Sitting on the Queen's throne in Buckingham Palace, Ghislaine Maxwell gives a regal wave for the camera.

Seated next to her in the place normally occupied by the Duke of Edinburgh is Kevin Spacey, the Hollywood actor accused but never convicted of multiple sexual offences.

The Daily Telegraph has been told the pair were invited into the throne room on a private tour of the Palace organised by the Duke of York, a close friend of Maxwell's.

Obtained exclusively by The Telegraph, the photo was taken in 2002 and shows Maxwell in a mock royal pose with Spacey pretending to be Prince Philip. It is a far cry from Maxwell's current predicament.

Advertisement

Almost 18 years on, she has swapped the privilege and comfort of the Queen's throne for a police cell in a New Hampshire "facility".

After a year under investigation by the FBI, Maxwell was arrested on Thursday and charged with helping to recruit and groom underage girls for her ex-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein, the late financier, a friend of the Duke.

Prince Andrew had arranged the tour of the Palace for Bill Clinton, the former US president who had stepped down after two terms the year before.

According to a source, Spacey – whose career was left in tatters after he was accused of making unwanted sexual advances to a 14-year-old actor – was a guest of Clinton's. Maxwell came along as a friend of the Duke.

The Spacey charges were later dropped. "They were larking about on the thrones, doing regal waves," said the source.

"Ghislaine sat on the Queen's throne with Spacey pretending to be the Duke of Edinburgh. No one can recall if Prince Andrew was actually in the throne room at the time but he was in charge of the visit."

It is thought the photo was taken after Clinton arrived in London in September 2002 en route to the Labour Party conference in Blackpool where he was the guest of honour.

Spacey went with him to Blackpool. Before arriving in the UK, Clinton and Spacey spent seven days on a tour of Africa with Epstein on his private jet.

Advertisement

It is not thought that Epstein was on the Palace tour although he previously visited Sandringham and Windsor Castle along with Maxwell as a guest of the Duke.

Maxwell was also on the flight to Africa, part of a humanitarian trip for the Clinton Foundation.