Royals eagerly await the aftermath of Prince Andrew’s disgrace | Prince Andrew

Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, KG, GCVO, CD, ADC, will be 62 next month. It has long been the age at which a man is expected to stop worrying and embarrassing his parents. And yet Andrew, who is said to be the Queen’s favorite child, has exposed his mother to the greatest threat to the royal family’s reputation in living memory.

While awaiting a New York judge Lewis Kaplan ruling on the sexual assault case brought by Virginia Giuffre, the prince finds himself in the deeply undeveloped position of trying to evade court with a secret treaty of silence, which is his Has met and convicted deceased friend of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The agreement, signed in 2009, said that in return for paying $ 500,000, who then went by her maiden name Roberts, Giuffre would “release second parties and any other person or entity that could have been accepted as a potential person … release and forever Dismissed “would defendants … of any and all kinds of lawsuits and lawsuits brought by Virginia Roberts, including state or federal pleas”.

Giuffre claims that when she was 17 in 2001, she was sold by Epstein and his then girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell to have sex with the Prince three times – once at Maxwell’s Belgravia home, where the infamous photo of her with the then 42- the hand of the one-year-old prince around her waist, the second time in Epstein’s mansion in New York and finally on Epstein’s private island Little St James in the US Virgin Islands with a group of other girls. The prince denies all allegations and says he does not remember ever having met Giuffre.

The prince’s lawyers have taken an aggressive approach to protecting their client. They first argued that the subpoena had not been properly served and then tried to dismiss the case on the grounds that Giuffre did not live in the United States.

Now they seek the rescue of their client with the dire fact that he is considered a potential accused in every case of sexual abuse related to Epstein. In other words, it seems that his possible guilt is being used in his defense.

Even if that loophole works and Kaplan dismisses the case, it will be an outcome that does not clear the name of the prince that his friends insist on being his primary target. Instead, a poisonous question mark is added to all of the letters that come after its title.

And that is the best scenario for the prince. If Kaplan gives the go-ahead for the hearing instead, the prince must make a statement and appear in court in the fall. Theoretically, he could reject both, but the look would be catastrophic here too. However, should he go to court, the world’s media would be offered a daily diet of dirty details. And should he lose the case, courtiers suspect that he may no longer be able to travel abroad for fear of criminal extradition.

As royal expert and author Robert Lacey puts it, “The prospect of Virginia Giuffres allegations against a senior member of the Windsors being disseminated in court and reported around the world is simply unimaginable from the royal family’s point of view, and I am pretty sure there would be an out-of-court settlement. “

Given that Giuffre has waited over 20 years for recognition of the damage she says was done to her, that deal would likely involve a large financial amount – which begs the question of who will pay it. The prince has spent most of his adult life snuggling up to the super-rich precisely because he lacks that money himself. Again, his mother, who is said to have financed his defense, would be his benefactress. This brings the controversial question into the limelight, whether their assets are private or a product of their position as head of state and therefore subject to some kind of tax oversight.

Monarchists insist that their private wealth and public dispensation are completely separate things, but any severance pay paid by the Queen would provide Republicans with ballistic ammunition. What seems extraordinary is that for more than a decade this conclusion has been drawn closer and closer, with the prince and everyone he has repeatedly assured of his innocence frozen in a state of denial, hoping that it will all go away.

Catherine Mayer, the author of a biography of Prince Charles and co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party, says Buckingham Palace was doing “something very stupid” when the scandal first surfaced in 2011.

Shortly after he was photographed with Epstein walking in Central Park in New York in 2010 after the American was released from prison on charges of mediating a minor into prostitution, Andrew was removed from his position as international trade envoy and reassigned to other matters , among other things as a royal economic guru with the initiative Pitch @ Palace. Mayer believes the decision was symptomatic of wanting to bypass the issue rather than face it.

“The whole story is a real tragedy because of all the lives it has ruined,” she says. “But there is also a soap opera quality to it in that you see characters ignore things, try to cover them up, believing they are going to do things better, and you, the viewer, know that they will make things worse. I had this feeling when I saw that. “

One problem, says Mayer, is that the entire royal family doesn’t have a comprehensive strategy of what to do. Although their members refer to the family as “the company” that conveys the idea of ​​a disciplined business unit, this is a misconception, says Mayer.

Prince Andrew, Virginia Giuffre and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2001. Photo: Rex / Shutterstock

“It has always been, and increasingly, in recent years, not one institution, but a series of institutions or courts and households that have often come into conflict with one another,” she says. Royal observers note that employees of Prince Charles and Prince William have reported against Andrew. A mixture of the Queen’s protective instincts, the cautious desperation of other royal households and Andrew’s stubborn opposition to informed advice led him to forge his own ad hoc strategy. This led to his fateful decision to present his side of history in the excruciating November 2019 News night Interview with Emily Maitlis.

As a textbook example of how not to limit damage, it will be hard to beat in the foreseeable future. “You saw how completely detached he is from the outside world,” says Mayer.

Looking back on this disastrously insightful encounter, it is remarkable how many times the Prince used Maxwell to create distance between himself and Epstein (who hosted Andrew on many occasions and gave large sums of money to his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson and had 16 separate phone numbers for the prince). At one point he describes the financier as “plus one”.

But now that Maxwell himself has been convicted of sexual trafficking in minors, among other serious charges, the prince has no one to incriminate his poor character judgment. In a catalog of excuses and failed memories, his only consistent defense is that he was unaware that something unusual was going on in any of the Epstein or Maxwell households in which he lived. To Lacey, along with many other observers, this just isn’t a believable suggestion.

“He dated a couple for 10 years whose lifestyle revolved around Epstein’s sexual exploitation of vulnerable women and underage girls, some of whom were traded by Maxwell. The openness of this predatory way of life was obviously inevitable. What do you envision traveling on a private jet nicknamed the “Lolita Express”? And then you invite these degenerates to stay at Balmoral? “

When challenged by Maitlis for his apparent blindness, the prince came up with an explanation that Mayer saw as more of a self-accusation than an exoneration. He was effectively saying that he lived among servants all the time and was used to ignoring them – even if they were presumably scantily clad teenagers.

“It shows his extraordinary arrogance and detachment,” says Mayer, “and he inadvertently uttered a truth that is profoundly damaging to him and the entire institution.” In fact, his gruff manner with servants is well documented. A senior servant once told a reporter who worked undercover at Buckingham Palace that when the prince woke up, “the answer can easily be ‘pissed off’ as good morning”.

Of course, Andrew wouldn’t be the first disgusting king, nor would he be the first dissolute prince. The institution’s history is full of ill-mannered characters. But we are now in the third decade of the 21st century, a time of transition not just for the royal family preparing for the prospect of a new monarch, but society at large.

Ten years ago, in the days before #MeToo, a film mogul like Harvey Weinstein could terrorize and abuse women with impunity. His friend Epstein almost got away with rape and sex trafficking thanks to the political influence he was able to wield.

And in 2011, it seemed good that Giuffre’s allegations against Andrew were meant to remain the outlandish scream of an insignificant person, an unprovable rumor that would pale with all the other neglected allegations against the rich and powerful.

Even a photo taken in Maxwell’s house could be dismissed as a fake – but how should a young woman get access to a picture of the prince that has never been seen before, so that it can be incorporated into a recreated picture?

Prince Andrews Newsnight November 2019 interview with Emily Maitlis.
Prince Andrews Newsnight November 2019 interview with Emily Maitlis. Photo: BBC

It never worked out, and as time goes on, trying to get away from this troubling scene at his friend’s house has started to look more and more like a desperate tactic. Like the prince’s claim that he stayed with Epstein for four days to tell him that he could no longer be his friend out of “honor”, ​​always far-fetched and pathetically selfish.

It seems unlikely, after all these years, that the prince will change his story, and if an agreement is reached it will undoubtedly go hand in hand with a non-acknowledgment of any personal responsibility. However, this is undoubtedly a turning point. It is difficult to imagine that a royal will again be granted the pleasure that Andrew has accompanied around the globe.

Although the monarchy will weather this current crisis, it could do so in a leaner version with fewer passengers. The days of overgrown playboys trading the family name in exchange for paid company and payouts to ex-wives should be numbered. And if they are, it will be due in large part to the efforts of a group of mostly humble women who refused to give in to their abusers.

“I look forward to enforcing my rights as an innocent victim and using all available legal remedies,” said Giuffre seven years ago. “I’m not going to be silenced again.”

As even Prince Andrew would have to admit, she certainly didn’t let that happen.

About Nina Snider

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