Prince Andrew sex trial could cause ‘huge damage’ to ‘relevancy’ of monarchy, royal sources fear


ROYAL insiders fear Prince Andrew’s demand for a trial by jury in his civil sex case against Virginia Giuffre could cause “huge damage” to the monarchy.

The Duke of York sensationally insisted he would face a jury in New York in his battle against sex abuse claims bought against him by the 38-year-old.

Royal insiders said Andrew’s trial could be catastrophic for the royal family

It’s the first time Andrew, 61, who has been stripped of his royal titles by the Queen, has publicly vowed to fight the case in court.

Ms Giuffre has accused the Duke of forcing her to sleep with him more than 20 years ago at the home of convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell.

The mum-of-three alleged in court documents that she was procured by Maxwell, 57, the daughter of disgraced tycoon Robert Maxwell, as a teenage “sex slave” for Epstein.

The prince has repeatedly insisted that he denies the allegation that he sexually abused Ms Giuffre when she was under 18 years of age, and issued 41 denials to counteract Ms Giuffre’s accusations.

In his rebuttal, he also claimed he was not a close friend of Ghislaine Maxwell, 60, and said that he doesn’t know if an infamous picture appearing to show him with his arm round a teenage Virginia’s waist, standing next to Maxwell, “exists”.

Legal expert Mark Stephens told HOAR that the filing was “classic brinkmanship” from Andrew and his legal team.

But insiders fear that Andrew’s “bullish” decision to face a jury and “clear his name” could have catastrophic affects on The Firm.

A royal source told The Mirror: “It’s the ultimate gamble. He is putting himself at the mercy of a jury.”

The source added that “questions will be asked about the wisdom of a bullish counter-attack” at this point.

Media lawyer Mark Stephens said he “can’t conceive” that the trial, which is already attracting international attention and media frenzy, will be allowed to go on and risk eclipsing the Platinum Queen’s jubilee next month.

However, palace staff are ploughing on with the event, and are said to be doing “all they can” not to let Andrew’s issues ruin the milestone.

He said: “It’s going to spark debate about the relevancy and appropriateness of the royal family”, adding: “The more detail that comes out the more there’s going to be a problem for the wider royal family.”

It is understood Ms Giuffre could be subject to highly-detailed questions of a sexual nature, including lurid details about positions, Andrew’s body and his “performance”.

The royal could still reach an out of court settlement in the case, with princes Charles, 73, and William, 39, leading efforts to persuade him to stop the case dragging on to protect the family from further humiliation – according to royal sources.

But a source said: “The Duke will be ready to defend himself in court.”

Virginia Giuffre could be asked detailed questions about her alleged night with Andrew
The Prince denied being close with Ghislaine Maxwell, who is a convicted sex trafficker