Boris Johnson: Expert discusses ‘abolishing’ the BBC
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Prince Andrew is at the centre of a civil sex abuse claim brought against him by one of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims. These allegations have seriously marred his reputation, but have they impacted the rest of his family? Has the case for abolition been strengthened by the princes’ fall from grace?
Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a victim of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, has brought a civil lawsuit against the Duke of York.
Ms Giuffre’s lawyers filed a civil suit against the Duke in a federal court in New York last month.
She alleges Mr Epstein forced her to have sex with the Duke on three separate occasions when she was just 17-years-old.
She’s now seeking unspecified damages from the Duke.
Not only is the Duke facing a civil court battle, but he is also under investigation by the US Department of Justice over his previous links to sex offender Mr Epstein.
The Duke has categorically denied all of these allegations, but has the damage to his reputation undermined the monarchy’s standing?
Express.co.uk explores if the case for the abolition of the monarchy has increased due to this scandal.
Graham Smith, Chief executive officer for Republic, an organisation that wants to see the monarchy abolished certainly thinks so.
Mr Smith told Express.co.uk: “The Prince Andrew scandal highlights the impunity of the royal family and the chasm between their values and those of the rest of us.”
He added: “Our [Republic’s] view is that we shouldn’t have a royal family and the Andrew scandal is just another example of why.”
Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams believes the Duke’s friendship with Mr Epstein has been “undoubtedly damaging for the monarchy.”
But he suggests the damage will be limited to the Duke alone.
Mr Fitzwilliams told Express.co.uk: “Andrew has, foreseeably, no future as a working royal.
“The publicity surrounding the civil case bought against him by Virginia Roberts Giuffre has been extremely damaging and it is unclear how long this will last and what the result will be.
“His standing in the court of public opinion is extremely low.
“Any matters dealing with his friendship with Epstein are undoubtedly damaging for the monarchy.”
The Duke’s popularity has plummeted over the past year – just 10 percent of Brits like him according to the latest polls by YouGov.
But Mr Smith believes the scandal isn’t limited to the Duke.
He said: “It’s not just Andrew that’s the problem, but the Queen and Charles, as soon-to-be king, have to explain what they knew and when and why Andrew continued to perform public duties for so long after the allegations came to light.
“And why he continues to represent the armed forces with various honorary ranks and medals.”
But he predicts the future of the royals will look very different when Prince Charles becomes king.
He said: While she’s around the Queen is an effective heat shield for them [the royal family], but when it’s just King Charles, William and Andrew in headlines, with Harry reminding everyone there’s a way out, then things will change and that’s when the long-term damage caused by Andrew will become more apparent.
Only time will tell if the monarchy can weather the reputational damage brought to it by this latest scandal.
But royal fans and pro-abolition advocates alike will be closely following the imminent court case in New York.
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