Prince Andrew ‘forced to do something by end of year’ says Lownie
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Prince Andrew will have to take action by the end of the year, as the issue of his impending civil case over allegations of sexual abuse “clearly isn’t going away”, claims a royal commentator. Dr Lownie’s comments come after it emerged that the Duke of York has returned to the Balmoral estate to be with the Queen, amid rumours that he has repeatedly avoided attempts to formally serve him with legal papers. The Duke has been accused of sexual abuse on three occasions, a claim he has consistently denied.
Speaking to The Royal Beat, biographer Dr Andrew Lownie said: “I’m not informed but it strikes me as an outsider that he’s up there to have a confer with his mum to work out what they’re going to do.
“The policy at the moment seems to be to do nothing in the hope the problem goes away, and it’s clearly not going to go away and as you say, he will be served or he will be forced to do something by the end of the year.
“So they need to do something and they don’t seem to me, to be the behaviour of a man who is innocent.”
Pictures of Prince Andrew and his former wife, Sarah Ferguson, were taken of the couple arriving at the Queen’s Scottish estate on Tuesday.
Whilst at Balmoral, Prince Andrew reportedly had a private lunch with the Queen in a secluded forest lodge, located six miles from Balmoral Castle.
Since his last visit in August to the 50,000 acre Aberdeenshire estate, the 61-year-old Prince has not been spotted in public.
His appearance at Balmoral comes after weeks of reports of the Duke avoiding attempts to formally serve him with legal papers.
Since the lawsuit was filed in New York on August 10, repeated attempts have been made to reach Prince Andrew, who has remained at Royal Lodge, Windsor.
His accuser’s lawyer, David Boies, has accused the Duke’s legal team of “stonewalling” them. Under the Hague Convention, David Boies is required to formally serve the civil case paperwork to the Duke of York, as he is a foreign citizen.
Prince Andrew has been accused of sexually abusing Virginia Roberts Giuffre on three occasions when she was 17 years old.
Virginia Giuffre has played a prominent role in exposing the alleged sexual abuse of the Duke’s former friend, Jeffrey Epstein. The disgraced financier was arrested in 2019, and later committed suicide in prison.
Prince Andrew became friends with Epstein during the 1990s, and terminated their friendship in 2010. He has denied having any knowledge of Epstein’s criminal and sexual behaviour.
The case against the Duke claims that he sexually assaulted Ms Giuffre at the London home of Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, and twice at Epstein’s homes in Manhattan and the US Virgin Islands.
Ms Giuffre claimed that Prince Andrew acted in full awareness that she was “a victim of sex trafficking”.
In court documents, her lawyers alleged: “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.”
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Prince Andrew has consistently denied all allegations made against him.
In 2019, he appeared in a BBC Newsnight interview, where he told journalist Emily Maitlis: “It didn’t happen. I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened. I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.”
Following public backlash, he stepped down from his role as a senior working royal, and ceased to represent the Queen during formal engagements.
In a later statement, he said: “I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein.
“His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure.
“I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”
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