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The Queen will be ‘extremely concerned’ by news that Prince Andrew is being sued by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, according to a royal expert.
Jeffrey Epstein's alleged victim is accusing the Duke of York of abusing her when she was 17 years old, with a civil lawsuit filed yesterday in New York accusing him of sexual assault and causing "intentional" emotional distress, while also claiming "that she was a sex-trafficking victim".
Prince Andrew, 61, has consistently denied Ms Giuffre's claims – including in a 2019 interview with BBC Newsnight – but until the court case is over the royal family is at pains to protect their reputation.
Royal expert and Prince Harry: The Inside Story author Duncan Larcombe exclusively tells OK!: “There’s no way the Queen is not extremely concerned that her own son has been accused of this in a civil court in America.
“It looks like we’re going to be heading towards a very, very personal and serious attack on Prince Andrew’s behaviour in a court of law and that’s the stuff of nightmares for the Royal Family.”
“When you add to that the criticisms that Prince Harry has fired across the Atlantic at the royal family as an institution – Meghan as well – the double whammy effect is definitely going to be a huge concern to the Queen," he continued.
“The Queen cares deeply about how the family that she heads is perceived around the world, and barely is there a country where that’s more important outside of the Commonwealth than the United States.”
Mr Larcombe believes the Queen, photographed yesterday beaming as she arrived at Balmoral for her summer residency, is likely to be upset by the news that this ‘red letter’ day has finally arrived given the Duke of York’s decade-long friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Answering questions about his links to Epstein in a BBC Newsnight interview in 2019, Prince Andrew said the alleged incidents with Virginia Roberts Giuffre "never happened".
In a later statement, Prince Andrew said: "I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein."
But even if the Queen is upset by the news that her reportedly ‘favourite’ child is involved in this civil lawsuit, Mr Larcombe believes she is unlikely to change her behaviour towards Prince Andrew.
The Queen was deliberately photographed with the accused royal following his 2019 BBC Newsnight interview.
Larcombe said: “Her hand was forced after the BBC interview because of the way that Prince Andrew performed in front of the cameras, but we haven’t seen that followed up with any other sanctions.
“He was very prominent at Prince Philip's funeral, for example, although he wasn't allowed to wear a uniform, he was paraded in front of the cameras to talk about his father. So it's not like the Queen has had him locked in the Tower yet.”
Buckingham Palace declined to comment.
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