Ahead of the trial for sexual assault, the member of the House of Windsor returned official posts and honorary military ranks to the queen.
FROM THE CORRESPONDING LONDON Drop the cleaver at Buckingham Palace. Queen Elizabeth has decided to cut official ties with her favorite son, Prince Andrew, on whose head a rape lawsuit filed by Virginia Roberts Giuffre hangs. one of the victims of pedophile tycoon Jeffrey Epstein and his accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell: a note from the Palace announced last night that Andrea was deprived of royal and military titles and that from now on he will have to defend himself as a private citizen. The prince remains Royal Highness but, like Harry and Meghan, he will no longer be able to publicly bear the title.
A painful move, decided at the end of a series of conversations between the most important members of the royal family, including the sovereign, who nevertheless has always had a soft spot for Andrea: but a turning point that became necessary after a judge in New York, Wednesday, he had given the green light to the lawsuit filed by Virginia Roberts (who now goes by the married name of Giuffre). A development that risks involving the entire British monarchy in a sordid scandal in respect of which the Megxit, the schism of the Dukes of Sussex, pales, and which in terms of consequences can even fade the memory of the abdication of Edward VIII in 1936.
Yesterday the hypothesis arose that the prince wanted to attempt an extra-judicial settlement in extremis by offering Virginia Giuffre 10 million pounds (about 12 million euros), but the woman’s lawyer explained from New York that very important to Virginia that the matter be resolved in a way that does justice to her and the other victims: in other words, no plea bargaining. And even the prince, according to the BBC, intends to continue fighting.
There are therefore all the elements for a showdown that will only cause damage to the monarchy. This indeed had to be the year of the Platinum Jubilee, the celebrations for the 70 years of Elizabeth’s reign: but the celebrations, which will culminate in June, risk being totally overshadowed from the clamor related to the depositions of the legal proceedings, which must be completed by July, and then go to trial in September.
Worst of all, they could be other family members also involved real: Andrea’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, who is still Duchess of York, could be questioned, as well as her daughter Beatrice, who Andrea used as an alibi to claim she didn’t meet then 17-year-old Virginia Roberts in 2001. The prince should be heard on video for an interview which could last up to seven hours without gaps and would be registered under oath, which exposes Andrea to possible indictment for perjury.
If the prince were to lose the case, a nightmare scenario would open up. The reign of Elizabeth, for inevitable reasons, comes to an end and soon Charles will be king: but he risks being a ruler whose brother has been convicted of rape. A stain that you do not see how it can be washed.
The story then casts a shadow on relations between Great Britain and the United States. For two years the FBI tried to question Andrea in relation to the Epstein case, with which the prince was in close contact: but the request sent to the London government was covered up. If the prince wanted to go to New York to defend himself, he would risk being arrested by the FBI and forced to submit to their questions. A chilling hypothesis.