The well-known photograph showing the Duke of York next to Virginia Giuffre is reportedly genuine, according to evidence obtained by the Mail on Sunday.
Said to be taken inside the Mayfair home of disgraced British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, who was convicted of sex trafficking, the picture shows Andrew with his arm around Ms Giuffre.
Both Andrew and Maxwell have cast doubt on the authenticity of the photo.
However, the Mail on Sunday says it can prove the picture was an ordinary printed photograph developed at a one-hour photo lab.
It said that on the back of the original photograph is a date stamp proving it was developed on March 13, 2001 – three days after it is alleged Ms Giuffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, met Andrew.
The picture was developed at a branch of Walgreens, a major US pharmacy chain, the newspaper said.
It comes after Maxwell, speaking from prison in the US, said she is “sure” the picture is not real.
In an interview with TalkTV, she said: “It’s a fake. I don’t believe it’s real for a second, in fact I’m sure it’s not.”
She added: “Well, there’s never been an original and further there’s no photograph, and I’ve only ever seen a photocopy of it.”
Andrew has also questioned the validity of the image of him with Ms Giuffre.
The duke went on to pay millions to settle a civil sexual assault case with Ms Giuffre – a woman he claimed never to have met.
Ms Giuffre sued him for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was 17 after she was trafficked by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, the former partner of Maxwell.
Andrew denied the claims.
The duke has previously said he has “no recollection” of meeting Ms Giuffre and cast doubt on the picture, claiming he is “not one to hug” or “display affection” in public.
In an interview with BBC Newsnight in 2019, Andrew said while he recognises himself in the picture with Ms Giuffre, he claimed it is not possible to prove whether the image had been faked.
He also claimed the picture could not have been taken in London, as he was in his “travelling clothes”.
Ms Giuffre insisted to BBC Panorama the photo was “authentic” and said she gave the original to the FBI in 2011.