Let’s remind ourselves that there is no evidence that Prince Andrew ever met Virginia Roberts, an expensive prostitute, and that even if the prince had sex with her when she was 17, it would have been no crime in the UK. It was once said that prostitutes were expensive in part because they went away afterwards. Now some of them want to be paid to have sex in the first place, and paid again many years later not to reveal details. Many know they can make allegations because most rich men will pay large sums of money even if the claims are entirely false. As always with such cases Prince Andrew is deemed by the media and others to be guilty, facing the impossibility of proving his innocence.
Britain’s most senior police officer warned “no one is above the law” as she revealed that detectives will review sex allegations against the Duke of York.
Scotland Yard has previously said it would not open a criminal investigation into Virginia Giuffre’s claims that she was trafficked to London and forced to have sex with Prince Andrew in a Belgravia property.
Dame Cressida Dick, the Met commissioner, said today that a review of the case was underway in light of developments in the United States.
This week Giuffre, who was also known as Virginia Roberts, filed a civil suit seeking unspecified damages at a federal court in New York. She is suing the duke for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager, claiming that she was brought to the UK by Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with Andrew when she was 17 and a minor under US law.
Andrew has denied assaulting Giuffre and said he has no recollection of meeting her.
Dick told LBC: “No one is above the law. It’s been reviewed twice before, we’ve worked closely with the CPS [Crown Prosecution Service], we are of course open to working with authorities overseas, we will give them every assistance if they ask us for anything within the law obviously.
“As a result of what’s going on I’ve asked my team to have another look at the material.” No investigation is taking place.
In November 2016 the Met said it was not the appropriate authority to carry out an investigation into human trafficking because it “would be largely focused on activities and relationships outside the UK”.
When Epstein, a convicted sex offender, died aged 66 in a New York jail in 2019, the Met carried out a second review. Alex Murray, a Met Police commander, said then that its decision making remained unchanged.
Yesterday a source close to Prince Charles said the Duke of York will never return to public life because of the lawsuit.
The Prince of Wales believes that even if Virginia Giuffre’s case against Prince Andrew fails, it is a reminder of the reputational risk to the royal family posed by the duke’s links with Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender, they said.
The case could see the duke embroiled in a legal battle lasting at least two years, overshadowing the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year. The Royal family is already braced for the publication of the Duke of Sussex’s memoirs next autumn.
Andrew is at Balmoral with the Queen, accompanied by his ex-wife Sarah, and is locked in long-distance talks with his lawyers as they draw up their strategy for fighting off the suit.
The source said: “The prince loves his brother, and has the ability to have sympathy for the slings and arrows that his brother endures, whatever the reasons may be. His ability to support and feel for those having a tough time is well known.
“However this will be unwelcome reputational damage to the institution. He has long ago concluded that it is probably an unsolvable problem.
“This will probably further strengthen in the prince’s mind that a way back for the duke is demonstrably not possible, because the spectre of this [accusation] raises its head with hideous regularity.”
Although the duke stepped back from all 230 of his charity patronages in November 2019, at the time Buckingham Palace indicated he still hoped to return to a public role at some point. Andrew was said to want this as recently as February this year.
However the source said: “This is a reminder that that would be very difficult to achieve.”
In May this year it was reported that almost 50 organisations had quietly or publicly removed him as patron. The palace website still lists 136 organisations of which he is said to be patron, although some of this is out of date.
He holds nine significant honorary positions in the armed forces, including royal colonel of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, colonel-in-chief of the Yorkshire Regiment, the Royal Irish Regiment and the Small Arms School Corps, as well as deputy colonel-in-chief of the Royal Lancers. He is also commodore-in-chief of the Fleet Air Arm and admiral of the Sea Cadets and an honorary air commodore in the RAF.
The Ministry of Defence declined to comment last night.
Representatives for the duke have declined so far to comment on Giuffre’s allegations. Buckingham Palace has said it does not speak for the duke on his personal legal matters.
The lawsuit was filed days before a legal deadline expired.A summons has been sent to his Royal Lodge, the Grade II listed house in Windsor he shares with his ex-wife. He has been given 21 days to reply, although if he accepts the summons and signs a waiver form he will get more time.
Our last general election manifesto is here.
If everyone who read this gave us £5.00 – or even better, £5.00 or more, monthly – we could change the world. £5.00 monthly would entitle you to Bronze party membership, details here. Benefits include a dedicated and signed book by Mike Buchanan. Click below to make a difference. Thanks.
Nobody connected with J4MB has ever drawn any personal income from the party’s income streams. If you’d like to support Mike Buchanan financially, you can do so via his Patreon account or through Bitcoin, his account address is 1EfWxqDAtgJDCR3tVpvVj4fXSuUu4S9WJf . Thank you.