Scandle-stricken British royal Prince Andrew made "unbelievable" racist jokes about Arabs during a state banquet for the Saudis, according to a former UK government minister.
Jacqui Smith, who served as Home Secretary between 2007-2009, made the claims about the Duke of York during an interview with the LBC radio station.
"I met him several times, including once at a state banquet, where after dinner my husband and I and another Labour cabinet minister had a drink with him," Smith said of the prince, who is Queen Elizabeth's second son.
"I almost feel I can't say it; it was the state banquet for the Saudi royal family and he made racist comments about Arabs that were unbelievable," she added in reference to the jokes which were allegedly about camels.
"That he thought we might find these amusing was a terrible situation to be in."
Smith, who served as a cabinet minister under former prime minister Gordon Brown, expressed regret that she did not speak up at the time.
"It was a state banquet, we were in Buckingham Palace, we were cabinet ministers, I feel ashamed that we didn't but we didn't," she said.
A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said it a statement that the Duke of York does not condone any form of racism.
"HRH has undertaken a considerable amount of work in the Middle East over a period of years and has many friends from the region," the statement said.
"He does not tolerate racism in any form."
Andrew, 59, is eighth in line to the British throne. He has been dogged for years by criticism of his links to convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead in a New York jail in August.
A coroner ruled that he committed suicide by hanging while awaiting trial on federal charges that he had he trafficked girls as young as 14 for sex.
Virginia Giuffre, 36, alleges Epstein abused her for years and farmed her out to his wealthy friends. She first made her allegations against Andrew in a 2015 US civil court deposition and has repeated them in more recent TV interviews.
"I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened," Andrew said, referring to her claim that they had had sex. He said that he had "no recollection" of having met her.
The prince said he had in fact been "at home with the children" on the March 2001 night in question, having earlier taking his daughter Princess Beatrice to a pizza restaurant.
He denied they had shared a sweaty dance at a London nightclub, saying that at the time he could not sweat due to a condition related to having fought in the 1982 Falklands War.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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