The Sun: That special moment when Prince Andrew invited Epstein and Weinstein to Windsor Castle -- for his daughter's 18th birthday

Oddly enough, this might actually help Prince Andrew make his case that he’s a complete moron rather than someone with something to hide. The British tabloid The Sun published a photo yesterday from a party at Windsor Castle for Andrew’s daughter Princess Beatrice, a costume party celebrating her 18th birthday. Three guesses as to who showed up — and you’ll need all three guesses to get it right:

DEPRAVED Jeffrey Epstein, his alleged pimp Ghislaine Maxwell and disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein grin at Princess Beatrice’s Windsor Castle party.

The astonishing image, obtained exclusively by The Sun on Sunday, shows how the trio were invited into the seat of royal power by Prince Andrew.

Wait wait wait, readers might say, this was in 2006, before police knew about any of the three, How can people criticize him for this? That’s not entirely true, as the Sun notes. Police would arrest Epstein within days of this photo, and Big Harv’s reputation had long preceded him by this point:

As they mingled with royalty at Beatrice’s 18th, police had already prepared an arrest warrant for Epstein on child sex abuse charges and raided his Florida mansion.

Eight days after the billionaire posed in a US Navy Seal uniform for this snap he was in cuffs. Tuxedo-wearing Weinstein is due in court next month accused of a sex offence in 2006 – the same year this photo was taken.

Maxwell, seen in a gold mask and red headdress, is now being investigated by the FBI on suspicion of procuring girls for Epstein.

Not only that, but Andrew wasn’t just a peripheral player in the Epstein mess. Virginia Roberts Guiffre has accused him of taking part in Epstein’s “parties” with young girls well before this photo was taken. By Andrew’s own account, he was close enough to Epstein to warrant a four-day visit after Epstein’s release from prison in 2010 to explain why Andrew wanted to break up with him, an explanation that defies all sense. Weinstein’s presence in the Prince Andrew story is new, but rumors had already been circulating about his sexual predation by that point in time. Efforts by journalists to publish allegations of assaults and harassment had begun as early as 2003, but it was an open secret well before then in Hollywood and elsewhere.

All of which prompts a question: where were the British security services on this? Andrew is a member of the royal family, which should prompt serious vetting for access to Windsor Castle, among other venues, and the Queen surely as well. Weinstein might have passed muster at that point even with the rumors, but Epstein already had an open arrest warrant at the time of this party.

However, perhaps Andrew can turn this around. He can argue that no father would knowingly expose his own daughters to a trio of sexual predators such as this lineup, and therefore it demonstrates his innocence. No father would knowingly expose his daughters to serial predators, right? Right? That argument might actually convince a few other people, but likely only limited to those who are living in Windsor Castle at the moment. Given that his mother and his brother just bestowed The Order of the Boot on Andrew, maybe that’s all he’s hoping for.

Meanwhile, BBC reporter Anthony Zurcher notes one significant absence from this picture … and wins the Internet for today.