Prince Andrew is 'finished' as working royal and likely to lose his military honours amid court battle, says expert

PRINCE Andrew is "finished" as a working royal and will likely lose all military honours amid his court battle with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, an expert has said.

The Duke of York will be tried over allegations he sexually assaulted Ms Giuffre when she was 17 after a US judge today ruled her civil lawsuit can proceed.

Judge Lewis A Kaplan's decision comes as a huge blow for Andrew, whose lawyers argued earlier this month the case should be thrown out.

Lawyers for the Duke had said Virginia’s civil lawsuit should be dropped based on a previous $500,000 (£371,000) deal signed by her with Jeffrey Epstein in 2009.

But David Boies, Ms Giuffre's lawyer, said only the parties of the settlement agreement – Epstein and Ms Giuffre and their associates – could benefit from it, and not a "third party" such as Andrew.

Today, Judge Lewis A Kaplan agreed and said Prince Andrew's motion was "denied in all respects".

And according to one expert, the outcome is "very bad news" for the prince, who will likely lose his military honours as a result.

Royal biographer Phil Dampier told The Sun Online: "This will obviously do nothing to help his reputation, I think he is finished as a working royal.

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"It was suggested he would try and get back this year for the 40th anniversary of the Falklands events but that's not going to happen for him the way this is going.

"It wouldn't surprise me if, in time, he loses his military patronages." 

Insiders recently claimed Andrew could try to settle the lawsuit against him out of court if it were to trial.

And today, Mr Dampier admitted that will "probably" be the case – as "97 per cent of civil cases in America" settle.

"I can't see now any other way out of this without causing massive embarrassment to the Royal Family and to the Queen in her platinum jubilee," the expert said.

"His lawyers seem to have made mutterings that an out of court settlement might be their only way forward.

"And I think that's pretty much his only option now – he could fight it in court but obviously he‘s got to take the risk that it could cost him even more if he loses."

This will obviously do nothing to help his reputation, I think he is finished as a working royal.

The duke's lawyers were last week said to be keeping the settlement option "on the table" due to the negative impact a court case could have on other senior royals – including the 95-year-old Queen.

Mr Dampier added, however, we will have to wait to see whether a settlement is made or not, before any decisions over Andrew's titles are taken.

Andrew has not attended a single military event since he stepped back from royal duties two years ago.

And according to reports, officers are now said to have appeared uncomfortable at being asked to drink to the duke's health at the end of regimental dinners.

Julian Perreira, a former lance sergeant who served three tours of Afghanistan, said Andrew's continued involvement in his legal battles would “stain” the regiment’s history.

Mr Perreira told The Times: "Being allowed to retain his role as colonel of the Grenadier Guards and other military titles, Prince Andrew will put a stain on the regiment's proud history and will devalue the hard work of past and future generations of Grenadiers. 

"He must step down immediately."


The decision to send the case to trial is a major blow to the Duke whose reputation is already in tatters over questions over his friendship with twisted couple Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.

Virginia claims she was trafficked by the sick duo to be abused by Andrew after meeting him at a nightclub in London.

It is alleged that she was taken back Ghislaine's townhouse were she was forced to have sex with the Royal, who was at the time aged 41.

Andrew strongly denies all allegations against him – and claims he has no memory of even meeting Virginia.

He also claims he had no knowledge of any wrongdoing by his pals Maxwell and Epstein.

The Duke – who is understood to have not been following last Tuesday's hearing and awaiting a briefing from his lawyers – is now facing a major legal battle.

In the conclusion of his written ruling, Judge Kaplan said: "For the foregoing reasons, defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint or for a more definite statement is denied in all respects.

"Given the court's limited task of ruling on this motion, nothing in this opinion or previously in these proceedings properly may be construed as indicating a view with respect to the truth of the charges or counter charges or as to the intention of the parties in entering into the 2009 Agreement."

The duke has vehemently denied the allegations and his legal team has argued from the lawsuit's first hearing that the case is "baseless".

There has already been speculation the duke may be encouraged to reach an agreement with his accuser in a bid to avoid the trial being held.

If the hearing does go ahead it is not clear whether Andrew will give evidence in person, via a video link or decline to participate.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: "We would not comment on what is an ongoing legal matter."

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