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Prince Andrew leaving Palace ‘quaking in their boots’ over fears of ‘explosive trial’

Prince Andrew is 'banished from royal life forever' says Myers

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The Duke of York is set to face a civil trial in the US ‒ likely in the autumn ‒ over allegations of sexual assault, which he vehemently denies. Virginia Roberts Giuffre claims that Andrew sexually assaulted her in 2001 when she was 17. She is an alleged sex-trafficking victim of the convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, whom Andrew shared a friendship with.

However, Andrew claims he has no memory of ever meeting Ms Giuffre.

The royal’s lawyers had hoped that Judge Lewis A Kaplan would reject Ms Giuffre’s allegations after they claimed they were vague.

They also referred to a settlement she reached with Epstein in 2009 that barred her from suing any other “potential defendants”.

Judge Kaplan, however, dismissed the arguments, saying they had been “of no assistance”.

Buckingham Palace has said it would not comment on an ongoing legal matter.

Many have noted that the Palace is now likely to avoid discussing the issue publicly after Andrew was stripped of his military titles and the ‘His Royal Highness’ style.

Russel Myers, the Daily Mirror’s royal editor who also regularly appears on the podcast ‘Pod Save the Queen’, spoke during a mid-December episode about what could potentially happen to Andrew and the effect on the Royal Family.

This was at a time when Judge Kaplan was taking into consideration the arguments made and had yet to make a decision on whether Andrew would face a trial.

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Mr Myers claimed that the Palace would be “quaking in its boots” over the prospect of a trial.

Talking about the imminent decision, he said: “We are going to see whether we’re going to have a very explosive trial that the Palace will be absolutely quaking in their boots over.

“Not only is it the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, but also how many more lurid accusations can Andrew take on to his character?

“He already thought he was going to have a return to duties but that is looking very far away as it stands at the moment.”

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations will take place in June, marking the 70 years of her reign, a milestone she passes on February 6.

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This, Mr Myers claimed, makes matters worse: “We’re going to have a lot of treacle to wade through because not only is it the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, but there’s also a lot of nervousness within Palace walls how this could potentially overshadow the celebration.

“Certainly I don’t think Andrew will be anywhere near the public celebrations, banished from the balcony, banished from any sort of public outing.

“He’s obviously vehemently denied categorically all the allegations in front of him.”

Responding to the judges decision, Ms Giuffre said she was “pleased” that Andrew’s attempt to dismiss the case had been denied and “that evidence will now be taken concerning her claims against him”.

A statement issued by her lawyer, David Boies, added: “She looks forward to a judicial determination of the merits of those claims.”

Andrew’s lawyers, highlighting the agreement Ms Giuffre made with Epstein in 2009, argued that the Duke of York was a “potential defendant” as defined by the agreement and that the case should be thrown out.

But Ms Giuffre’s lawyers hit back and said only the parties of the settlement agreement could benefit from it, and not a “third party”.

Judge Kaplan, in his decision, dismissed Andrew’s contention that the case against him was “legally insufficient” and could not go on to be heard at a future trial.

He said his ruling did not consider the “defendant’s efforts to cast doubt on the truth of Ms Giuffre’s allegations, even though his efforts would be permissible at trial”.

He added: “In a similar vein and for similar reasons, it is not open to the court now to decide, as a matter of fact, just what the parties to the release in the 2009 settlement agreement signed by Ms Giuffre and Jeffrey Epstein actually meant.”

Reports say that Andrew’s lawyers could potentially launch an appeal against the decision, although they would need his permission to do so, and legal commentators say the wording of his decision suggests it wouldn’t be granted.

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