Prince Andrew has made a dash for Balmoral ‘to avoid multiple attempts to serve sexual assault papers at his Windsor mansion’, reports say.
The Duke of York, 61, was seen with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson yesterday leaving Royal Lodge, before the pair took a 500-mile trip to the Queen’s 50,000-acre Scottish estate, where she is staying while on holiday, The Sun reports.
Andrew has not yet responded to the New York lawsuit of Jeffrey Epstein’s former sex slave Virginia Giuffre accusing him of ‘rape in the first degree’.
Papers have not yet been served on the duke or his lawyers despite ‘multiple attempts’ at Royal Lodge, Windsor, in the last fortnight, it is believed.
Andrew is now set to stay at the Queen’s private estate when the case relating to the alleged sex abuse is heard, reports indicate. The civil suit is due to be heard via a telephone conference in New York on September 13.
Ms Giuffre’s lawsuit claims she had been ‘forced to have sexual intercourse’ with Andrew against her will – a claim strongly denied by Andrew.
The Duke of York, 61, was seen with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson yesterday leaving Royal Lodge, before the pair took a 500-mile trip to the Queen’s 50,000-acre Scottish estate, where she is staying while on holiday
Pictured: Prince Andrew with Virginia Roberts (now known as Giuffre) and Ghislaine Maxwell
The Duke of York, 61, was seen with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson yesterday leaving Royal Lodge, before the pair were driven on a 500-mile trip to the Queen’s 50,000-acre Scottish estate, where she is staying while on holiday, reports say
A source said: ‘Andrew was going stir-crazy inside Royal Lodge for the past few weeks. He wasn’t going horse riding and couldn’t step outside because of attempts to serve him with the legal papers.
Andrew is now set to stay at the Queen’s private estate when the case relating to the alleged sex abuse is heard, reports indicate
‘He knows he is far safer up at Balmoral on the Queen’s estate. Andrew is always described as the Queen’s favourite son but she is meant to be on holiday at Balmoral.
‘With Andrew and everything that is happening with Charles and the investigation into cash for honours she must be wondering when she will get any peace and quiet.’
The duke has stepped back from public duties ‘for the foreseeable future’ after his friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein surfaced in 2019.
Ms Guiffre (nee Roberts), 38, has accused Andrew of rape, sexual battery and sexual assault in a recent lawsuit.
She alleges that Epstein forced her to have sex with Andrew three times when she was just 17.
Prince Andrew has strenuously denied her claims that she was forced to have sex with him on Epstein’s orders.
He said he categorically did not have any sexual contact with her and does not even recall meeting her.
The allegations against Andrew are not the only crisis unfolding for the Royal Family, as it has recently been claimed that the Prince of Wales was ‘100 per cent’ behind an offer to help Saudi tycoon Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz secure UK citizenship.
Clarence House said Charles has ‘no knowledge’ of the cash for honours allegations on the basis of donation to his charities, denying allegations by a former fixer.
The claims by William Bortrick – a paid advisor to Dr bin Mahfouz, who is a major donor to Charles’s charities – came as the Prince’s former valet Michael Fawcett stepped down on a temporary basis as chief of the Prince’s Foundation while investigations into the allegations take place.
Prince Charles awards a CBE to Saudi tycoon Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz at Buckingham Palace in November 2016
A string of claims about 58-year-old Mr Fawcett’s conduct while running the charity included the allegation that he had offered to ‘support’ Dr bin Mahfouz in his efforts to secure both a knighthood and British citizenship.
And new allegations about Charles’s apparent involvement have emerged in a draft letter from Mr Bortrick to Dr bin Mahfouz, who donated more than £1.5million to Charles’s charities.
A letter by Burke’s Peerage publisher Mr Bortrick, which was drafted in May 2014 and revealed by The Times, said that Dr bin Mahfouz’s application for citizenship would ‘now take the highest priority’.
It added: ‘His Royal Highness supports these applications 100 per cent, as there is no greater example of contribution [than] yours, therefore this should be rewarded and recognised accordingly.’
A spokesman for the prince said: ‘The Prince of Wales has no knowledge of the alleged offer of honours or British citizenship on the basis of donation to his charities and fully supports the investigation now under way by The Prince’s Foundation.’