PRINCE Andrew’s ongoing civil case will not “catastrophically” damage the Queen’s reputation as the general public sympathises with the ageing monarch, a royal historian has claimed.
Prince Andrew’s lawsuit has “overshadowed” the Queen’s latter years
Speaking to Express.co.uk, royal historian Dr Anna Whitelock said: “I think Prince Andrew is the main focus, and not people’s perceptions of the Queen, who is held in a high regard and I think people have great sympathy for the fact that her latter years are having to be overshadowed by this.
“So I don’t think it’s going to catastrophically affect her reputation, I’m also not sure that it plays into the strength and stability of the monarchy.
“I think it’s important to separate the Royal Family and the scandals that have erupted at different points in the Royal Family, from the institution of the monarchy itself.
“But of course, that really just relies on the monarch and her immediate successors, of which Prince Andrew isn’t one.”
Prince Andrew has consistently denied the claims made against him, stating in 2019 that they “never happened”.
Virginia Giuffre filed the civil case on August 10 under New York’s Child Victims Act, claiming that the 61-year-old Prince had sexually assaulted her on three occasions.
The case alleges that through his former friendship with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, the Duke of York sexually abused Ms Giuffre at the London home of Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, and twice at Epstein’s homes in Manhattan and the US Virgin Islands.
Jeffrey Epstein was arrested in 2019 after a number of women came forward to accuse him of sex trafficking and solicitation of minors for prosititution. He later committed suicide in prison, whilst his close friend Ghislaine Maxwell is currently awaiting trial in New York.
While Prince Andrew had befriended Epstein during the 1990s, he claims to have terminated their friendship in 2010 and has denied having any knowledge of Epstein’s alleged criminality.
Ms Giuffre alleges the Queen’s second son acted in full awareness that she was 17-years-old, and was a “victim of sex trafficking”.
Now aged 38, she is seeking damages for the “significant emotional and psychological distress and harm” caused by his actions.
In documents filed in New York, her lawyers said: “Twenty years ago Prince Andrew’s wealth, power, position, and connections enabled him to abuse a frightened, vulnerable child with no one there to protect her. It is long past the time for him to be held to account.”
Prince Andrew’s legal team have finally accepted that they have been formally served with legal documents informing them of the lawsuit.
During a pre-trial conference on September 13, his lawyers attempted to argue that the papers had not been officially received despite Ms Giuffre’s team showing evidence that they had attempted several times to do so.
Under the Hague Convention, the defendant’s legal team must be formally notified of damages sought against them, in order for a court hearing to proceed.
Prince Andrew’s legal team now have until October 28 to respond to the allegations.
Since the announcement of the civil case, the Duke of York has maintained a low-profile, and has spent several weeks with the Queen at Balmoral. He recently returned to Windsor, to meet Princess Beatrice’s newborn daughter, Sienna Elizabeth, for the first time.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK