He said it was a “mistake” to meet Epstein after he left prison in 2010.

“During the time I knew him, I saw him infrequently and probably no more than only once or twice a year,” the prince said.

“I have stayed in a number of his residences. At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.”

The duke – who said he first met Epstein in 1999 – added that he had “tremendous sympathy” for all those affected by Epstein’s behaviour.

“His suicide has left many unanswered questions and I acknowledge and sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure.”