By Isabel Oakeshott and Mark Hookham For The Mail On Sunday
Published: 23:45 GMT, 30 November 2019 | Updated: 16:23 GMT, 1 December 2019
In an astonishing breach of protocol, Amanda Thirsk (pictured) forwarded Jonathan Rowland a Foreign Office cable
One of Prince Andrew's most senior aides leaked a diplomatic telegram to his close friend and business associate, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
In an astonishing breach of protocol, Amanda Thirsk forwarded Jonathan Rowland a Foreign Office cable that included details of one-to-one conversations between the Duke and leading Chinese politicians about UK-China trade relations.
She emailed the telegram after Mr Rowland accompanied Andrew on a taxpayer-funded trade mission to China and used his extraordinary access to try to land lucrative new clients for the foreign bank his family owned.
The revelation will heap pressure on Ms Thirsk, who was blamed for orchestrating Andrew's disastrous BBC interview about his links with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
A formidable ex-banker, Ms Thirsk lost her job as the Duke's private secretary in the wake of his catastrophic media appearance. She will continue to run Pitch, Andrew's business mentoring initiative.
Leaked documents show that on April 27, 2010, Ms Thirsk, then Andrew's deputy private secretary, forwarded Jonathan Rowland an unclassified but 'sensitive' diplomatic cable written by Sebastian Wood, the UK's ambassador to China. Mr Wood had sent the telegram almost a month earlier to London via the Foreign Office's secure 'e-Gram' messaging