Prince Andrew sparked a Buckingham Palace security breach by inviting an ‘unvetted’ female masseuse to his bedroom, MailOnline can reveal.
Monique Giannelloni says she wasn’t searched and didn’t sign in during her palace visit to see the Duke after being introduced to him by Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged ‘fixer’, Ghislaine Maxwell.
In an alarming set of security lapses, Monique arrived at the palace and was simply asked for her car registration number by aides before being waved inside.
She doesn’t believe any background checks were done on her after a telephone booking made by the Duke’s then-Assistant Private Secretary, Charlotte Manley.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, Monique says: ‘It was so easy to get into the palace and it troubled me because I could have been anyone.
Monique Giannelloni (above) was invited to treat Prince Andrew at Buckingham Palace
Monique says she was a professional massage therapist aged 35 and counted Ms Maxwell among her wealthy clients when she got a call to treat Andrew at the palace on June 30, 2000
Now a 55-year-old married mother-of-two running a restaurant in the South of France, Monique says she was shocked at how quickly she ended up alone with the royal in his room
Monique says she was booked to give Andrew a treatment by the Duke’s then-Assistant Private Secretary Charlotte Manley, who then signed her cheque of £75 for the treatment she did
Upon arriving at Buckingham Palace to treat the royal, at the time fifth in line to the throne, the massage therapist says she wasn’t signed in and no background checks were done on her
‘I didn’t know Andrew and never met anyone from the royal household. Nobody knew me. I wasn’t spoken to by a Royal Protection officer or asked any questions at all.’
‘Nobody checked my bag when I arrived or when I left. I certainly expected more stringent security checks.’
Monique, who was a member of the British Register of Complementary Practitioners, was working at a clinic in Kensington and doing home visits at the time of the royal encounter on June 30, 2000, and counted Ms Maxwell among her clients.
After one appointment, Ms Maxwell, who is accused of procuring young girls for paedophile Epstein, told her: ‘I am going to introduce you to someone more famous than God.’
Ms Maxwell told Monique she’d introduce her to people ‘more famous than God’
Pictured in 2000, months before she massaged Andrew, Monique says that she was led up to the bedroom by a palace aide and was overwhelmed by the grandeur of Buckingham Palace
She had been to the socialite’s Belgravia home on two occasions and given her a massage upstairs with 67-year-old Epstein present.
She said initially she had never heard of her wealthy client, who asked her when they met: ‘Don’t you know who I am darling? You should read the tabloids I am a celebrity.’
Later Monique researched her online and saw her pictured with Andrew at a wedding then realising she was the daughter of the disgraced media tycoon Robert Maxwell.
‘When she told me about that person more famous than God, I thought she may have meant an actor or something.
‘Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would be royalty.’
A few weeks later Monique received a call from Andrew’s Ms Manley, inviting her to give the royal a treatment.
She recalled that she was ‘very nervous’ about the invitation to Buckingham Palace.
The Queen was forced to sack her second son Andrew from his royal duties in the fallout from his ill-judged BBC Newsnight interview on his friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein
Now a 55-year-old married mother-of-two who runs a restaurant in the South of France, she said: ‘I am from South Africa and to be walking through Buckingham Palace would have been something I could never have imagined in my life time.
‘As I went along the hallway it was nothing but splendour. There were beautiful draped curtains and a plush carpet which ran along the middle of the hallway.
‘There were gold framed paintings of members of the royal family over the centuries and some beautiful vases on tables.
‘It was all very grand and nothing I could ever have dreamed I would see.’
Monique said she was greeted at the bedroom door by Andrew wearing a bathrobe and gave him a massage naked under a towel on a table beside a photo of his former wife Sarah Ferguson and their two daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.
In her interview she also shed new light on that now notorious photo of Andrew with his arm around the waist of his sex accuser Virginia Roberts, taken in Ms Maxwell’s Belgravia home in 2001.
The Duke struggled his way through his disastrous tell-all BBC Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis recorded at Buckingham Palace (above) for which he has been heavily criticised
In his ‘car crash’ BBC Newnight interview he suggested the picture may have been faked – and said he had never been upstairs in Ms Maxwell’s London home.
But Monique insisted it was taken on the upstairs landing and said the room where she massaged Ms Maxwell is on the left.
She said she first came into contact with Ms Maxwell when she received a call to her mobile phone from the socialite’s secretary.
She said she had been working in London as a massage therapist for four years and worked with a number of celebrity and high net worth clients.
She said: ‘Out of the blue I got a call from Ghislaine’s secretary, I can’t remember her name, but she was based in New York.
‘It was at night and she said her boss was coming into London late that evening. She wanted to book a massage at 11pm.
‘I said I was sorry as I didn’t do massages that late at night. She was quite insistent and said Ms Maxwell would be very tired.
‘But I gave her an appointment for around 10.30am the next morning.
‘I went to her house in Belgravia and recall it was in a cobbled street.
Andrew’s judgement was called into question over his friendship with Epstein, above walking with the shamed businessman in Central Park in 2010 after his jail release for child sex crimes
‘She was busy talking to someone, her lawyer or accountant, and kept me waiting.
‘She then asked me ‘Darling…can you go and buy me some cigarettes?’
‘I was annoyed by her arrogant attitude and felt she was wasting my time.
‘I bought her cigarettes and waited for an hour or so by which time she gave me her cheque book and told me to write up what she owed me.
‘Our next appointment was a few days later. I was shown to a room upstairs and was asked to massage her on the bed, but I insisted on using my own table.
‘It was a small room and very little space around the bed which was quite big.
‘Epstein was present during the massage and there was an animated discussion going on between the two that lasted most of the time. They were talking about purchasing an island.
‘They were mentioning millions of pounds and speaking very pretentiously and I thought, ‘Who are these people?’
Andrew has faced claims by Virginia Roberts he had sex with her three times when she was 17 Andrew and Ms Roberts were famously pictured on the landing of Ms Maxwell’s Belgravia home. Monique says she massaged Ms Maxwell in a room to the left of the picture
‘It was all rather awkward because Epstein was there. I felt I wasn’t giving a good treatment and she wasn’t getting much out of it.
‘Epstein was creepy, seedy and very pretentious. I got the impression he and Ghislaine were either brother-and-sister or business partners, never a couple.’
‘She told me about a yacht party she was hosting and asked me if I would be prepared to go and give massages.
‘She told me that I would have to keep private what happened on the yacht. I assumed she meant ‘anything goes.’
‘I politely declined the invitation because it did not sound like the sort of thing I wanted to be involved with.
‘I thought she was very distasteful and pretentious, the way she spoke. I didn’t like her attitude or her at all.
‘I was very shocked when it all came out about Epstein’s friendship with Andrew.
Ms Maxwell, the 57-year-old daughter of late media tycoon Robert Maxwell, is accused of being Epstein’s ‘madam’ who procured young girls for him to have sex with, a claim she denies
‘In my opinion Epstein was not a good choice of friend for Andrew.
‘At the time I had an instinctive feeling of uneasiness about Epstein but I couldn’t put my finger on it.
‘Now I look back and am thankful that I was 35 and not some vulnerable teenager who could have been another of Epstein’s victims.’
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: ‘We never comment on matters of security.’