Prince Andrew has been accused of a “trashy” attempt to use coronavirus to repair damage from the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal after he was photographed packing cupcakes for a hospice.
The Duke of York was forced to step back from public life after Virginia Giuffre claimed they had sex while she was just 17.
The Epstein sex trafficking accuser wants the prince, 60, to co-operate with an FBI investigation following the New York pedophile’s death in custody.
On Good Friday, Andrew was photographed alongside ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York, 60, packing cupcakes for Thames Hospice in Windsor, England.
The images were posted on Instagram by Antonia Marshall, sparking a backlash.
Investigative journalist Tom Bower, who wrote a scathing biography of Prince Charles, heaped criticism on the duke.
He told the Daily Mail: “He should do good works but not seek to win kudos by posting trashy photos.
“If only they would both accept that their only public duty is to remain invisible from the public.”
The sentiment was echoed by social media users who noticed neither Andrew nor Ferguson were wearing face masks or gloves.
Vivian Rivera commented: “You both are wrong in so many ways 1st it should have been done inside on kitchen counter and 2nd you should have had face mask and gloves on.”
She added: “You have caused the Firm a great deal of embarrassment and harm. Not to mention you mother the Queen what she must be going through.
“Stop thinking of yourself and what you want and think about her. For once in your life. Please.”
Gerry Stuart posted on Twitter: “#princeandrew this guy knows no shame trying to improve his profile out of Coronavirus.”
Prince Andrew stepped back from royal duties after a car crash interview on the BBC in which he said he did not regret his friendship with Epstein.
The duke said contacts made through the financier had been beneficial.
He attempted to justify going to New York to stay with Epstein after the financier was convicted, saying it was in order to break off their friendship in person.
He told the BBC’s Emily Maitlis: “I admit fully that my judgment was probably colored by my tendency to be too honorable, but that’s just the way it is.”
Giuffre retweeted one post that read: “Dirty Duke of York’s publicity stunt will not wash with the British public.
“He is a pervert plain and simple.
“What P. Andrew, Epstein & Maxwell, along with all the other perverts, did to Virginia Roberts (now Giuffre) is absolutely despicable and evil.”
Ferguson did not include any pictures of her ex-husband in her own social media posts about the event, choosing instead to plug Kika’s Cupcakes, who made the treats.
She wrote: “Thank you so much @kikas_cupcakes for the wonderful cupcakes donated to the front line workers in Windsor #coronavirus.”
However, royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams defended Andrew, claiming the prince should be praised for helping out.
He said: “This is the sort of thing he [Prince Andrew] ought to be doing.
“When someone does something like this it’s very very clear it should be appreciated.”
A spokesperson for Sarah Ferguson declined to comment.