LONDON — The British royal household will attempt to put one of the vital vexing scandals it faces behind it, with the announcement on Tuesday that Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, had settled a lawsuit introduced by a girl who accused him of raping her when she was an adolescent.
However questions linger, not least who’s paying the undisclosed settlement, given Andrew’s well-publicized, if mysterious, monetary ups and downs.
For the queen, who marked the seventieth anniversary of her accession to the throne earlier this month, the settlement removes the prospect of embarrassing particulars rising about Andrew’s contacts along with his accuser, Virginia Giuffre, whom he met by his pal, the financier and convicted intercourse offender Jeffrey Epstein.
“There are nonetheless plenty of questions,” mentioned Penny Junor, a royal historian. “We’ll by no means know which of the folks on this sorry story was telling the reality. However we gained’t get a every day eating regimen of revelations that can embarrass the household.”
Whereas Andrew didn’t admit guilt in an announcement saying the settlement, he mentioned he “regrets his affiliation with Epstein and commends the bravery of Ms. Giuffre and different survivors in standing up for themselves and others.”
A trial would nearly actually have forged an extended shadow over the queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, that are scheduled for June. The anniversary yr has already kicked off on an anxious notice, with information that the queen’s eldest son and inheritor, Prince Charles, was discovered to be reinfected by the coronavirus, two days after he had been involved along with his 95-year-old mom.
Buckingham Palace declined to say whether or not the queen had contracted Covid and even been examined for the virus. However on Tuesday, fears about her well being eased considerably after the palace posted photographs of her conducting digital audiences with ambassadors from Spain and Estonia, who had been presenting their credentials.
Charles, who’s 73, was reported to be experiencing gentle signs. He final had Covid in early 2020 because the virus was first engulfing Britain. On Monday, his spouse, Camilla, 74, additionally examined optimistic, in line with their family. These newest well being considerations got here after the queen missed a number of engagements final fall due to sickness.
With the monarchy in transition, the queen has moved swiftly not too long ago to place her household’s affairs so as. On the anniversary of her accession, she issued an announcement saying she hoped that Camilla could be referred to as queen after Charles ascends to the throne, settling a difficulty that lengthy dogged the couple.
Final month, after a federal choose in Manhattan dismissed Andrew’s effort to get Ms. Giuffre’s lawsuit dismissed, the queen moved to distance him from the household, though royal consultants usually describe him as her favourite son. He was stripped of his honorary navy titles and instructed not to make use of the honorific “His Royal Highness.” The palace mentioned he would defend himself “as a personal citizen.”
Whether or not which means Andrew is on the hook for the settlement just isn’t clear. Each side agreed to not disclose the quantity and Buckingham Palace declined to remark, saying it was a matter for the duke and his attorneys. A spokeswoman for Andrew’s attorneys wouldn’t focus on the supply of the funds.
How the 61-year-old prince affords his way of life, to not point out his authorized payments, has lengthy fueled hypothesis in British papers. Andrew receives an annual stipend of 250,000 kilos ($338,000) from the queen, in line with an evaluation of his funds by the Occasions of London, in addition to an annual pension of 20,000 kilos ($27,066) from the Royal Navy, wherein he served as a helicopter pilot.
However Andrew, who’s also called the Duke of York, runs up bills for safety at his important residence, Royal Lodge, in Windsor, in addition to for the workers and maintenance of the 30-room home (the crown property owns the property). Since he stepped again from official duties as a member of the royal household after the furor over his ties to Mr. Epstein, it’s not clear who pays for his safety.
Andrew additionally owns a ski lodge within the stylish Swiss resort Verbier, for which he paid $22 million in 2014. That transaction, with a French socialite, Isabelle de Rouvre, led to litigation when Ms. de Rouvre sued Andrew for failing to pay the final installment of the acquisition.
Perceive the Allegations Towards Prince Andrew
The prince additionally has a passion for costly Swiss watches and is usually photographed in luxurious vehicles.
Final yr, the Occasions of London reported, a distinguished Conservative Social gathering donor, David Rowland, paid off a mortgage of $2 million that the prince owed a Luxembourg financial institution. Andrew’s former spouse, Sarah, has additionally had her share of monetary issues. However a lot in regards to the couple’s funds stays cloaked in thriller.
A number of British papers have reported that the queen has lined Andrew’s authorized bills and should pay his settlement. She attracts greater than $27 million a yr in personal revenue from the duchy of Lancaster, a far-flung assortment of properties she owns in London and the north of England.
By sending Andrew into inside exile, the royal household could hope to place such inquiries to relaxation. By relinquishing his official duties, he’s not entitled to obtain cash from the general public purse. However critics are nonetheless more likely to query whether or not taxpayer cash is getting used to pay the settlement with Ms. Giuffre.
Royal consultants mentioned there was a welcome, if overdue, present of contrition within the assertion issued by attorneys for the prince. In a calamitous interview with the BBC in November 2019, he provided little remorse for his affiliation with Mr. Epstein or sympathy for his victims.
“The truth that he has lastly expressed remorse about his relationship with Epstein and sympathy for the ladies who had been trafficked by Epstein was a lot wanted,” Ms. Junor mentioned.
Regardless of that, Andrew’s future as a member of the Home of Windsor appears bleak. Buckingham Palace made clear final month that there was no means his honorary titles or perquisites could be restored, even when he prevailed in a trial.