Prince Andrew was a frequent visitor to Jeffrey Epstein’s private island Little St James. Picture: Will Oliver/EPA-EFE

Los Angeles – Prince Andrew brazenly “groped girls” while staying at the so-called “Paedo Island” home of his friend, convicted child sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, a top prosecutor has claimed.

Denise George, Attorney General of the US Virgin Islands, where Andrew was a frequent visitor to Epstein’s private island Little St James, alleged the Duke of York never sought to shield his activity from the disgraced financier’s staff.

Ms George, who is taking legal action against Epstein’s £500 million estate to prevent his lawyers from “hiding” his assets, told Vanity Fair magazine: “An employee told me that he saw Prince Andrew on a balcony out at Little St James groping girls right out in the open. He said he remembered walking up to him and saying, “Good morning, your Highness.”’

The claims cast further doubt on the Prince’s judgment in remaining friends with Epstein even after the billionaire admitted procuring an underage girl for prostitution in a controversial 2007 plea deal.

An American woman, Virginia Roberts, has accused Epstein of ‘forcing’ her to have sex with Andrew on three occasions, the first in London in 2001 when she was 17 and the following year in New York and during an orgy at the financier’s island home.