Prince Andrew took a secret holiday to Bahrain last week as he ‘fancies his chances’ at an unofficial role as the intermediary between the West and Gulf states amid the global energy crisis, sources say.
The Duke of York, 62, flew to the country – located in the Persian Gulf between Saudi Arabia and Qatar – last week on a private jet owned by a Swiss billionaire.
Insiders told The Sun that Andrew was on holiday as a ‘privately-funded’ guest. He is said to have been staying in five-star, all-expenses paid luxury accommodation provided by his friends in Bahrain’s royal family.
Other sources allege the disgraced royal is looking to become a government special representative for international trade and investment, believing he could get Saudi Arabia to increase oil production.
Last week’s visit marks Andrew’s first voyage out of the UK since 2019, when he visited Spain weeks after the death of paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Andrew, who is no longer a working royal, quit his government trade role after being linked to Epstein, 66. He was also accused of sexual abuse by Epstein sex trafficking victim Virginia Giuffre. Andrew has consistently and vehemently denied the claims.
Prince Andrew took a secret holiday to Bahrain last week, sources allege. He is pictured with the Crown Prince of Bahrain at the Royal Ascot in June 2010
Despite ‘no longer having a wide circle of friends,’ sources close to Andrew say he has been ‘close’ with the Bahraini Royal Family for ‘many years.’
‘Prince Andrew no longer has a wide circle of friends but Royal Families do have a habit of sticking together,’ the insider told The Sun of Andrew’s recent travels.
‘There are people there who have been loyal to the Queen’s son and have deep pockets.’
He is believed to have stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manama which is so luxurious that coffee is served in 24-carat gold cups, the newspaper reported.
The royal suite at the hotel, which boasts itself online as a ‘lush urban island resort,’ is said to cost £8,600 per night.
Andrew was on holiday as a ‘privately-funded’ guest of the royal family. He is believed to have stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manama. Pictured: A bedroom in the hotel’s royal suite
The royal suite at the hotel, which boasts itself online as a ‘lush urban island resort,’ is said to cost £8,600 per night. Pictured: The dining room in the royal suite
The Duke of York flew to Bahrain last week on a private jet owned by a Swiss billionaire
Andrew has been a ‘regular visitor’ to Bahrain over the years, having visited in January 2014 to meet with King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s second son Sheikh Abdullah.
During that visit he attended a Bahrain-British Business Forum dinner at the Radisson Diplomat Hotel. He met with King Hamad and Crown Prince Salman at the event.
He visited again in April 2018 to open a UK naval base and police training centre. He met with King Hamad again, as well as Bahrain’s interior minister.
He then returned the following March to visit the naval base with the Bahrain king.
In May 2019 he flew to the country yet again to take his then-wife Sarah Ferguson to the Bahrain Grand Prix. Andrew stayed at the Ritz Carlton as the royal family’s guest during that visit.
He was then expected to return to Bahrain in November 2019, but the trip was cancelled due to his links to Epstein.
Andrew has been a ‘regular visitor’ to Bahrain over the years. Andrew (second right) is pictured with Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa (front row third right) at the Bahrain International Airshow in January 2014
Political activists have slammed Andrew’s relationship with the ‘toxic’ Bahrain royals, alleging it is ‘toxic and shameful.’ Pictured: King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain and Prince Andrew at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in England in May 2017
Political activists have slammed Andrew’s relationship with the ‘toxic’ Bahrain royals, alleging it is ‘toxic and shameful.’
Sayed Ahmed Al Wadaei, of the Bahrain Institute for Rights & Democracy, criticised Andrew for, on multiple occasions, meeting with the nation’s police force regardless of its ‘record of violence, extreme interrogation tactics, and use of torture.’
Mr Al Wadaei told the news outlet that Andrew was seen laughing with King Hamad the same year the Bahrain royal ‘ratified the execution of three political prisoners whose confession was forced through torture.’
He also claimed Andrew considered fleeing to Bahrain when his relationship with Epstein first came to light.
‘This reflects how deep his disgraceful relationship is with Bahrain’s corrupt dictatorship,’ Mr Al Wadaei argued.
Another source told the Sun that if Andrew is ‘not wanted in the UK’ he could have a ‘home and new life in Bahrain.’
Sources claim Andrew considered fleeing to Bahrain when his relationship with Epstein first came to light.
News of Andrew’s trip to Bahrain comes after The Mail on Sunday revealed relations at the top of the UK Royal Family turned decidedly frosty after Andrew was spotted at a shooting party on the Windsor estate last Saturday.
But what had been intended as a show of support for the embattled Duke of York has had repercussions for their relationships with the new King.
A source told The Mail on Sunday that the King had decided not to attend the shoot – and was displeased that his younger brother Andrew was in attendance.
Prince Andrew was spotted at a shooting party on the Windsor estate last Saturday with two of his siblings – a gathering from which King Charles has been keen to distance himself
The source added: ‘King Charles was said to be displeased that Edward and Anne had been publicly meeting up with Andrew and wanted it made clear that he had not been part of the shoot.
‘Anne and Edward had been privately concerned about Andrew and wanted to check on him.
‘But Charles’s view is that he should not be in the public eye. His Majesty was not thrilled at all.’
While Andrew is expected to be received by the King at Sandringham for Christmas, he will not be included in the Royal Family’s annual walk to St Mary Magdalene Church on Christmas Day.