Prince Andrew latest news: Queen may strip Duke of titles as a 'last resort' as Royal ordered to face sex abuse trial

PRINCE Andrew WILL face trial in the US after sex abuse claims against him were thrown out, it was decided today.

The Duke of York is being sued for rape after he allegedly sexually abused his accuser when she was just 17.

His lawyers had claimed that Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s civil lawsuit should be dropped based on a previous $500,000 (£371,000) deal signed by her in 2009.

The Duke of York is being sued for rape after he allegedly sexually abused his accuser when she was just 17.

But Judge Lewis Kaplan today ruled the case will be allowed to proceed.

Read our Royal Family live blog for the latest news and updates…

  • Louis Allwood

    Queens sleeping arrangements

    Before his death in April last year, the Queen and Prince Philip famously slept in separate bedrooms.

    According to Lady Pamela Hicks – Philip's cousin – the upper class "always have separate bedrooms".

    Lady Pam made the claim while speaking to Sally Bedell Smith for her biography of the monarch in 2012.

    "In England, the upper class always have had separate bedrooms," she explained.

    Not only is it ‘proper’ to sleep separately, but doctors actually recommend it.

  • Joseph Gamp

    The Queen’s bedtime routine & secret weapon to help her drift off

    AT THE age of 95, the Queen still has a tight schedule to adhere to each day, meaning that a good night’s sleep is imperative.

    According to experts at Eachnight.com, the monarch may actually owe her long life to her active lifestyle and sleep hygiene.

    But exactly what is Her Majesty’s bedtime routine and what makes her such a successful sleeper?

    We reveal all here…

  • Joseph Gamp

    Andrew case 'could lead to constitutional crisis for the monarchy'

    The Duke of York's sexual assault trial, given the go-ahead by a US judge, threatens to set off a "constitutional crisis" which will engulf the royal family, a legal expert said.

    Andrew now faces the prospect of his accuser Virginia Giuffre giving a detailed account in court of the allegation she was trafficked to have sex with the Queen's second son when she was 17 and a minor under US law.

    Judge Lewis A Kaplan dismissed a motion by the duke's lawyers to have the civil case thrown out after they argued Ms Giuffre had waived her right to pursue the duke by signing a confidential settlement with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

    The judgment will be a huge blow for Andrew, and media lawyer Mark Stephens said it will prompt meetings of senior royals as they attempt to deal with the looming reputational damage to the monarchy during the Queen's Platinum Jubilee year.

    Mr Stephens told the BBC: "Judge Lewis Kaplan has thrown a reasoned judicial decision like a bomb into the middle and the heart of the royal family and threatens to provoke constitutional crisis as a consequence."

    He said the duke has "no good options", adding: "Essentially, I think he's either going to have to engage in the trial process or he's going to have to settle and that may well be his least worst option."

  • Joseph Gamp

    Holocaust paintings to be “guiding light for our society”

    The Prince of Wales hopes a series of paintings he has commissioned of Holocaust survivors will be a “guiding light for our society”.

    Charles’ journey as he tasks seven leading artists to paint some of the nation’s last remaining Holocaust survivors is the subject of a new BBC documentary.

    All seven survivors were children in camps or ghettos during the Second World War and are now into their 90s after settling in Britain.

    It is hoped the portraits, which be displayed in London and Edinburgh, will stand as a lasting reminder of the horrors of the Nazi regime which will one day be lost to living memory.

    The heir to the throne will say in the documentary: “As the number of Holocaust survivors sadly, but inevitably, declines, my abiding hope is that this special collection will act as a further guiding light for our society, reminding us not only of history’s darkest days, but of humanity’s interconnectedness as we strive to create a better world for our children, grandchildren and generations as yet unborn; one where hope is victorious over despair and love triumphs over hate.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Queen will make decision about Andrew's titles 'as a last resort'

    Ingrid Seward, Editor in Chief of Majesty magazine, said the Queen would likely only make a decision about Andrew's titles as "a last resort" adding she would be "very surprised" if anything happened immediately.

    But the expert noted the duke could be made to "relinquish" his patronages.

    “It’s not going to be at the top of [the Queen's] list of things she wants to do," Ingrid explained.

    "It’s unprecedented. She will probably say to Andrew keep your title Duke of York but you’ve got to relinquish your military appointments regardless of where you stand in this case. 

    "I don’t think it’s going to be immediate. It may be, but I would be very surprised."

  • Joseph Gamp

    Andrew ‘finished’ as working royal & likely to lose military honours says expert

    PRINCE Andrew is "finished" as a working royal and will likely lose all military honours amid his court battle with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, an expert has said.

    The Duke of York will be tried over allegations he sexually assaulted Ms Giuffre when she was 17 after a US judge today ruled her civil lawsuit can proceed.

    Judge Lewis A Kaplan's decision comes as a huge blow for Andrew, whose lawyers argued earlier this month the case should be thrown out. Lawyers for the Duke had said Virginia’s civil lawsuit should be dropped based on a previous $500,000 (£371,000) deal signed by her with Jeffrey Epstein in 2009.

    But David Boies, Ms Giuffre's lawyer, said only the parties of the settlement agreement – Epstein and Ms Giuffre and their associates – could benefit from it, and not a "third party" such as Andrew.

    Today, Judge Lewis A Kaplan agreed and said Prince Andrew's motion was "denied in all respects". And according to experts, the outcome is "very bad news" for the prince, who will likely lose his military honours as a result.

    Royal biographer Phil Dampier told The Sun Online: "This will obviously do nothing to help his reputation, I think he is finished as a working royal.

    "It was suggested he would try and get back this year for the 40th anniversary of the Falklands events but that's not going to happen for him the way this is going. It wouldn't surprise me if, in time, he loses his military patronages." 

  • Joseph Gamp

    What does the US court decision mean?

    The decision by the US court means Andrew will be expected to give a sworn witness statement answering Ms Giuffre’s claims.

    He will also be asked to provide potentially damaging disclosure.

    Sworn statements from ex-wife Sarah Ferguson and daughters Beatrice and Eugenie are a possibility.

    A full civil trial with a jury could see Andrew cross-examined about his sex life, links to Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell and asked exactly what he did to his accuser.

    Andrew and his lawyers had prepared two statements ready to be sent out after the decision but, in a further sign that a settlement offer may be imminent, neither were immediately forthcoming.

    A spokesman for the Duke also refused to comment.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Andrew a 'dead man walking' who should 'fall in his sword' says lawyer

    The Duke of York is a "dead man walking" who has to "fall on his sword" for the sake of the monarchy and strike a deal with his accuser Virginia Giuffre, a lawyer has said.

    Mark Stephens said Wednesday's ruling that Andrew is to face a civil sexual assault trial has "thrown a bomb" into the heart of the royal family and threatens to spark a constitutional crisis.

    US Judge Lewis A Kaplan has decided the Queen's second son can be tried over allegations he sexually assaulted Ms Giuffre when she was 17.

    Speaking to the BBC, media lawyer Mr Stephens said a crisis of this scale was unprecedented for the royal family.

    "Prince Andrew has nowhere to go. He's effectively a dead man walking as far as the royal family is concerned," he said.

    "But the one thing he can do is to accept the responsibility, accept the blame, accept that he has to fall on his sword for the sake of the wider royal family."

    The duke has vehemently denied the allegations.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Meghan Markle’s lawyer makes ‘bullying’ comparison

    Jenny Afia insisted claims that the duchess “traumatised” Palace staff are “absolutely untrue” – and the term bullying is used “very casually”.

    Meghan, 40, was accused of driving two personal assistants out of the royal household due to her “totally unacceptable” behaviour.

    Staff were said to be left in tears and feeling “humiliated” by her actions, and claimed she “governed by fear” and snapped: “It’s not my job to coddle people.”

    The allegations sparked an internal investigation, but the duchess has repeatedly denied the claims.

    And her solicitor has reiterated that the Meghan she knows is not a bully.

    Speaking with permission from the actress-turned-royal, Ms Afia, from libel law firm Schillings, said: “I think the first thing is to be really clear about what bullying is because the term gets used very, very casually.

    “My daughter called me a bully last week when I asked her to brush her teeth – she’s seven years old.

    “So the term is used very freely and it’s a very, very damaging term as we know, particularly I think for career women.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Gary Lineker takes to Twitter after news Andrew will face court

    Gary Lineker has joked about today’s news making reference to Andrew’s claims that he is unable to sweat.

    He Tweeted “This court decision will test Prince Andrew’s inability to sweat.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Meghan hasn't returned to the UK since Megxit

    Meghan hasn’t flown back to the UK since Megxit. She was pregnant when the service for Prince Philip took place, and decided not to return on the advice of her doctors.

    The Queen has also not yet had the chance to meet great-granddaughter Lilibet, who was named after her. The tot was born last June.

    However, despite the couple’s now-notorious interview with Oprah Winfrey last March – during which they claimed a member of the family had made a racist remark – Royal expert Neil Sean said they may still get an invitation to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this year.

    “What I’m suspecting is there will be some kind of banquet, perhaps low-key, that they possibly could get invited to,” he said.

    “What we do know, however, is their diaries are remaining free.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    Fashion designer Paul Smith joins prestigious Royal order

    Celebrated designer Sir Paul Smith said a "love of life" and seeing his creations enjoyed by others keeps him going as he joined a prestigious order in recognition of his work.

    Sir Paul, who is in his sixth decade as a force in British fashion, was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour by the Duke of Cambridge during a Windsor Castle investiture ceremony on Wednesday.

    Dressed in one of his trademark tailored suits, Sir Paul said: "This is really special because of the limited number of people who receive it, it's also very much about longevity – you've been consistently contributing to society, employment, exports, and (have) enthusiasm and energy for young people."

    The Order of the Companions of Honour was established in 1917 by George V to recognise service of national importance and is sometimes regarded as the junior honour to the Order of Merit. It is made up of the sovereign, plus no more than 65 members.

    Sir Paul added: "The love of life keeps me going – getting up every morning.

    "Creativity is a very interesting stimulant because there's nothing better than having a lovely idea and then turning that idea into reality and seeing that people are enjoying what you've created, that's very nice."

  • Joseph Gamp

    Andrew 'could pursue out of court settlement'

    The Queen's second son could pursue an out of court, and potentially multimillion-pound, settlement, but there have been suggestions Ms Giuffre may not be prepared to accept a deal.

    Media lawyer Mark Stephens said: "Andrew has got no good options now. He can't make things better."

    He told the BBC: "Essentially, I think he's either going to have to engage in the trial process or he's going to have to settle and that may well be his least worst option."

    Andrew could ignore the case, meaning by default there would be a finding against him, or he could fight it out, meaning he would have to give a deposition under oath and the sexual assault allegations would be explored in open court.

    Buckingham Palace declined to comment, saying: "We would not comment on what is an ongoing legal matter."

  • Louis Allwood

    Trial will cause ‘massive embarrassment’ for Queen

    Leading commentator Phil Dampier told The Sun Online he believes the Duke of York will try stop the case with an out-of-court settlement.

    The author added he believes Andrew – described as The Queen's favourite son – is "finished" and will likely be stripped of his military patronages.

    Andrew strongly denies all allegations against him – and claims he has no memory of even meeting Virginia.

    Mr Dampier told The Sun Online: "This is very bad news for him – it means he will probably have to settle outside court as 97 per cent of civil cases in America do.

    "There is always the danger that if he pays Virginia Roberts off, that someone else might emerge and make a similar claim but that could be a risk he has to take."

  • Louis Allwood

    Claims that Prince Andrew will have to face

    Virginia has claimed she romped with Andrew in a bath when she was 17, after a night where he had allegedly been plying her with vodka a club in London.

    Maxwell had previously said her bath was "too small" for sex.

    In a manuscript, Virginia claimed: "It was a beige marble tiled floor with porcelain Victorian-style bathtub in the middle of the room and nowhere near the size of Jeffrey's residences."

    She added: "I turned on the taps for the tub and the heat from the water began to steam up the small room.

    "Trying to do the best of my youthfulness to try and act seductive, I gradually began to strip off my clothing, piece by piece.

    "He loved every second of it as I went over to where he was waiting and watching, then began to undress him.

    "We kissed and touched each other before submersing into the hot water, where we both continued to re-enact foreplay."

  • Louis Allwood

    Claims within court documents

    Court documents claim Ms Giuffre was "lent out for sexual purposes" by convicted sex offender Epstein including while she was still a minor under US law.

    The docs add the alleged assaults "have caused, and continue to cause her, significant emotional and psychological distress and harm".

    "Prince Andrew's actions, described above, constitute extreme and outrageous conduct that shocks the conscience," the lawsuit stated as it described the emotional distress suffered by Ms Giuffre.

    "Prince Andrew's sexual abuse of a child who he knew was a sex-trafficking victim, and when he was approximately 40 years old, goes beyond all possible bounds of decency and is intolerable in a civilised community," it added.

  • Louis Allwood

    Duke to face major legal battle

    The Duke – who is understood to have not been following last Tuesday's hearing when lawyers argued his case – is now facing a major legal battle.

    Andrew could face a trial which may see him having to give a deposition to a US court – and a parade of witnesses trotted out regarding the allegations.

    It would be the latest and biggest embarrassment to the Royal family over the case.

  • Louis Allwood

    What's happened to Epstein and Maxwell?

    Epstein hanged himself in his prison cell in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking offences.

    And meanwhile Maxwell faces potentially spending the rest of her life in prison after she was convicted for her role in the scheme.

  • Louis Allwood

    Throwback to his Newsnight interview

    In an infamous Newsnight interview with the BBC's Emily Maitlis in November 2019, Andrew denied claims that he slept with Ms Giuffre and said he had "no recollection" of ever meeting her.

    He also said he has no memory of the well-known photograph of him with his arm around Virginia's waist at Maxwell's house, and has questioned whether the photo had been doctored.

    The fallout from the interview saw the royal criticised for showing a lack of empathy towards Epstein's victims and a lack of remorse over his friendship with disgraced financier.

  • Louis Allwood

    Inside Kate Middleton’s hen do (Continued…)

    The bash took place in London in 2011, shortly before Kate and William’s lavish royal wedding in April.

    Maid of honour Pippa Middleton is said to have organised the private event at a mutual friend’s house.

    The Telegraph claimed the guest list was kept to a minimum, with a source saying: “It was certainly very low-key. 

    “There isn’t such a tradition attached to hen nights as there is to stag parties. It was done privately.

    "Not all of Kate’s friends were there, and she will be catching up with other friends over the coming weeks.”

    Kate's university housemate Olivia Beasdale is said to have attended along with Marlborough school pals Alicia Fox-Pitt and Rose Astor.

    A few years after their encounter, Cheryl gushed about Kate to Closer magazine, saying: “We had this amazing moment. She’s so ordinary! 

    “I mean, obviously she isn’t because she’s a princess, but she’s easy to get along with.”

  • Louis Allwood

    What are the claims against Andrew?

    Virginia claims she was trafficked by the sick duo to be abused by Andrew after meeting him at a nightclub in London.

    It is alleged that she was taken back Ghislaine's townhouse were she was forced to have sex with the Royal, who was at the time aged 41.

    Andrew strongly denies all allegations against him – and claims he has no memory of even meeting Virginia.

    He also claims he had no knowledge of any wrongdoing by his pals Maxwell and Epstein.

  • Louis Allwood

    Gary Lineker takes to Twitter after news Andrew will face court

    Gary Lineker has joked about today's news making reference to Andrew's claims that he is unable to sweat.

    He Tweeted "This court decision will test Prince Andrew's inability to sweat."

  • Louis Allwood

    “It is a word that neither you or I can find any meaning at all”

    Mr Brettler argued that a newly-disclosed £371,000 secret agreement between Virginia and late financier Epstein in 2009 released the royal from any legal action.

    And he said the settlement had resulted in a similar lawsuit from Andrew’s accuser being dismissed.

    But Judge Kaplan appeared to disagree over the interpretation of “potential” and said: “It is a word that neither you or I can find any meaning at all.”

    Andrew’s lawyer argued that his client should be covered by it because Ms Giuffre had mentioned “royalty” in her civil complaint against Epstein.

    The judge indicated the settlement wording might mean that both Epstein and Ms Giuffre had to agree as to whether or not it could be used to release other potential defendants.

    He said: “If someone got sued and Jeffrey Epstein said this person was within the release, and it was OK with Ms Giuffre . . .  Epstein could enforce it — but not otherwise.”

  • Louis Allwood

    Duke attempted to get the case thrown out

    The Duke's attempts to get the case thrown out hinged on a secret 2009 payout agreement signed by Virginia and Epstein.

    His lawyers attempted to say this backroom deal – which saw Epstein compensate the sex abuse victim – excluded Andrew from legal action.

    In it she agreed to end all action against “second parties” but does not name the Duke.

    Virginia's settlement had been kept under seal – but judges last month ordered it to be released yesterday unless "good cause" could be shown otherwise.

    And her lawyers successfully argued that the agreement should not stop her case against Andrew.

    They previously said the agreement was an attempt by Andrew to use a "get out of jail free card".

  • John Hall

    Major humiliation

    Andrew facing trial be the latest and biggest embarrassment to the Royal family over the case.

    The Duke's attempts to get the case thrown out hinged on a secret 2009 payout agreement signed by Virginia and Epstein.

    His lawyers attempted to say this backroom deal – which saw Epstein compensate the sex abuse victim – excluded Andrew from legal action.

    Source: Read Full Article