Prince Andrew is joined by celebrity ‘reputation management’ lawyer Paul Tweed

Prince Andrew walked alongside lawyer Paul Tweed at the Royal Portrush Golf Course in County Antrim this morning

The Duke of York laughed and joked with a top celebrity lawyer today as he travelled to Northern Ireland to carry out official duties at a golf tournament.

After arriving at the course, which recently hosted The Open, he was welcomed by officials before taking a tour of the seaside venue. 

Prince Andrew walked alongside ‘reputation management’ expert Paul Tweed at the Royal Portrush Golf Course in County Antrim this morning in his role as founder of The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy. 

Mr Tweed is a family friend and has previously worked with Sarah, Duchess of York, alongside A-listers such as Liam Neeson, Justin Timberlake and Jennifer Lopez.

The pair are acquaintances and it is believed Mr Tweed is not working for the Prince or Buckingham Palace. 

Later in the afternoon he was seen taking on the course himself, spending most of the day there, before departing at around 4pm. 

It comes as the Duke tries to shake off questions over his friendship with disgraced billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead in a US prison last month while awaiting a court hearing over sex trafficking charges. 

The tournament, which was founded in 2001, takes place between today and Thursday. It is an international competition for boys and girls under 18, with big name players taking part in the past including Rory McIlroy.

It follows two public appearances by the 59-year-old royal at the weekend, attending at a tournament at Royal Liverpool Golf Club to mark its 150th anniversary.

He visited the golf club at Portrush today in his role as founder of The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy.  

Andrew, pictured at the golf course with Mr Tweed today, has been dogged by allegations of impropriety with underage girls

Andrew attends the event in Northern Ireland today in his role as founder of The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy

Andrew’s visit to Northern Ireland this morning follows two public appearances at the weekend, in Liverpool and Bruges

The competition attended by Andrew in Northern Ireland today (left, with Mr Tweed) is for boys and girls under 18

The Duke, who is a patron of the club, also watched amateur golfers from the US and Britain and Northern Ireland battle it out in Merseyside yesterday in the Walker Cup tournament.

A tough day at the golf? Prince Andrew was pictured today taking his cap of and ruffling his hair during a day playing golf

Taking it in his stride: Prince Andrew took time out today to play golf and was seen wearing black Adidas trainers 

The Duke of York (centre) with Royal Portrush Head Professional Gary Macneill (second right) and Royal Portrush Secretary Wilma Erskine

Prince Andrew has been out and about in recent days and had seemingly been keeping a low profile since the scandal broke over his friendship 

Today is Andrew’s third public engagement in as many days, after he travelled to Bruges on Saturday to mark the 75th anniversary since the liberation of the Belgian city by the Allies. 

Paul Tweed, reputation manager to the stars 

Paul Tweed is a world-leading ‘reputation management’ lawyer who has worked with celebrities including Liam Neeson, Justin Timberlake and Jennifer Lopez.

Other clients during his 30 years in the legal industry have included Nicolas Cage, Harrison Ford, Neil Jordan, Patrick Kielty and The Corrs.

Paul Tweed with client Louis Walsh in Dublin in November 2012

One of his most high-profile actions saw him represent Louis Walsh against The Sun newspaper which saw the X Factor judge awarded €500,000. It came after Walsh was the subject of a false story claiming he had sexually assaulted a man in a nightclub in Dublin.

Mr Tweed works in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland – and is also registered as a foreign legal consultant by the California State Bar.

He has spoken at the Oxford Union Debating Society and addressed the Parliamentary joint committee on Defamation.

Mr Tweed also sat on the Ministry of Justice panel set up to review libel law in England and Wales.

The Duke was present in his role as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards and laid a wreath at the Bruges Charles II memorial. 

Saturday’s trip to Bruges was Andrew’s first major international event since the scandal broke over his friendship with paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Epstein was found hanged in his cell on August 10 in New York while facing fresh charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy to traffic minors for sex.

Andrew has been dogged by allegations of impropriety with underage girls introduced to him by Epstein.

Buckingham Palace has issued strong denials in response to claims from a woman who said she was forced to have under-age sex with the duke.

Virginia Roberts alleged in court papers in Florida that she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17, which is under the age of consent in the state.

The palace has called the allegations ‘false and without any foundation’, saying ‘any suggestion of impropriety with under-age minors’ by the duke was ‘categorically untrue’.

In 2015, a judge ruled that Miss Roberts’s allegations about Andrew were ‘immaterial and impertinent’ and ordered them to be struck out of a claim against Epstein.

Andrew said in a statement on August 24: ‘At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to [Epstein’s] arrest and conviction.’ 

Andrew went on a two-week golfing holiday in Spain last month with his former wife Sarah Ferguson. His last official engagement before that was at Ascot in July.

Since then, he has largely kept out of the spotlight as allegations over his association with Epstein have intensified. In 2008 Epstein was jailed for procuring a girl under the age of 18 for prostitution.

The Duke is photographed as he arrives for the golf tournament today at the Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim

The gold tournament in Northern Ireland, which was founded in 2001, takes place between today and Thursday

Big name players taking part in tournament – attended by Andrew this morning – in the past include Rory McIlroy

The event today comes after the Duke had a number of public engagements cancelled over his links to Jeffrey Epstein

Royal sources last month that Andrew was due to hold ‘crisis talks’ with advisers over how to handle the scandal.

During his absence, Miss Roberts urged him to ‘come clean’. After a New York court hearing last month, the woman, now 36, said of the prince: ‘He knows what he’s done.’  

Last week it was claimed that Andrew was battling to avoid becoming a pariah after having public engagements cancelled amid the fallout over his links to Epstein.

Some of the Duke of York’s planned official visits this week were said to have been axed by organisers apparently fearful his presence could taint their events. 

Prince Andrew (pictured left and right) seemed to be enjoying his time out at the golf today following a difficult few weeks 

Event organisers in Northern Ireland have allegedly withdrawn invitations to Andrew, although he was in County Antrim today

The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy, which was founded in 2001, will take place at Royal Portrush until Thursday

Andrew, pictured today has been at the centre of attention over his friendship with convicted sex offender Epstein

Andrew had been due to see a refurbished railway station in Northern Ireland, but in the wake of the Epstein scandal the hosts reportedly withdrew the invitation.

A royal spokesman said the duke had a full schedule including attending a youth golf tournament that bears his name.

Speaking about today, a spokesman for Buckingham Palace said: ‘His Royal Highness will undertake a number of engagements related to the tournament, at which there will be 66 sportsmen and women from 35 countries.

‘The duke will meet volunteers, supporters and representatives from local businesses, host the tournament dinner, attend the tournament and present prizes.’

The Duke of York talks to the ladies captain of Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Holylake yesterday on day two of the Walker Cup

Prince Andrew is pictured during a ceremony for the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Bruges in Belgium on Saturday

Virginia Roberts was photographed with Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell in early 2001. Roberts alleged in court papers in Florida that she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17, which is under the age of consent in the state.

Prince Andrew (left) and Jeffrey Epstein (right) are pictured walking through Central Park in New York in December 2010

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