Duchess of York praises ‘steadfast’ Andrew ahead of Epstein interview

Sarah, Duchess of York, has hailed her "stoically steadfast" ex-husband, the Duke of York, ahead of an interview due to be aired on Saturday about his relationship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

In a BBC interview, Andrew will face questions from Emily Maitlis about his links to the disgraced financier, who was found dead in his New York prison cell earlier this year, where he was being held on sex trafficking charges.

Ms Maitlis has called it a "no holds barred interview" and says no questions were vetted by Andrew or his staff in advance, but so far the BBC has not revealed what he said.

Writing on Twitter on Friday night, Sarah said: "It is so rare to meet people that are able to speak from their hearts with honesty and pure real truth, that remain steadfast and strong to their beliefs.

"Andrew is a true and real gentleman and is stoically steadfast to not only his duty, but also his kindness and goodness."

She posted the message alongside four pictures of her former husband, and father to her two daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

The pair were married for 10 years between 1986 and 1996.

An accuser of Epstein claims she was forced into a sexual encounter with Andrew when she was 17 years old, an allegation he denies.

Virginia Giuffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, is one of 16 women who says she was abused by Epstein, and also named Andrew in previous court papers.

Her allegations were struck from US civil court records in 2015 after a judge said they were "immaterial".

Buckingham Palace has branded the allegations "false and without any foundation" and added "any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors" by the Andrew was "categorically untrue".

The full interview, recorded at Buckingham Palace on Thursday, will air on a BBC Newsnight special on Saturday evening, BBC Two at 9pm.