Prince Andrew’s Legal Woes Present Another Headache for U.K. Royal Family

LONDON—Prince Andrew has expended the earlier couple of many years mostly airbrushed from the British royal family members.

Queen Elizabeth’s 2nd son no extended represents the monarchy at important events, flags weren’t hoisted on authorities structures to mark his sixtieth birthday and the royal did not appear in formal pictures of his daughter’s marriage ceremony.

But lawful proceedings in New York above allegations that Prince Andrew sexually abused a seventeen-yr-aged woman in the early 2000s signify he carries on to loom massive in the Property of Windsor, threatening to forged a pall above the family members as it prepares a nationwide celebration this yr to mark the queen’s seven a long time on the throne.

The sixty one-yr-old prince was sued previous yr by Virginia Giuffre, who alleges that disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein and his confidante, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, compelled her to have sex with the royal. The abuse allegedly took position in New York, in London and on a non-public island owned by Epstein although Ms. Giuffre was less than the age of eighteen, the lawsuit says. Prince Andrew denies the allegations and has stated he has no recollection of conference Ms. Giuffre. Ms. Giuffre is suing for an unspecified total.

A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace declined to remark.

U.S. District Choose Lewis Kaplan is presently weighing a motion by Prince Andrew’s lawyers to dismiss the lawsuit. They argue that a 2009 settlement signed among Ms. Giuffre and Epstein stop her bringing a fit against the British royal. A choice on regardless of whether the circumstance can progress to trial is expected shortly.

Virginia Giuffre, holding blue handbag, sued Prince Andrew in New York.



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shannon stapleton/Reuters

Whichever the final result, it is unlikely to rehabilitate the prince, royal commentators say. “There is no joyful way out for him,” stated Nigel Cawthorne, author of “Prince Andrew: Epstein, Maxwell and the Palace.” The prince will either depend on an arrangement signed by a convicted sex offender to steer clear of trial, have to shell out to settle the fit or see it go in advance of a court, Mr. Cawthorne stated.

“The fundamental trouble for Prince Andrew is that he is however to place up a substantive defense,” stated Nick Goldstone, head of dispute resolution at regulation company Ince Gordon Dadds LLP in London. “From a reputational point of view it is a car crash for him.”

Buckingham Palace faces the prospect of a remarkably publicized trial for the duration of a yr that is thanks to mark the queen’s platinum jubilee. Officers fear the allegations aired in New York could forever taint the broader family members as it bit by bit shifts energy from the ninety five-yr-aged Queen Elizabeth towards her eldest son, Prince Charles. It also will come as the palace carries on to offer with the fallout of Prince Harry’s choice to quit royal obligations. The queen’s grandson is thanks to publish a memoir afterwards this yr.

Prince Andrew, in the meantime, is in a kind of semi-exile. He stated in 2019 that he would stage back again from public obligations above his ties to Epstein. On the other hand, he officially remains part of the royal clan. Buckingham Palace lists him as patron to dozens of charities. Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, retains numerous honorary armed forces titles and retains the title of His Royal Highness. He also life on his mother’s estate in Windsor.

Prince Andrew’s mother, Queen Elizabeth II, will this yr mark 70 many years on the British throne.



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Victoria Jones/Related Press

Buckingham Palace could even further thrust him to the back again burner.

Prince Harry

agreed to prevent using His Royal Highness as a title and was stripped of his patronages and armed forces titles when he quit royal obligations to go to the U.S. with his wife. Prince Andrew so far has been spared this. “It is the queen’s reward and up to her to offer with that,” stated Mr. Cawthorne.

If she does not, the 70th anniversary of the queen’s reign could present however one more hard protocol instant for the family members. Prince Andrew, as a colonel in the British Army’s Grenadier Guards, would be expected to attend the Trooping of the Colour, a armed forces parade to mark the queen’s formal birthday.

So far his makes an attempt to defuse the scandal and obvious his identify have backfired. An job interview with the British Broadcasting Corp. in 2019 about his romantic relationship with Epstein provoked an rigorous, unfavorable public response.

The prince stated for the duration of that job interview that he regretted staying at Epstein’s New York household in 2010, following Epstein’s release from jail after a sexual-assault conviction. The prince stated he was doing the “honorable thing” by telling Epstein in man or woman that he was ending their romantic relationship. He stated that he experienced no recollection of at any time conference Ms. Giuffre or dancing with her in a London nightclub. He additional that her account of him perspiring in the nightclub couldn’t be correct due to the fact at the time he experienced a health care ailment that intended he couldn’t sweat.

Prince Andrew afterwards issued a assertion indicating he regretted his “ill-judged association” with Epstein. He stepped back again from royal obligations shortly after.

The prince’s lawful team has tried out many avenues to stop the circumstance from progressing. In fall of previous yr, a video game of lawful cat-and-mouse performed out as Prince Andrew’s attorneys argued he hadn’t formally been notified of Ms. Giuffre’s civil fit, irrespective of many e-mails and a representative for Ms. Giuffre leaving a duplicate of the lawsuit with law enforcement guarding the Royal Lodge close to Windsor Castle. A British court agreed to notify the prince of the grievance.

This 7 days the prince’s attorneys argued that the fit really should be thrown out due to the fact Ms. Giuffre entered a settlement with Epstein in 2009 for $five hundred,000. The arrangement settled a lawsuit Ms. Giuffre experienced filed against Epstein accusing him of trafficking her for sex. Choose Kaplan will quickly identify regardless of whether it bars Ms. Giuffre from having lawful action against Prince Andrew.

Even more complicating matters: Prince Andrew’s longstanding good friend Ms. Maxwell was just lately convicted in New York of sex-trafficking fees for recruiting and grooming underage teens to perform sex acts on Epstein. Through her a few-7 days trial, Prince Andrew was stated as one of many notable figures to fly on Epstein’s non-public jet.

Senior British royals have continued their public obligations with out Prince Andrew due to the fact he stepped back again in 2019.



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Geoff Pugh/The Day by day Telegraph/Zuma Press

In latest many years Prince Charles has pushed to refocus the royal family members all-around the queen and her direct heirs. As the highlight shifts away from those lower down the royal get, it is unclear regardless of whether the queen will take even further action to sideline her son.

Shortly after Prince Andrew stepped down from public obligations, he was photographed out riding with the queen in an evident show of help. The queen also published a information on social media to mark Prince Andrew’s sixtieth birthday. When his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, died previous yr, the prince was interviewed on television.

In the conclusion “there is the purely natural sensation toward a son,” stated Mr. Cawthorne.

Produce to Max Colchester at max.colchester@wsj.com

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