Prince Andrew targets new oil role in ‘secret visit’ to Bahrain | Royal | News
Prince Andrew took a secret trip to Bahrain last week in order to try and secure a role as an intermediary between the West and Gulf states during the energy crisis, sources have claimed. The Duke of York reportedly flew on a private jet, owned by a Swiss billionaire, to the country. The Prince also has been “close” with the royal family of the country, sources said, and stayed in an extremely luxurious hotel while he was there. Prince Andrew has taken a backseat to frontline royal duties since his connection with paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein emerged in 2019, as well as accusations of sexual abuse by trafficking victim Virginia Giuffre – which the Duke has consistently and strongly denied.
Sources told the Sun that Prince Andrew “fancies his chances” at the unofficial mediary role in the country, which is located between Saudi Arabia and the site of the recently started Football World Cup, Qatar.
Insiders told the outlet he was on holiday there as a “privately-funded” guest. His accommodation is said to have been a five-star, all-expenses paid hotel provided by his friends in the country’s royal family.
The Four Seasons Hotel in Manama is so fancy that they reportedly serve their coffee in 24-carat gold cups, and has a royal suite that costs £8,600 a night.
The royal suite is described online as a “lush urban island resort.”
According to other sources quoted by the outlet, the royal is looking to become a government special representative for international trade and investment. He is said to believe he could convince Saudi Arabia to increase their oil production.
Insiders told the Sun: “Prince Andrew no longer has a wide circle of friends but Royal Families do have a habit of sticking together. There are people [in Bahrain] who have been loyal to the Queen’s son and have deep pockets.”
Andrew previously visited Bahrain in January 2014 to meet with King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s second son, Sheikh Abdullah.
This visit saw the Prince attend a Bahrain-British Business Forum Dinner, during which he met with both King Hamad and Crown Prince Salman.
READ MORE: King ‘doesn’t want to humiliate further’ Prince Andrew over titles
Later, in April 2018, the Prince headed to the country again to open a UK naval base and police training centre. Once again, he met up with King Hamad and during this event, as well as Bahrain’s interior minister.
The trips continued in March 2019, when he visited the naval base with the Bahrain king, before heading there again just a few months later with ex-wife Sarah Ferguson. He took her to the Bahrain Grand Prix, and stayed at the Ritz Carlton as a guest of the royal family.
Yet another trip was pencilled in for November 2019 – but this was reportedly cancelled due to his links to Epstein.
Andrew’s repeated visits to the police force in Bahrain has attracted attention considering their poor humans rights record, particularly towards political opponents.
DON’T MISS: King could remove Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles under new bill [REVEAL]
Andrew ‘very upset’ over Falklands snub — claim [INSIGHT]
Charles forced to confront Andrew in showdown over ‘lobbying Queen’ [ANALYSIS]
The death sentence has been been increasingly used against political dissidents, and medical treatment denied to protestors in prison, according to Human Rights Watch. The organisation also claim that Bahrain beat and threatened 13 children aged between 11 and 17 with rape and electric shocks after they were detained in protests.
Sayed Ahmed Al Wadaei, of the Bahrain Institute for Rights & Democracy, criticised Andrew for meeting with the nation’s police force, considering its “record of violence, extreme interrogation tactics, and use of torture.”
He added that Andrew was seen laughing with King Hamad in the same year that the royal had “ratified the execution of three political prisoners whose confession was forced through torture”.
Another source told the Sun that if Andrew is “not wanted in the UK” he could have a “home and new life in Bahrain.”
Express.co.uk has contacted a spokesperson for Prince Andrew for comment.