Andrew’s secret trips to visit the Queen: Prince using cover of darkness for Windsor chats

Prince Andrew: Commentator discusses ‘future’ for royal

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The Duke of York celebrated his 62nd birthday this weekend following the news of his out-of-court settlement with Jeffrey Epstein accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre. The exact sum of the settlement in principle has not been disclosed, but estimates place the figure between £10 million and £12 million.

A royal insider has claimed the Duke of York has travelled repeatedly to Windsor Castle from his home at Royal Lodge to speak to his mother.

The royal source told The Sun that Prince Andrew has “apologised to the Queen” over the scandal, aware of the reputational damage the civil suit has wrought on the Royal Family.

They claimed: “Andrew has been very careful and is trying to keep out of sight.

“He knows there are photographers in the daytime and his best chance to avoid them is after dark.

“He knows he is meant to be keeping his head down and it’s a short trip, but he is extremely contrite and apologised to the Queen for all the trouble he has caused her.

“He realises how serious this whole issue has been and the damage it has done to the monarchy.”

The insider added the scandal came at the inopportune time of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.

The Queen, 95, became the first British monarch to reach this extraordinary milestone this month, marking seventy years on the throne.

The source claimed: “The last thing he wanted to do was cause his beloved mother so much anguish at her age and in her Platinum Jubilee year.

“He is just so grateful for her support and it’s certainly true that the Queen has a soft spot for Andrew and regards him as her favourite son.”

This comes as Buckingham Palace announces the Queen has tested positive for COVID-19.

Her Majesty is experiencing “mild cold-like symptoms”, but will likely continue “light duties” over the next week, the Palace said.

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In a statement, they added: “She will continue to receive medical attention and will follow all the appropriate guidelines.”

Prince Charles, 73, tested positive for the virus last week, shortly followed by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

It is understood a number of people, including staff members at Windsor Castle, have recently contracted COVID-19.

The Queen’s positive test comes one day after the Duke of York’s birthday, but is unlikely to distract all attention from the speculation around the Queen’s second son.

Royal author Nigel Cawthorne claimed the Duke may even choose to leave the country in the wake of the settlement.

He said the Duke may have “little option other than to seek refuge in a foreign country” rather than “live like a pariah among people who dislike him now and may come to despise him”.

Mr Cawthorne added: “His approval rating is plummeting towards single digits, there are demands to strip him of the rest of his titles and there is uproar over who will pay the £10million settlement bill in his civil sex case.

“It will only get worse.

“The FBI still wants to interview him in their criminal investigation into Jeffrey Epstein’s child trafficking empire and there will be fresh calls to reopen the file in London now that Cressida Dick is standing down as Met Police Commissioner.”

He continued: “His own stupidity and arrogance have put him where he is and have cast a shadow over the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

“There will come a point soon, I believe, where the public will simply want to be rid of him and he will be forced to recognise he has little option other than to seek refuge in a foreign country.”

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