A woman claiming to be Prince Andrew’s fiancée was able to get past security because staff were too “terrified” to check with the royal according to a specialist detective.

The Spanish woman claimed to be Irene Windsor and was due to have dinner with the Duke of York when she arrived at the security gate of the Royal Lodge in Winsdor last April, and was allowed in without her identification checked.

Her cab fare was even paid for by security officers, with her cover eventually blown when she entered the building and a suspicious staff member alerted police – but not before she walked around the grounds for up to 40 minutes.

Philip Grindell, the founder of VIP security firm Defuse and a former specialist detective with the Met Police, has now claimed that staff were reluctant to check the woman’s story with Prince Andrew because of his reputation.

Grindell, who was responsible for planning and running security measures for high-profile events that included those with royals and the military, made the claims while speaking at the International Security Expo in London, describing the royal as an “unpleasant character”.

“Prince Andrew is a pain in the a*** and if you have ever worked with him, is an unpleasant character and the security were terrified of asking him ‘is anyone turning up?’” Grindell said.

“And because they did not want to upset him, no one asked and they assumed he must have an appointment and let her in.

“The security were terrified of asking him.”

Paul Page, a former Met Police royal protection officer, separately shared a similar account about working with the controversial royal.

“When I heard this it became blatantly obvious that the security involved were in the same position with Prince Andrew as I was 20 years ago, in that they were too frightened to question unidentified female visitors as it would always end in him abusing us for stopping them,” he said at the expo.

“This is a classic example of what we feared would happen one day.”

At the time, the woman was found with maps of the Royal Lodge and other royal residences, as well as a self-defence key ring with two sharp prongs.

She was arrested on suspicion of burglary before being sectioned under the Mental Health Act and eventually released without charge.

Image: Getty Images

This article first appeared on OverSixty.