LONDON | The financial agreement obtained to avoid a resounding trial in New York does not change anything: long described as the favorite son of Elizabeth II, Prince Andrew has become an outcast in the British royal family.
• Read also: Agreement between Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre, the American who accuses him of sexual assault
The 61-year-old prince, accused of forced sex by American Virginia Giuffre in 2001 when she was a minor, “on loan” by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, has not been seen in public for months.
He is now only seen from afar driving his Range Rover in Windsor Park, where he occupies a mansion near the castle where his mother resides.
He wasn’t even in his daughter Beatrice’s 2020 wedding photo.
Last month, the 95-year-old queen stripped him of his military titles as well as his charitable sponsorships and ruled out that he would ever resume public engagements with the royal family, due to the civil lawsuit he was facing at the time. ‘fall. He is no longer authorized to use his title of Royal Highness.
The loss of his military decorations was a further humiliation for this former helicopter pilot who in the past had been described as a hero of the Falklands War (1982).
His brother Charles, heir to the Crown, would have asked him to become invisible, according to the British tabloids, furious at the expected trial in New York, the threat of which disappears with the amicable agreement announced on Tuesday.
Until this agreement, the prince was scheduled to be questioned under oath by Virginia Giuffre’s lawyers on March 10 in London.
In this perspective, two masseuses had recounted their experience with the prince in the British tabloid press in recent days, one of them, Emma Gruenbaum, describing him in The Sun as a “dirty guy” who had made inappropriate comments and gestures when she came to massage him in Windsor in 2005.
Prince Andrew had met Jeffrey Epstein through Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite and longtime friend, recently convicted in New York of sex trafficking of minors, committed for the benefit of Epstein.
The second son of Queen Elizabeth II, ninth in line to the throne, has always denied Virginia Giuffre’s accusations, despite a photo showing him hugging the teenager.
But a BBC interview in November 2019 to defend himself had turned into a disaster. Appearing arrogant and devoid of compassion, he had not expressed a single regret for his friendship with Epstein, nor any empathy for his victims.
He had since not represented the royal family of which he is the least liked member, with only 12% of favorable opinions.
Conquests and Divorce
Born February 19, 1960 at Buckingham Palace, ten years after his sister Princess Anne, Prince Andrew is the third of four children of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. As a young man, Andrew, a happy bachelor multiplies his conquests, before marrying the flamboyant Sarah Ferguson in 1986. The Queen then granted him the title of Duke of York.
Two daughters were born from this union: the princesses Beatrice (1988) and Eugenie (1990), but the marriage was marred by misconduct.
In 1992, “Fergie” was photographed topless by a swimming pool in the south of France, her financial adviser licking her toes.
Despite their divorce in 1996, Andrew and Sarah remained good friends.
After their separation, Prince Andrew stood out alongside scantily clad women on vacation in Thailand, or attending a “prostitutes and pimps” themed party in the United States with Ghislaine Maxwell.
After 22 years in the Navy, he became the UK’s special representative for international trade, but was criticized for lavish spending at taxpayer expense.
His relations with families of dictators, including that of Libyan Muammar Gaddafi, are also viewed with suspicion.
The prince has acknowledged that his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, convicted in 2008 of driving teenage girls into prostitution, was “ill-advised”.