Prince Andrew faces renewed pressure to speak to FBI
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Next year, the Queen will celebrate her Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years since she ascended to the throne. Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, is the first monarch to reach the milestone, having already celebrated her silver, gold and diamond jubilees. Buckingham Palace has already announced some of its plans to mark the occasion, with Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden saying last month that the celebrations will be “a spectacular, once-in-a-generation show that mixes the best of British ceremonial splendour with cutting edge art and technology.”
He added: “It will bring the entire nation and the Commonwealth together in a fitting tribute to Her Majesty’s reign.”
However, given the different sources of tension within the Royal Family, it is not clear how prominent a role some royals will play during the celebrations.
Prince Andrew has withdrawn from public life as questions around his friendship with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and accusations of sexual assault spark controversy.
The Queen’s son has always strenuously denied any wrongdoing.
The Mirror’s royal editor Russell Myers says that Andrew is planning to be back in public life for the event.
On the Pod Save the Queen podcast, he said: “Someone very close to Andrew that I spoke to is saying Andrew is very bullish.
“He is going round suggesting he will return to public life at some stage and is earmarking the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in order to have cleared his name, move forward, and get back to royal duties.
“I think privately people in the palace will tell you there’s very, very little chance of that happening. I have spoken to people who have said there is absolutely no chance that he will be involved in the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
“There are two very different stories coming from two very different camps.”
This comes amid a US lawsuit being filed by Andrew’s accuser, Virginia Giuffre.
Ms Giuffre alleges that she was sexually assaulted by the Duke of York at the London home of Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, at Epstein’s homes in Manhattan, and at Little St James in the US Virgin Islands.
Andrew has always vehemently denied these claims.
The lawsuit has hit a roadblock, however, as lawyers must serve documents to Andrew in person for the case to proceed, but this has proved difficult thus far.
Ms Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boies, has accused Andrew of refusing to cooperate with the investigation.
On a previous episode of Pod Save the Queen, Mr Myers explained how this case could go on for years.
He said: “If you speak to legal experts in the know, which we have done, they will tell you this will likely go on for quite some time. Certainly not 60 days, nearly 60 months some are saying. It could go on for five years.
“The issue really is how Andrew wants to deal with this. My understanding is that he is locked in talks with his legal team and with the Queen no doubt. Still we have had no response.”
Another royal whose role in the Platinum Jubilee celebrations is subject to speculation is Prince Harry.
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He and his wife Meghan Markle have endured a fallout with some of the family since they made their royal exit.
However, a royal expert believes the Queen will make an effort to ensure the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are included.
Speaking of the Jubilee, the Mail on Sunday’s Diary editor Charlotte Griffiths said: “It’s so important, she’s the first monarch to have ever made it to 70 years, she’s 95 and they just have to be in a good place for this Jubilee celebration next year.
“She’s very wise to be planning in advance and being strategic about this and just making sure that the Palace and the royals are looking clean as a whistle and ready to be on parade.”
Royal expert and Daily Mail Diary editor, Richard Eden, added: “I do think all the stories about Harry and Meghan not being invited to events for the Platinum Jubilee and that sort of thing, will turn out not to be the case.
“The Palace will try and make an extra effort to try to include them because they will want to keep them on board.
“I know they’re being almost threatened by this racism stuff, but they have to show that they’re above that I think.”
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