PRINCE Andrew partied late into the night with a glamorous socialite, and even gave her a head massage, a mutual friend claimed.
The Duke of York was snapped dancing with glamorous blonde Chris Von Aspen while at a poolside party thrown by a Libyan businessman in Saint Tropez.
On a wild night in the millionaire’s playground of southern France in July 2007, the 47-year-old prince cavorted with 27-year-old Chris after the US socialite reportedly caught his eye.
The Evening Standard reported at the time that the pair were introduced by a mutual friend, Haitian-born artist Jeffery Dread.
Pictures from the night show a teetotal Andrew with his hands around Chris at the villa party.
Jeffery said at the time: “Andrew came over to me and asked, ‘What’s her name? She is beautiful. I love the way she carries herself. She is very classy.”
New-York based Dread added: “I’ve known Chris for years and I was the one who took her to the party.
“The dancefloor was by the swimming pool and there were many beautiful girls flocking to Andrew – but he was completely focused on Chris.
“I’d met him quite a few times in New York and he came over, struck up a conversation, and asked me to introduce him to her.”
Jeffery is pictured between Andrew and Chris in one picture from the night and says it was clear the Duke was “smitten” with the younger woman.
He said Andrew asked if he could introduce him to Chris.
Whether or not he knew she was dating former French Foreign Legion officer Bruno Philipponnat – Prince Albert of Monaco‘s right-hand-man at the time – is another matter.
Jeffery went on: “I felt it was not my business to say she was dating someone else.
“She danced with Andrew for most of the evening until the party ended at about 3am.
“He followed her everywhere she went, even to the bathroom, and at one point he gave her a head massage.”
But despite the best efforts of the “tenacious” prince, Jeffery insisted Chris went home with her friends that night.
In 2019, it was reported Chris got into “real trouble” over the pictures of her with the Duke at the time.
An onlooker who saw the pair that night said: “Chris was buzzed from drinking and had met Andrew before so she approached him.
“She was a real reveler back then and went to all the celebrity parties in New York, Los Angeles, Saint Tropez, and Monaco.
“Chris later claimed she hooked up with Andrew and you can see in the pictures that he was having a great time with her.
“He had a wild look in his eye – you can see that in the pictures too.”
Friends claimed that following her wild night out with the Queen’s favourite son, she left the partying lifestyle behind and now lives a quiet life running a health retreat in Monaco.
“These photos of her with Prince Andrew do not show Chris’ true character,” long-time pal Richard Gradner said.
“If she was into partying, she has cleaned up her act greatly since those days and taken a different path.”
He added that he didn’t believe Chris had partied more than anyone else but said she would have gone to Monaco because that is where “people of influence go”.
One former regular on the Saint Tropez party scene claimed: “These were really crazy years for Andrew. He was clearly having a full-blown midlife crisis.
“He would have been 47 or 48 at the time, divorced from Sarah Ferguson, and basking in the attention he got from young women.”
The source went on: “Things can get quite loose in Saint Tropez. There were lots of beautiful young women looking for rich men. People would often go off to the toilets to do drugs or for oral sex.
“That was the best time to party in Saint Tropez. Social media hadn’t really taken off and most people didn’t have cameras on their phones yet so people could just go and have fun.
“Lots of the girls gravitated towards Andrew – royalty has that effect on the kind of women who flock to Saint Tropez.
Far away from the glitz and glamour of the Cote d’Azur, Christine Vonaspern was born in Hammond, Louisiana, a small city of around 20,000 people.
“She was just an ordinary girl from a very ordinary family,” one woman who went to school with her later said.
After changing her surname to Von Aspen, Chris moved to Hollywood to try and establish herself as a singer, and then to the French Riviera.
A pal claimed: “If social climbing was a sport, she’d be an Olympic gold medalist.”
But another friend who used to live in the same building as her in LA, defended Chris, saying: “Chris is a great girl who can do well in any circle. She deserves the world.”