photographs from 2010 of the Prince and Epstein in New York's Central Park were taken after Epstein had been convicted of sex with a minor and was therefore on the sex offenders’ register.
At the time the Duke was the UK’s Special Representative for Trade - a position from which he then resigned.
The video released to the Mail on Sunday at the weekend of the Prince at the door of Epstein’s apartment is claimed to have been taken during the same visit.
At the time, the Prince admitted that his visit to see Epstein was "an error of judgement".
Since Epstein’s re-arrest by the US authorities, one of his alleged victims, Virginia Roberts, claimed in court papers in Florida that she was forced to have sex with the Duke at the age of 17, which is under the legal age for consent in the state of Florida.
Last weekend, Epstein’s suicide in prison was followed by the first statement from in which they "emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts".
The palace added that "any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue".
Now the new video has triggered a second statement in which the Palace says Prince Andrew is "appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged crimes".
The Duke’s aides also add a further few words on the sex slavery allegations made about Epstein: "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."
Epstein will not face trial for the appalling crimes he was accused of committing.
But his alleged victims can continue to seek some form of justice for the wrongs they claim were committed.
What they do - and say - next, will determine whether this matter continues to be a problem for Prince Andrew.
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