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‘What a stressful year!’ Prince Andrew case a ‘terrible headache’ for Queen

Prince Andrew: 'It's not looking good' for Queen says panellist

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A royal commentator sympathised with the Queen over her “stressful year” after it was announced on Wednesday that Prince Andrew’s court case is expected to go to trial next autumn, threatening to overshadow the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Along with the “continuing aggro” the Royal Family is receiving from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and the death of her husband Prince Philip, the pending lawsuit is allegedly a “real problem” for Buckingham Palace due to its reputational impact. 

The Daily Mail’s Diary editor Richard Eden claimed: “I think it’s a real problem, I mean when we saw the video recording that the Queen made for COP26, I think the fact that she doesn’t look well could be in good part because of the stress she’s been caused by Prince Andrew and also, the continuing aggro she gets from Harry and Meghan.

“I mean what a stressful year, this is a terrible headache, the Prince Andrew case.

“Remember this should be a year, 2022, that we should be celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, what an achievement – it should be such a joyous occasion.

“But we’re going to have this civil case, this revolting case that’s going to be in America with Prince Andrew trying to prove how dodgy his accuser is, it’s going to be horrific.”

The Duke of York has been accused of sexual assault on three occasions by Virginia Giuffre, a former alleged victim of convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who the duke was formerly friends with during the 1990s and 2000s. 

In a civil case filed under New York’s Child Victims Act in August, 38-year-old Ms Giuffre is claiming damages due to the “significant emotional and psychological distress and harm” caused by his actions. 

Ms Giuffre alleges that the prince sexually abused her when she was 17 years old at the home of Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell and twice at Epstein’s homes in Manhattan and the US Virgin Islands. 

The 61-year-old duke has categorically and consistently denied all allegations made against him. 

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During a 2019 interview with BBC Newsnight, he told BBC 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 royal with a number of charities and patronages cutting their association with him. 

After several weeks of to-and-fro, his legal team have accepted the case and have filed a motion to dismiss the “baseless lawsuit” on the grounds that Ms Giuffre had failed to provide sufficient details about her claim. 

In court documents filed last Friday, Andrew’s lawyers argued that Ms Giuffre had sought legal action to “achieve another payday” at the prince’s expense and that his “sullied reputation” was “only the latest collateral damage of the Epstein scandal”.

Ms Giuffre’s legal team have until November 29 to respond to his motion to dismiss the case, whilst the judge has ruled that initial disclosures of the case must be submitted by November 12. 

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Both legal teams have stated that they have between eight to 12 depositions each. 

In the latest update, a pre-trial hearing on Wednesday saw US judge Lews Kaplan, who is presiding over the case, announce he was aiming to hold trial between October to December 2022 but did not set a specific date. 

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is scheduled to take place between June 2nd to 5th over a four-day Bank Holiday. Celebrations include a special Trooping the Colour parade, a concert outside Buckingham Palace, and a Jubilee pageant across London. 

As well as this, the Royal Family will be conducting tours and special engagements throughout the year to mark the monarch’s 70 years on the throne. 

It still remains unclear whether Prince Andrew will participate in any of the festivities alongside his family. 

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