The commentary comes as Prince Andrew is currently involved in a civil lawsuit, where he faces allegations made by Virginia Giuffre, formally known as Virginia Roberts. Ms Giuffre claims that she was forced by Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with the Duke on three separate occasions between 2000 and 2002 while underage.
Prince Andrew has categorically denied all allegations.
Ms Giuffre’s lawyers filed the civil suit at a New York federal court last month, through which she is seeking unspecified damages from the senior royal.
While no figure has been confirmed, it is speculated that the sum could be in the millions of dollars.
Co-author of Royal Fever, Cele Otnes claims that regardless of if the Duke of York is found liable or not liable, the damage caused to the royal image is “irreparable”.
Prince Andrew’s damage to Royal Family brand is ‘irreparable’ expert warns
Cele Otnes claims that regardless of the outcome the damage caused is “irreparable”
She told Express.co.uk: “In my opinion, regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit, Prince Andrew’s damage is irreparable.
“If he prevails, that outcome will be attributed to wanting to spare the Queen, for whom 2020 was an Annus Horribilis Redux.”
Queen Elizabeth II has faced an onslaught of challenges over the last 18 months following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepping away from the Royal Family, and the death of her husband Prince Philip in April 2021.
Queen Elizabeth II has faced an onslaught of challenges over the last 18 months
A pre-trial hearing took place in New York, on Monday, September 13 and Hollywood lawyer Andrew Brettler represented the prince.
During the court hearing, Mr Brettler rejected the claims made by Ms Guiffre dismissing them as “baseless”, and the Duke’s lawyer argued that the royal had not been correctly notified about the civil proceedings.
During the telephone conference hearing, Andrew’s legal team contested “the validity of service to date”, claiming he had not been properly served under either UK or international law.
The High Court has since accepted a request to notify Prince Andrew about Virginia Giuffre’s civil case in America.
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During the ongoing case, Buckingham Palace has consistently distanced itself from the proceedings
During the ongoing case, Buckingham Palace has consistently distanced itself from the proceedings and has referred any inquiries to the Duke’s personal legal and PR teams.
Ms Otnes, an expert on the branding of the Royal Family, also deemed his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, and the ongoing civil lawsuit as “an unmitigated disaster for the Royal Family brand”.
Prince Andrew has already stepped back from public duties amid the fallout from his relationship with Epstein, and Ms Otnes believes further action is required.
She referred to the ongoing civil suit as “a tragedy for the family”, saying that it would hit the Queen hardest “given that it is perceived Andrew is her favourite child”.
The co-author of Royal Fever warns that Andrew’s daughters Beatrice and Eugenie will be impacted
She also stated that regardless of the outcome “the collateral damage extends to his daughters”, suggesting that the proceedings will have a knock-on impact on both Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, the latter of whom is currently pregnant with her first child.
Last month an un-cropped image of the Duke alongside Ms Giuffre was uncovered, with a thumb of the person who took the snap appearing on the right-hand side of the shot, though the identity of the photographer remains unconfirmed.
The image is reported to have been taken in 2001 at Ghislaine Maxwell’s home in Belgravia, showing the Duke of York alongside Ms Roberts, with accused child sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell smiling behind the pair.
Ms Giuffre alleges the image was taken after a night out at Tramp nightclub in Mayfair when she became a victim of late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK