Prince Andrew has gone to Bahrain on a “secret visit” on a private jet provided by a Swiss billionaire, according to a report in UK-based Metro. The business magnate’s identity has not been revealed. The disgraced Duke’s visit to the Gulf state is believed to be an effort to establish himself as trade representative of the UK, the outlet further said. Andrew was received as guest of honour by “friends” in Bahrain’s royal family who paid for his stay at a five-star hotel, the Metro report further said.
The 62-year-old has been banished from royal life amid allegations that he had sex with a victim of US child trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
This is his first trip outside the UK since 2019, when Epstein died. There is no public record of the visit, as Andrew is not a working royal anymore, Metro said in its report.
New Zealand Herald, which also carried a report on the visit, said that the “disgraced Duke” believes he could persuade Saudi Arabia to increase oil production by proposing himself as the go-between.
The prince was UK trade envoy from 2001 to 2011. He had talked about his ambition to return to the role while speaking to Private Eye magazine in August.
However, the Herald said in its report that he is looking to the Middle East as a safe haven and a place for a fresh start.
Prince Andrew reappeared in public in September for Queen Elizabeth’s vigil, having been largely hidden since allegations, which he denies. He has attended events to honour the queen alongside other grieving senior royals, and stood vigil by her coffin.
Andrew, who flew Royal Navy helicopters in the 1982 Falklands War with Argentina, was honorary colonel of the Grenadier Guards. Its soldiers are part of the Household Division that guard Buckingham Palace in their distinctive bearskin hats and red tunics.
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