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Buckingham Palace strengthens defense for Prince Andrew against underage sex claims

FILE- In this Wednesday, June 6, 2012 file photo, Britain's Prince Andrew leaves King Edward VII hospital in London after visiting his father Prince Philip. Reacting to U.S. court documents, royal officials issued a statement on Friday, Jan. 2, 2015 denying that Britain's Prince Andrew engaged in sexual impropriety with a minor. (AP Photo/Sang Tan, File)

FILE- In this Wednesday, June 6, 2012 file photo, Britain's Prince Andrew leaves King Edward VII hospital in London after visiting his father Prince Philip. Reacting to U.S. court documents, royal officials issued a statement on Friday, Jan. 2, 2015 denying that Britain's Prince Andrew engaged in sexual impropriety with a minor. (AP Photo/Sang Tan, File)  (The Associated Press)

Buckingham Palace has stepped up efforts to defend Prince Andrew after the British royal was embroiled in claims of sexual impropriety with an underage woman.

In a second statement since the claims surfaced, officials "emphatically denied" that the 54-year-old Andrew had "any form of sexual contact or relationship" with a woman who claimed that she was forced to have sex with the royal in London, in New York and on a private Caribbean island when she was under the age of 18.

Buckingham Palace on Sunday dismissed the claims as "false and without any foundation."

The claims, made in a filing to a Florida court last week, were submitted as part of a lengthy lawsuit against American financier Jeffrey Epstein. The woman wasn't identified by name.