Panorama: The Prince and the Epstein Scandal (BBC1)****

SHE was the silent girl in the picture. Last night she became the woman on the television screen demanding to be believed.

A lot of what Virginia Giuffre told reporter Darragh MacIntyre on Panorama had been said elsewhere. The difference now: her central allegation, that she was trafficked to have sex with friends of the late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, including Prince Andrew, when she was 17 years old, was primetime viewing on British television.

Last month, in an interview with BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis, Prince Andrew said he had no recollection of meeting Virginia Roberts, as she then was, and he could “absolutely, categorically” say that sex with her “never happened”.

The Panorama interview was recorded before the Newsnight one, but the latter was referenced frequently. Taken together, the two pieces functioned like bookends.

The settings for each interview told their own story: Andrew in the south drawing room of Buckingham Palace, all ancient carpets and silk wallpaper; Giuffre in what looked like the meeting room of a trendy hotel, the walls stripped back to the brick, the floor wooden. Manhattan loft minimalism versus regency grandeur.

READ MORE: Duke 'rained sweat' says accuser

The style of the two protagonists could not have been more different, either. Andrew sighed, rolled his eyes, and looked towards the ceiling. He spoke of “my people”, shooting weekends, and trips in Epstein’s private jet. At certain points, answers were extracted rather than offered.

Giuffre, in contrast, was characteristically American in her directness as she alleged that she was forcibly brought to London in 2001 by Epstein to meet the prince. It was in the Belgravia home of socialite Ghislaine Maxwell that the photograph of Andrew with his arm around Giuffre’s waist was taken.

She had no time for suggestions, raised by palace sources, and not contradicted by the prince, that the photograph had been doctored.

“I’m calling BS on this. He knows what happened, I know what happened. There's only one of us telling the truth and I know that’s me."

She was similarly candid about the evening allegedly spent dancing at Tramp night club in London with Andrew. “He is the most hideous dancer I’ve ever seen in my life,” she told MacIntyre. “His sweat was like it was raining basically everywhere.”

READ MORE: Andrew accuser calls for public's help

She described her young self as vulnerable and emotionally scarred. She thought at first that Epstein and Maxwell were out to help her. When it became clear they were not, she was shattered. “I thought this must be what life’s about,” she said, the tears coming.

Doubts were cast on inconsistencies in her story. She acknowledged that while she might have got some dates and places wrong “you never forget a face that has been heaving over you”.

While Andrew looked like he would rather be anywhere else than in front of the BBC’s cameras, Giuffre was determined to have her say. “I implore the people in the UK to stand up beside me, to help me fight this fight, to not accept this as being ok,” she said.

Though there were several revelations in last night's documentary that will move the story on, it will be Giuffre’s interview that will feature prominently in coverage. This may not have been a world exclusive like Maitlis’s sit-down at the Palace, but it could prove to be as significant a royal television event as the interviews with Princess Diana and Prince Charles.

Giuffre has had her say, Prince Andrew his. Of one thing the American has made sure: we are a long way from hearing the last word on the prince and Epstein.