Prince Andrew’s sex assault lawsuit will cast a ‘horrid shadow’ over the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations and will be a ‘major disappointment’ to Her Majesty, royal expert claims
News Prince Andrew will face a lawsuit in US over claims he sexually assaulted Virginia Roberts Giuffre when she was 17 will cast a ‘horrid shadow’ over the Queen‘s Platinum Jubilee year, royal experts have claimed.
Nigel Cawthorne, author of Prince Andrew: Epstein, Maxwell and the Palace, said there can be ‘little doubt’ the legal proceedings will impact plans to celebrate Her Majesty’s milestone 70 years on the throne.
He noted it will be a ‘major disappointment’ to the Queen, 95, who enjoys a close relationship with her 61-year-old son, and will bring back memories of the ‘annus horribilis’ of 1992, which was marred by the collapse of Charles, Andrew and Anne’s respective marriages, and a great fire at Windsor Castle.
Meanwhile Phil Dampier said it is ‘the last thing’ the Queen needs and her familial struggles will likely me ‘taking a toll’ on her personally.
He suggested the Royal Family will be doing ‘all they can to limit the damage’ so the ‘Queen can enjoy the year’.
Andrew, the Queen’s favourite son, is today under pressure to settle with Virginia Roberts Giuffre after a New York judge sensationally refused to throw out her case – paving the way for a box office trial over claims she was repeatedly forced to have sex with him when she was a teenager.
Nigel Cawthorne, author of the acclaimed Prince Andrew: Epstein, Maxwell and the Palace, said there can be ‘little doubt’ the legal proceedings will impact plans to celebrate Her Majesty’s milestone 70 years on the throne. Pictured, the Queen and Andrew in January 2020
The Duke of York was photographed with his arm around the bare waist of then 17-year-old Virginia Roberts. In the background, Ghislaine Maxwell. Roberts claims she was forced to have sex with the royal three times. Andrew vehemently denies the allegations
Judge Lewis A Kaplan dismissed an application from the Duke of York’s lawyers to have the case shut down – freeing Ms Giuffre to pursue a high-profile case in September over Ms Giuffre’s sensational allegations against the British royal.
Prince Andrew vehemently denies all the allegations.
Regardless of whether Andrew settles out of court, the case threatens to overshadow Jubilee celebrations planned for the summer.
Events including a special Trooping the Colour, a thanksgiving service, the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace, a show at Windsor Castle and a series of special exhibitions at royal residences, are all set to take place, attended by the Queen and other senior royals.
However the timing of the legal proceedings means there’s every chance Andrew could dominate coverage.
The case will also be a personal blow to the Queen, 95, who maintains a particularly close relationship with her second youngest child.
Mr Cawthorne said: ‘Virginia Giuffe appears hell-bent on her day in court after prince couldn’t recall her on BBC TV and witnesses have since claimed to have seen them together on three separate occasions.
‘There can be little doubt that the Giuffre-Andrew trial will cast a horrid shadow over his mother’s 70th jubilee celebrations this year.
‘It is bound to come as a major disappointment to the Queen and bring back memories of the annus horribilis, her 40th anniversary.’
Prince Andrew has been humbled by a US court as his attempts to throw out a civil claim against him failed – leaving him facing a costly and reputation shredding trial
Mr Dampier added: ‘The court case would probably happen in September which would be after the Queen’s platinum celebrations. But the fact he was due in court would cast a shadow over the events and ruin them in the summer.
‘So much would be written about Andrew, his case, and whether he was going to turn up for Trooping the Colour or other events, it would lessen the focus on the Queen’s milestone, which would be a terrible shame.
‘I feel very sorry for Her Majesty as she doesn’t need this. Having said that maybe she should have been more strict with him years ago and told him to be a lot more careful who he was friendly with.
‘To go and see Epstein after he had been convicted was madness and the Queen should have stopped it. Andrew has always had an arrogant streak and probably wouldn’t listen to anyone else, but he would have obeyed his mother.
‘This is the last thing the Queen needs on top of losing Prince Philip and seeing Harry and Meghan quit. she must sometimes wonder what she has done to deserve it.
‘And although she is an incredibly strong person and has this amazing ability to compartmentalise problems, it must be taking a toll. She has suffered health problems in recent months and this can’t help her at 95.
‘I’m sure Prince Charles as the future king sees no role for Andrew, no way back and he is finished as a working royal. Every effort will now be made to limit the damage, preferably sooner rather than later so that the Queen can enjoy the year.’
Regardless of whether Andrew decides to settle, the case threatens to overshadow Jubilee celebrations planned for the summer. Pictured, the Queen in October 2021
Andrew’s attorneys had unsuccessfully argued that her case should have been thrown out because of a newly unsealed $500,000 settlement with Jeffrey Epstein. The royal’s lawyer Andrew Brettler argued it protected Andrew because it contained a clause where she agreed not to take legal action against ‘potential defendants’.
In the conclusion of his written ruling, Judge Kaplan said: ‘For the foregoing reasons, defendant’s motion to dismiss the complaint or for a more definite statement is denied in all respects.
‘Given the court’s limited task of ruling on this motion, nothing in this opinion or previously in these proceedings properly may be construed as indicating a view with respect to the truth of the charges or countercharges or as to the intention of the parties in entering into the 2009 Agreement.’
Outlining his reasons for denying the motion, Judge Kaplan said the court was not able at this stage to consider the duke’s efforts to cast doubt on Ms Giuffre’s claims or whether he was covered by the settlement agreement, suggesting these were issues for a trial.
In his ruling, he said: ‘The 2009 Agreement cannot be said to demonstrate, clearly and unambiguously, the parties intended the instrument ‘directly,’ ‘primarily,’ or ‘substantially,’ to benefit Prince Andrew.’
And it went on: ‘The law prohibits the Court from considering at this stage of the proceedings defendant’s efforts to cast doubt on the truth of Ms Giuffre’s allegations, even though his efforts would be permissible at trial.
‘In a similar vein and for similar reasons, it is not open to the Court now to decide, as a matter of fact, just what the parties to the release in the 2009 settlement agreement signed by Ms Giuffre and Jeffrey Epstein actually meant.’
Ms Giuffre alleges she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with Andrew when she was 17, which made her a minor under US law.
She is seeking unspecified damages in a civil suit against Andrew, but the sum could reportedly be in the millions of dollars.
Andrew, who has not been charged with any criminal offences, has vehemently denied all the allegations against him.
Nigel Cawthorne is author of Prince Andrew: Epstein, Maxwell and the Palace