The palace is staring down the barrel of a full-scale FBI investigation after Prince Andrew's "train wreck" interview about his child sex abuse allegations raised more questions about his involvement than answers.
In a widely panned interview with the BBC last weekend, Andrew spoke in-depth about his close friendship with dead convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, and denied accusations he'd slept with then-17-year-old Virginia Roberts, who was allegedly procured by Jeffrey to have sex with the prince on March 10, 2001.
As the 45-minute interview dragged on, the eighth-in-line to the throne drew howls of derision and disbelief online – especially when he insisted he wasn't with Virginia on the night in question, explaining that he was instead at a Pizza Express in Woking, UK, with his daughter Princess Beatrice.
When asked how he could recall it so exactly, Andrew said, "Because going to Pizza Express in Woking is a very unusual thing for me to do," adding that he has no memory of ever meeting Virginia, despite being pictured with his arm around her when she was a teenager.
At the time of press, Prince Andrew hadn't released any security logs from royal protection officers who would have accompanied him to the restaurant to prove his story, and no security footage or witnesses had emerged.
Sources say it's not just internet commentators who aren't buying his story – the American Federal Bureau of Investigation is determined to question him as part of their ongoing investigation into Epstein for child sex trafficking.
WATCH: Prince Andrew vehemently denies sex scandal claims. Story continues below...
During the interview, Andrew unconcernedly admitted that Epstein had been a guest at the Queen's property Sandringham, and was invited to Beatrice's 18th birthday party, along with him staying at the convicted sex offender's New York pad – even after he'd served jail time for his horrific crimes.
"That's more than enough for the FBI to be extremely interested in speaking with Andrew and members of the royal family – and if they don't cooperate, they certainly wouldn't rule out raiding them. It's believed Andrew is absolutely not entitled to any kind of diplomatic immunity," says a source.