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Prince Andrew escapes lawyers trying to ambush him – could hide at Balmoral ‘for months’

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The Duke of York has been sued in the US by Virginia Giuffre who claims she was forced to have sex with Andrew on three occasions in 2001 when she was a minor. Prince Andrew vehemently denies all allegations made against him.

Legal staff for Ms Giuffre were waiting for the Duke to go on a regular horse ride at Windsor Palace hours before the accusations were filed against him in New York.

They planned to hand him the documents in person before the news broke but Andrew foiled them and fled to Balmoral Castle, where Queen Elizabeth II is currently spending the summer.

A source told the Mirror: “Virginia’s lawyers are under no illusions how difficult it is to get alongside the prince.

“They’ve been trying to speak to him for five years.

“Processors were on the ground on Monday when the papers were filed in Manhattan hoping to hand them to him if he went out on his horse.

“He could be at Balmoral for months without coming out.”

Under the Hague Convention, the lawyers must present the papers to Andrew in person and have 120 days to get them to him.

If Andrew is not served by December 7, legal experts warn the case may collapse.

Once officially served, the Duke of York will have 21 days to respond to the accusations.

US civil litigation lawyer Spencer Kuvin – who represents several Jeffrey Epstein victims, said Andrew could try to dismiss the allegations.

Mr Kuvin said Andrew could use diplomatic immunity as he was a trade envoy at the time.

Ms Giuffre’s lawyer, lawyer David Boies confirmed they are trying to serve the lawsuit by hand.

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He added: “We’ll present a copy of the complaint in a formal way.

“He is a foreign citizen so we must do this under the Hague Convention.”

Andrew is alleged to have “intentionally committed battery by sexually assaulting” Ms Giuffre when she was just 17.

The accusations added that “on multiple occasions, Andrew intentionally touched the Plaintiff in an offensive and sexual manner without her consent”.

Andrew has said he has “no recollection” of meeting Ms Giuffre, despite the existence of a photograph showing him with his arm around her waist.

Ms Giuffre alleges in her lawsuit she was made to have “sexual intercourse with Prince Andrew against her will” at Ghislaine Maxwell’s home near Knightsbridge.

Andrew is also accused of later abusing her at Jeffrey Epstein’s mansion in New York and on his private island in the Caribbean.

During the disastrous interview with the BBC in 2019, Andrew said he never had sex with her and insisted it “did not happen”.

Andrew has previously issued a statement saying he “continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein”.

He later said he was “willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations if required”.

The Duke of York was forced to step back from royal life in 2019 following the interview with the BBC over his relationship with Epstein.

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