PRINCE Andrew has admitted that staying at the home of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was the “wrong thing to do”.

Answering questions for the first time about his links to Epstein, The Duke of York said he had “let the side down” and his stay was not “becoming of a member of the Royal Family”.

Speculation has been growing for months over the prince’s relationship with 66-year-old Epstein, an American financier who killed himself while awaiting trial on charges of sex-trafficking.

He had been previously convicted in 2010 for soliciting a minor for prostitution but, just two years later, Prince Andrew was photographed walking with him in New York’s Central Park.

Other pictures have been revealed that show the prince in Epstein’s mansion in Manhattan around the same time.

In 2015, Prince Andrew was named as part of a US civil case against Epstein. One of the sex offender’s accusers, Virginia Roberts – now Virginia Giuffre – maintained that between 2001 and 2002 when she was 17, she was forced to have sex with the prince three times in New York, London and on a private Caribbean island owned by Epstein.

He said he did not recall ever meeting Guiffre and denied her claims, including that she had dined with him, danced with him at a nightclub, and went on to have sex with him in Belgravia, central London, at the house of a friend of the prince.

In an interview on BBC2 last night, the prince was questioned by Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis about his decision to stay with Epstein following the sex offender’s first conviction.

Prince Andrew said: “It was a convenient place to stay. I mean I’ve gone through this in my mind so many times. At the end of the day, with a benefit of all the hindsight that one can have, it was definitely the wrong thing to do.

“But at the time I felt it was the honourable and right thing to do and I admit fully that my judgement was probably coloured by my tendency to be too honourable.”