Prince Andrew: Expert discusses public perception of royal
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The trip to join his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, comes as Prince Andrew faces allegations made by Virginia Giuffre, formally known as Virginia Roberts, who claims the Duke sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager. Ms Giufrre claims that she was forced by Epstein to have sex with the Duke on three separate occasions between 2000 and 2002 — when she was still under 18.
According to court records, Ms Giuffre alleges that the now 61-year-old royal abused her at Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan home and another location while she was underage.
Prince Andrew has always categorically denied her claims.
The Duke has previously stated he had “no recollection” of ever meeting her despite there being a picture of the pair with his arm around her waist.
The photograph, reported to have been taken the Belgravia property of accused child sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell, is believed to have been taken by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein who the Duke famously was associated with.
The 61-year-old Duke has as yet failed to respond to the Virginia Giuffre lawsuit in New York, dating from a month ago that accuses him of “rape in the first degree”.
Andrew’s journey to the private estate this time comes as the sex abuse case is due to be heard on Monday in New York.
Prince Andrew, accompanied by ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, was seen making the trip to Balmoral, for the second time in recent months.
Yesterday the pair made a 500-mile journey from Royal Lodge, Windsor to the Scottish estate belonging to the Queen.
The last instance in early August saw the Prince, alongside other senior members of the Royal Family including his daughter Princess Eugenie and his brother Prince Charles, congregating at the Scottish bolthole for rumoured “crisis talks” amid the scandal.
An insider told the Sun that Andrew was going “stir-crazy” at his residence in Windsor over the past few weeks.
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They claim that the Duke wasn’t engaging in his usual activities in the property’s 98-acre grounds, with the insider noting that “he wasn’t going horse riding”.
Andrew and Fergie, 61, are said to have joined Her Majesty while she is holidaying at her 50,000-acre estate in Scotland ahead of the civil suit proceedings on Monday.
The case, which the Duke and his lawyers have refused to comment on, will be heard via a telephone conference in New York.
In a statement in reference to the civil suit, Ms Giuffre said: “I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me. The powerful and the rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions.
“I hope that other victims will see that it is possible not to live in silence and fear, but one can reclaim her life by speaking out and demanding justice.”
She added that she “did not come to the decision lightly”.
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