Prince Andrew branded the ‘poster boy for republicanism’ amid lawsuit allegations

Prince Andrew case 'reputation-ally damaging' for royal family

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A royal commentator has claimed that whilst the British monarchy are “officially distancing themselves” from the lawsuit filed against Prince Andrew, the nature of the allegations continue to be “very damaging” for the Royal Family. Anti-monarchist group Republic have used the Duke of York’s image to promote their campaign to abolish the monarchy, and Victoria Murphy claimed that questions around Prince Andrew’s presence at the Jubilee are now “entering the conversation”. 

The Queen’s second son has been accused of sexually abusing an alleged Jeffrey Epstein victim, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, on three occasions in 2001. 

Prince Andrew has repeatedly denied all allegations made against him. 

Royal correspondent Victoria Murphy claimed: “That’s the problem for the Royal Family, it’s playing out globally and Andrew is the poster for republicanism, he literally is because Republic have got him on billboards.

“The monarchy are officially distancing themselves from him, but there’s only so much they can do that.

“They can take away all the professional credentials, they can stop him appearing publicly, formally representing the monarchy, but he’s still the Queen’s son and that’s not going to change.

“This is very damaging, it will continue to be damaging for as long as it goes on and we’re already seeing things like the Platinum Jubilee next year, which would be a wholly celebratory event, people are looking at some aspects of that and saying ‘will Andrew be there?’ and that’s now entering the conversation into these moments of big celebration for the royals.”

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is due to take place between the 2nd-5th of June next year, with members of the Royal Family undertaking a number of special engagements to celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 years on the throne. 

Prince Andrew’s US-based lawyers have recently acknowledged that legal papers from Ms Giuffre’s team have been served to the Duke. 

Under the Hague Convention, a defendant must receive the legal papers for a damages claim before a court hearing can proceed. 

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This follows a dispute between Prince Andrew’s lawyers and Ms Giuffre’s legal team, over whether the Duke had been formally notified of the civil case against him.

In a teleconference on September 13, Ms Giuffre’s lawyers demonstrated the lengths they had taken to deliver the documents, which included by email, postal service, couriers and through a corporate investigator. 

Prince Andrew now has until October 29 to respond to the allegations. 

The case alleges that the prince sexually abused Ms Giuffre on three occasions when she was 17 years old  – once at the London home of Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, and twice at Epstein’s homes in Manhattan and the US Virgin Islands. 

Ms Giuffre was one of the several women who came forward to expose Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking ring. The convicted sex offender had been friends with Prince Andrew for several years, although their friendship terminated in 2010.

Jeffrey Epstein was arrested in 2019 and later committed suicide in prison. 

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Prince Andrew has consistently denied all the allegations made against him, telling BBC Newsnight that the supposed abuse “never happened”. 

During his interview, he said: “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 working royal and ceased to represent the Queen during formal engagements. 

The Duke of York has recently been staying with the Queen at Balmoral, where it is believed he engaged in a number of crisis meetings with his lawyers. 

Despite public opinion and the ongoing lawsuit, he did join other senior royals for the BBC special documentary ‘Prince Philip: The Royal Family Remembers’, where he spoke warmly of his memories with his late father. 

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