Prince Andrew ‘won’t take part in Platinum Jubilee celebration’, claims aide

Prince Andrew "will not be able to take part in Trooping the Colour next year if the Epstein scandal is still hanging over him", a royal aide has claimed.

Virginia Giuffre is suing the Queen’s son for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager, and has said it was “past the time for him to be held to account”.

A civil lawsuit filed on Monday in New York claims Ms Giuffre was trafficked by Andrew’s former friend and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with the duke, when she was aged 17 and a minor under US law.

The documents claim Ms Giuffre “was compelled by express or implied threats by Epstein, Maxwell, and/or Prince Andrew to engage in sexual acts with Prince Andrew, and feared death or physical injury to herself or another and other repercussions for disobeying Epstein, Maxwell, and Prince Andrew due to their powerful connections, wealth and authority”.

The duke allegedly engaged in the sexual acts without Ms Giuffre’s consent, while aware of her age and while “knowing that she was a sex-trafficking victim”, the documents claim, adding the alleged assaults “have caused, and continue to cause her, significant emotional and psychological distress and harm”.

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Andrew has vehemently denied the allegations in the past, and a spokesman for the duke said there was “no comment” when she was asked to respond to Ms Giuffre’s legal action.

But with the "Epstein scandal hanging over him" ahead of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee year, a royal source has claimed Prince Andrew will not be able to take part in the celebrations should the court case not be resolved.

This could lead to the Duke of York being unable to attend Trooping the Colour meaning he may not be present for the traditional Buckingham Palace balcony congregation.

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An anonymous aide told The Telegraph: "He will not be able to take part in Trooping the Colour next year if the Epstein scandal is still hanging over him, and no one can see this going away any time soon. He will have to be replaced. How could he possibly retain his military titles?"

Andrew stepped back from public duties after the backlash from his 2019 Newsnight interview, dubbed a “car crash”, which had attempted to draw a line under his relationship with Epstein – but instead saw him heavily criticised for showing little empathy with the sex offender’s victims.

If the duke and his legal team do not engage in the civil proceedings, they are expected to continue without their input – with the court making its judgment in due course.

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Andrew does not face the prospect of an extradition hearing as this only applies to criminal charges and not civil cases.

In his Newsnight interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis, Andrew denied claims that he slept with Ms Giuffre on three separate occasions, saying: “I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened. I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.”

The duke also said he has no memory of a well-known photograph of him with his arm around Ms Giuffre’s waist at Maxwell’s house, and has questioned whether it was his own hand in the image.

The Daily Star has contacted representatives of Prince Andrew and the Queen for comment.

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