Prince Andrew’s security funding ‘under review’ says expert
The Duke of York’s civil sexual assault lawsuit was dismissed by a US judge this week. Andrew paid a financial settlement to accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre, reported to be around £12million, to settle a case brought by the American. Ms Giuffre alleged Andrew had sexually assaulted her three times when she was 17 while victim of a sex trafficking by convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Andrew always vehemently denied the allegations, and had vowed to clear his name in court.
Under civil law, agreeing to settle a case does not amount to an admission of guilt.
The Treasury confirmed on Thursday afternoon that “no public money has been used” for Andrew’s legal costs or settlement, in response to a Freedom of Information request filed on February 15.
Andrew has been all but banished from public life since his now infamous Newsnight interview in 2019, and is not expected to return any time soon.
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Prince Andrew’s case was formally dismissed this week.
Prince Andrew with Jeffrey Epstein.
Yet unearthed accounts reveal fears were raised over Andrew’s actions more than a decade ago.
In February 2010, the Mail on Sunday obtained an interview with Ms Giuffre, who alleged Epstein had trained her as an underage prostitute and flown her to London in 2001 to spend time with the Duke of York.
The newspaper had evidence to support her claims — flight logs from Epstein’s jet and the controversial photograph of Andrew with his arm around her.
A 2011 Vanity Fair report by author Edward Klein alleged Ed Perkins, the Queen’s deputy press secretary at the time, assembled a “crisis team” to deal with the Mail on Sunday’s request for comment.
The Queen reportedly summoned Andrew for a meeting.
A source told Mr Klein that, in the 36 hours that followed the initial request, the Queen summoned Andrew to a meeting.
Mr Klein wrote: “According to several well-informed individuals, the Queen was not amused.
“She recognised that the Virginia Roberts story had the potential to overshadow the positive media lavished on the forthcoming wedding of William and Kate.
“The Queen asked Prince Andrew why he had consorted with someone like Jeffrey Epstein, whom the FBI had reportedly linked to about 40 young women, most of them under-age.
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Andrew denied all allegations against him.
“More to the point, the Queen demanded to know if her son had any more surprises up his sleeve.”
Andrew is said to have assured his mother that he had not had a sexual relationship with Ms Giuffre nor with any other of the girls trafficked by Epstein.
Given the stringency of the UK’s libel laws, the Mail on Sunday’s interview carried strong disclaimers that there was no suggestion of sexual contact between Andrew and his accuser.
Andrew had been photographed in December of the previous year walking in New York’s Central Park with Epstein.
Andrew is not expected to return to public life any time soon.
He told Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis in 2019 that he had met Epstein for the sole purpose of breaking off any future relationship with him.
In August 2021, Ms Giuffre sued Andrew in the federal District Court for the Southern District of New York, accusing him of “sexual assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress”.
Andrew’s lawyers responded two months later, saying he “unequivocally denies” any allegations against him.
Attempts to have the case thrown out were dismissed in January, but the case was settled the following month, with Andrew making a sizable donation to Ms Giuffre’s charity for abuse victims.
Meanwhile, the Queen has been urged to remove both Andrew and Prince Harry from their positions in her Council of State following their removal from official duties.
Even though neither is officially serving on behalf of the Royal Family anymore, they are both believed to be holding the title of Counsellor of State — which allows them to carry out duties for Her Majesty in the event of her absence or illness.
The debate was reignited after it was announced that Prince Charles and Prince William will embark on several tours in the coming months to mark the monarch’s Platinum Jubilee.
Both William and Charles will be away from the UK at the same time next month, with Charles visiting Ireland and William jetting off to the Bahamas.
Speaking to Palace Confidential, editor Richard Eden said that in the event of an emergency “Prince Andrew or Prince Harry, as the law stands, would have to step in and that’s not right. That needs to be changed.”