Prince Andrew’s ex Lady Victoria Hervey calls Virginia Roberts a ‘scam artist’ | Daily Mail Online

Prince Andrew’s ex-girlfriend Lady Victoria Hervey has blasted Virginia Giuffre as a ‘scam artist’ hours after it emerged Andrew and his accuser had reached out-of-court settlement in New York. 

Taking to Instagram yesterday, the 44-year-old socialite and former ‘It Girl’, who is the daughter of the 6th Marquess of Bristol, posted: ‘She suddenly wanted to settle very fast when all the truth was coming out. Her lawyers must have panicked!’

Lady Victoria, who has sensationally claimed that the notorious photo of Prince Andrew and Virginia was faked, went on to share what appeared to be an edited version of the photo in which Ghislaine could be seen standing alone. She didn’t elaborate further but it seems she was suggesting this is what the original unedited photograph looked like.  

The notorious snap with the Duke of York, which was reportedly taken in March 2001 at Ghislaine Maxwell’s London apartment, has been reproduced countless times around the world after Ms Giuffre – known before her marriage as Virginia Roberts – shared it with The Mail on Sunday in February 2011. 

Lady Victoria has claimed in recent weeks it was pieced together using a photo taken at Naomi Campbell’s birthday party on board a yacht in St Tropez in May 2001, in which Virginia can be seen wearing the same white tank top with colourful patterned jeans.  

Her comments came hours after Virginia claimed to have lost the original print of the famous photo of her and Prince Andrew, which could have furthered the disgraced royal’s argument that the image was doctored. 

The 44-year-old went on to share what appeared to be an edited version of the photo in which Ghislaine could be seen standing alone (pictured) 

Prince Andrew’s ex-girlfriend Lady Victoria Hervey has blasted Virginia Giuffre as a ‘scam artist’ hours after it emerged Andrew and his accuser had reached out-of-court settlement in a civil sex claim filed in New York

Elsewhere on her Instagram page, Victoria wrote: ‘The only thing she deserves is a prison cell full of rats.’

‘Time to investigate her and that missing Thai kid called JoJo.’

It’s unclear who Lady Victoria was referring to. 

Meanwhile she cruelly posted a photograph of Virginia alongside the words ‘scam artist’, writing: ‘If I aged like that I would probably want to sue GOD.’

Lady Victoria has sensationally claimed that the notorious photo of Prince Andrew and Virginia was faked

Virginia Giuffre, who used to be known as Virginia Roberts, is pictured in Perth, Australia, last week on February 8

Prince Andrew is pictured driving in Windsor on November 6 last year

Over the past few weeks, Lady Victoria has made a series of sensational claims about Virginia.

Earlier this month, she repeated claims that the infamous photo of Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre was fake and even identified the set of images she says were used to create the doctored photo. 

Lady Victoria does not have a copy of the exact Virginia photo from St Tropez which she claims was used to fake the Prince Andrew image, and it has never been seen publicly. However, she did share a bizarre painted reproduction of the alleged image to Instagram earlier this month. 

She added to her baffling claims by saying that an ‘Irish guy’ who was dating one of Epstein’s victims in 2001 and also attended the boat party was used as a ‘body double’ for Prince Andrew in the ‘fake’ image. 

THE TIMELINE OF THE INFAMOUS VIRGINIA GIUFFRE AND PRINCE ANDREW PHOTOGRAPH 

March 2001 – Infamous photograph of Virginia, Ghislaine and Prince Andrew is reportedly taken at Ghislaine’s home in London 

May 2001 – Naomi Campbell hosted a boat party in the French Riviera with Jeffrey Epstein, Virginia, Ghislaine Maxwell all attending 

February 2011 –  Virginia is approached by the Mail On Sunday while she was living a quiet life with her family on Australia’s Central Coast. 

She had been traced by journalist Sharon Churcher, who was investigating reports that the FBI was planning to reopen an investigation into the sexual exploitation of teenagers by Epstein.

At first she was reluctant to talk, not least because she harboured fears that Epstein might try to kill her.

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday at the time, she produced the picture of Andrew from a white envelope containing a collection of photos chronicling her teenage years and travels with Epstein to New Mexico and Paris.

She explained that the picture with Andrew was taken at Ms Maxwell’s home after a visit to Tramp nightclub – a claim the Duke disputes.

She claimed the photograph was taken in March 2001, two months before the boat party in St Tropez.  

She told Churcher at the meeting that she had sex with Andrew three times while a teenager, but for legal reasons the MoS could not publish her claims, which the Duke denies.

The photographs are published by the Mail On Sunday

November 2019 – Andrew hinted that the hand around her waist may not be his. 

Prince Andrew told BBC Newsnight: ‘You can’t prove whether or not that photograph is faked because it’s a photograph of a photograph of a photograph.’

‘It’s very difficult to be able to prove it but I don’t remember that photograph being taken…

‘That’s me but whether that’s my hand…I have simply no recollection of the photograph ever being taken.’ 

December 2019 – Virginia told BBC Panorama that the photo is genuine and she gave the original to the FBI in 2011

February 2022 – Lady Victoria Hervey says victims of Epstein have told her  the image was photoshopped by Virginia and Maria Farmer

In an exclusive interview earlier this month, Lady Victoria told FEMAIL she has spoken to several victims of Jeffrey Epstein, who said they believe the image was edited by Virginia and Maria Farmer, another victim who worked as an ‘artist-in-residence’ for Epstein. 

She said other victims had ‘seen’ Virginia and Maria photoshopping the image, before being ‘bullied and silenced’ by Virginia. 

Lady Victoria said the pair had been in ‘cahoots’ for 20 years because they ‘wanted to bring down the monarchy using Prince Andrew’, adding that this was Epstein’s intention too. 

‘I know this sounds pretty wild – Epstein told one survivor that he basically wanted to bring down the monarchy,’ she said.

Lady Victoria Hervey said that an image taken at Naomi Campbell’s birthday in 2001 in St Tropez was used to ‘fake’ the Prince Andrew photo, pointing out that Virginia is wearing the same outfit in both (pictured)

Lady Victoria claimed a photograph of this unnamed man, who she said is Irish and was dating one of Epstein’s victims at the time, was used as a body double for Prince Andrew

Lady Victoria claimed the image of Virginia was taken at the birthday boat party. The image has never been seen publicly but another of Epstein’s victims has allegedly painted  an image of what the original photograph would have looked like (pictured)  

Meanwhile the socialite said she had passed on all of her findings to a member of Prince Andrew’s legal team, adding: ‘She’s got everything, she’s got it all. She’s got recordings and screenshots and everything.’ 

HOW LADY VICTORIA HERVEY CLAIMED VIRGINIA AND MARIA PHOTOSHOPPED THE INFAMOUS IMAGE

Lady Victoria claimed the photograph of Prince Andrew and Virginia was actually four images edited together by Virginia and Maria Farmer.

She said ‘four or five’ victims watched as the two women edited the photograph 

Here FEMAIL breaks down her accusations…

Lady Victoria claimed the image was taken of an empty hallway at the Belgravia home of Andrew’s friend Ghislaine Maxwell. 

VIRGINIA GIUFFRE 

Lady Victoria claimed the image of Virginia was taken at Naomi Campbell’s 2001 birthday boat party.

She said the original photograph showed Virginia leaning against the side of the boat while holding her coat in her right hand. 

She also pointed to evidence of this as  Virginia’s left hand as ‘looking weird’ in the photograph. 

BOAT PARTY – Images show Virginia wearing an off-white, strappy top which exposed her midriff and distinctive, multi-coloured trousers.   

THE PHOTO – The photograph shows Virginia wearing the same outfit, with her arm around Prince Andrew. 

Lady Victoria said the image has been edited so that Prince Andrew is in front of Virginia’s arm holding her coat.  

GHISLAINE MAXWELL

BOAT PARTY – Images show Ghislaine wearing a baby blue knitted jumper with short sleeves and a high roll neck, a sequin skirt. 

THE PHOTO –  The photograph show Ghislaine wearing a white knitted jumper vest with no sleeves with dark bottoms on.

PRINCE ANDREW 

Lady Virginia claimed an ‘Irish body double’ was used in place of Prince Andrew in the photograph. 

She said the man was in a relationship with one of Epstein’s victims at the time, and he was at the boat party as well. 

However she said she does not know if the image was taken at the boat party, or whether the unnamed Irish man was aware of the plot by Virginia.

Having edited the man’s body into the photograph with Virginia and Ghislaine, she then said Maria and Virginia had edited Prince Andrew’s face onto his.

She pointed to the man’s hands as evidence it was not Prince Andrew.

Virginia claims she was trafficked by Epstein and Maxwell and forced to have sex with the royal on three occasions when she was 17, claims Prince Andrew has strenuously denied.  

Virginia has previously described in legal documents how she attended the party in St Tropez to celebrate Miss Campbell’s 31st birthday in 2001.

Images from the party show Virginia in an off-white, strappy top which exposed her midriff and distinctive, multi-coloured trousers.

Meanwhile photographs also show Ghislaine from the night of the party wearing a blue knitted jumper with a knitted white and sequin skirt.

Lady Victoria said a photograph taken at the party shows Virginia leaning against the boat and holding her coat in one hand, and this is the image that was used to fake the photo with Prince Andrew. 

She believes one of the clearest signs that it has been edited is Virginia’s hand, and she said it looks slightly odd because she was actually leaning against the side of the boat in the original photo 

However, she does not have a copy of the alleged picture and it has never been seen publicly.  

However, Lady Victoria went on to claim that an Epstein victim who ‘saw’ the alleged photo and witnessed it being edited by Virginia and Maria has recreated it.  

She said: ‘One of the girls is an artist and she drew a painting of the original photograph of Virginia on the boat holding her coat.’

It was this image that Lady Victoria shared to social media earlier this month, causing a stir with her bizarre claims.  

Another victim of Epstein, Maria was the ‘artist-in-residence’ and receptionist at Epstein’s New York office in 1995 after graduating from the New York Academy of Arts and handpicked by Epstein to work for him, who was also a college donor.

She was then abused by Epstein and Maxwell on his mentor, billionaire Les Wexner’s estate in Ohio, and also ogled at by President Donald Trump, whom she claims visited Epstein at least three times while she worked there.

Lady Victoria said she was told be Epstein survivors that Ghislaine had taught Maria and Virginia how to photoshop images.  

She said the victims then saw the duo editing the infamous photograph of the Duke with Virginia using images from the birthday party. 

She said: ‘The girls were there, I guess they all lived together you know.

‘Everyone was aware – four or five of the survivors know that they [Maria and Virginia] did it and saw it.’ 

She said while the duo took a photograph of Ghislaine’s empty home, editing in the image of Victoria holding her coat on the boat.

Lady Victoria claimed they then edited Ghislaine into the image, altering her outfit by changing the colour of her top and removing the sleeves.

Meanwhile she said Maria and Virginia used the body of an Irish man who had been dating one of the other victims at the time to act as a double for Prince Andrew.

Virginia has previously described in legal documents how she attended the party in St Tropez to celebrate Miss Campbell’s 31st birthday in 2001 (pictured, the party)

Meanwhile Lady Victoria said the women had edited Ghislaine’s outfit to change the colour of her knitted top and to remove the sleeves (pictured, her outfit the night of the party) 

Lady Victoria posted the accusations on her Instagram stories earlier this month and suggested the image actually showed an Irish man as a body double for Prince Andrew  

She said the unnamed Irish man was in a relationship with one of Epstein’s victims at the time, and he was at the boat party as well. 

Full statement from both parties in Andrew’s case 

Here is the full text of the statement regarding the out of court settlement reached between the Duke of York and Virginia Giuffre. The statement was included in a letter submitted to US judge Lewis A Kaplan:

‘Virginia Giuffre and Prince Andrew have reached an out of court settlement. The parties will file a stipulated dismissal upon Ms Giuffre’s receipt of the settlement (the sum of which is not being disclosed). Prince Andrew intends to make a substantial donation to Ms Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights.

‘Prince Andrew has never intended to malign Ms. Giuffre’s character, and he accepts that she has suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks. It is known that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked countless young girls over many years.

‘Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others. He pledges to demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein by supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims.’ 

However she said she does not know if the image was taken at the boat party, or whether the unnamed Irish man was aware of the plot by Virginia.

Having edited the man’s body into the photograph with Virginia and Ghislaine, she then said Maria and Virginia had edited Prince Andrew’s face onto his.

She pointed to both Virginia and Andrew’s hands as evidence the image had been doctored, adding: ‘Her hand and his hand looked so freaking weird.’ 

She continued: ‘They learnt how to do all of this editing by Ghislaine – I don’t know if Ghislaine and Jeffrey were in on the fake photo.’ 

Meanwhile Lady Victoria also said there had ‘never been a physical photo of that shot, it’s all digital’ and accused Virginia of telling ‘different stories’ about whether there was a copy. 

When asked about why Virginia and Maria might have been motivated to edit the photograph, Lady Victoria referred to another message from a survivor.

She said: ‘Another girl sent [me] this: “I’m the one that saw Virginia had the photo of Andrew photoshopped by Maria. 

‘They were conspiring to bring the monarchy down using Andrew.” 

Lady Victoria did not reveal which year the photograph had been edited in.

It was reported last night the Queen is to foot part of the bill for Prince Andrew’s sexual abuse lawsuit, which could end up costing some £12 million.

The humiliated Duke of York’s mother is said to be set to help fund the settlement, which was agreed between lawyers in a sensational development on Tuesday.

The move is understood to be a bid to draw a line under the scandal before her much-anticipated Jubilee celebrations latter this year, which he will apparently be banned from attending.

It comes just weeks after Andrew vowed to contest Virginia Roberts’ rape claims at a public trial. Miss Roberts had alleged she was forced to have sex with the duke three times when she was 17 under the orders of the late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Only last month, she was given the go-ahead to sue Andrew, 61, for unspecified damages in a New York civil court.

But despite vowing to fight the allegations and repeatedly protesting his innocence, the prince yesterday agreed to pay a huge sum to settle the case before it ever reaches a jury. 

It comes as reports suggest the Queen herself will provide money to pay for the settlement, according to the Telegraph.

The paper suggests the total amount that the victim and her charity will receive will actually exceed £12m, with the funds coming from her private Duchy of Lancaster estate, which recently increased by £1.5m to more than £23m.

Although the agreement contained no formal admission of liability from Andrew, or an apology, it said he now accepted Miss Roberts was a ‘victim of abuse’ and that he regretted his association with Epstein, the disgraced financier who trafficked countless young girls.

It also said the prince accepted that Miss Roberts, now 38, had been subjected to ‘unfair public attacks’ and that he had never intended to ‘malign her character’.

This is despite a string of recent aggressive accusations made by his legal team that included referencing a story which branded Miss Roberts a ‘money-hungry sex kitten’.

It is understood that Andrew will now hand a large sum of cash to Miss Roberts and he has also agreed to make a ‘substantial donation’ to her charity in support of victims’ rights.

Although the terms of the deal remain a closely guarded secret, sources indicated the settlement itself could cost Andrew as much as £7.5 million ($10 million) – with several million pounds worth of legal fees taking the potential cost of the case to the prince to around the £10 million mark.

Miss Roberts – who brought the lawsuit under her married name Virginia Giuffre – launched her legal action against Andrew in August, seeking unspecified damages for battery, including rape, and the infliction of emotional distress. The Daily Mail can reveal that negotiations on a settlement have secretly been taking place since last month when a US judge refused to throw Miss Roberts’ case out.

But her legal team were said to be surprised at the suddenness of Andrew’s capitulation, with things taking a dramatic turn in recent days.

The prince, who was stripped of his remaining patronages earlier this year, has faced pressure from senior royals to resolve the lawsuit ahead of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee later this year.

And while last night Buckingham Palace was said to be breathing a sigh of relief that the case will not go to trial, senior royal sources indicated there was now no way back to public life for the disgraced duke.

One said: ‘Regardless of the outcome, he has ruled himself out of any public role by virtue of his appalling lack of judgment and poor choice of friends and associates.’

Lady Victoria Hervey and Prince Andrew pictured in 2002 at a party in London to celebrate Chinese New Year

Lady Victoria Hervey and Ghislaine Maxwell pictured in Hollywood on February 25, 2004 

However, the scandal will continue to hang over the Royal Family into next year, experts claimed today.

The Queen is expected to foot part of the bill for her son’s settlement in a bid to draw a line under it before her much-anticipated Platinum Jubilee celebrations this summer. But there is anger at how the Queen, 95, has effectively been forced to bail out the ‘disgraced’ Duke of York, 61, whose modest pension from his time in the Royal Navy is now his only visible income – amid calls for the public to be told who is financing the deal.

Sources also pointed out that while there will now be a ‘period of silence’ during the Jubilee celebrations when both parties will have to stick to the terms of yesterday’s carefully-worded statement, Mrs Giuffre would then not be stopped from writing a lucrative book telling her story which could hit the shelves in time for Christmas.

Andrew’s civil case: What was alleged and what has been agreed? 

The Duke of York and Virginia Giuffre have reached an out-of-court settlement in the civil case filed in the US. Here is what was alleged against Andrew and what has happened up until this point:

– Who is Virginia Giuffre?  Virginia Giuffre, also known as Virginia Roberts, alleges she was trafficked by disgraced British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell to be molested by financier Jeffrey Epstein and his friends.

– What case did Andrew face?  Mrs Giuffre brought a case of battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress against the duke. It was claimed she was trafficked by convicted sex offender Epstein and others to Andrew, who is alleged to have sexually abused her when she was under the age of 18.

– How many allegations did the duke face? Court documents have referenced three separate occasions in which Mrs Giuffre accuses him of sexual misconduct.

– Where is the alleged sexual abuse said to have taken place?  Mrs Giuffre claimed Andrew had sex with her against her will at Maxwell’s London home. She also alleged the royal forced her to engage in sex acts against her will at Epstein’s mansion on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The duke is also alleged to have sexually abused Mrs Giuffre on another occasion during a visit to Epstein’s private island, Little St James.

– What reasons has Andrew previously given for the case against him to be dismissed?  In January, the duke submitted 11 reasons why the case should be dismissed, including that Mrs Giuffre’s claims are ‘barred by the doctrine of consent’ and by ‘her own wrongful conduct’.

– Will Andrew have to face a civil trial?  Now the case has settled out of court, the duke will not have to face a trial.

– What happens now a settlement has been reached?  The parties have said they will file a ‘stipulation of dismissal’ within 30 days, meaning they will file a notice to discontinue the case now it has been settled. Before the stipulation is filed, the parties have asked for all deadlines and court action to be suspended.

– What do we know about the details of the agreement reached between Andrew and Mrs Giuffre?  The sum of the settlement has not been disclosed but the duke will make a ‘substantial donation’ to Mrs Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights. He has also pledged to ‘demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein’ by supporting the ‘fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims.’

– Will the substantial charity donation be made from Andrew’s own private money?  Representatives of the duke declined to comment on the source of funds for the donation.

– What have both sides said about the settlement?Andrew’s representatives said they would not be commenting further than what was said in the court documents. David Boies, the lawyer acting on behalf of Mrs Giuffre, said: ‘I believe this event speaks for itself.’

Prince Charles was said to have been supported by the Queen in making it clear to Andrew that he had no choice but to settle with Mrs Giuffre, with one source telling MailOnline that Charles had ‘had enough of the situation’ and ‘would have said to Andrew that he needed to get this sorted out as soon as possible’.

A senior Royal Household member told the Standard that Charles and the Queen ‘could not countenance another disastrous appearance by the Duke of York, in light of his BBC interview’, adding: ‘Decisive action was needed. There was little choice. He had to see sense.’

While Andrew is thought to be holed up at his Royal Lodge home in Windsor today, on the other side of the world a box of beers and a bouquet of flowers were being delivered to Mrs Giuffre and her husband Robert’s home in Perth, Australia. And her father Sky Roberts told the Sun: ‘I knew he would settle out of court. That was a complete bluff. I think Virginia will be happy.’

Meanwhile, despite the settlement, it is feared that the scandal could still overshadow poignant Platinum Jubilee celebrations for the UK in the coming months. Also today, the Metropolitan Police said they have no plans to reopen their own probe into Andrew despite calls for officers to re-examine evidence after the deal.

Royal author Angela Levin told Sky News today: ‘I think that the Queen would have given him a big telling off and said ‘I can’t have this hanging over me for the rest of the year – I don’t want you to spoil my Platinum Jubilee. I’m the only royal who’s lasted 70 years on the throne, and you’ve got to sort it out’.’

She added: ‘I admire the Queen hugely as everybody does, and I don’t want it to spoil anything for her, but I still think this is hanging over the country and the Royal Family and is going to go right through to the end of the year and maybe into next year, and there’s no real way of cutting it off. Obviously that (a ban on Mrs Giuffre saying anything) was something that they could have put in the agreement and they haven’t, and so it implies that there’s a lot she (Mrs Giuffre) wants to say that Andrew will not want to hear.’

The settlement, which was agreed between lawyers in a sensational development yesterday, comes just weeks after Andrew vowed to contest the rape claims by Mrs Giuffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, at a public trial.

Mrs Giuffre had alleged she was forced to have sex with the duke three times when she was 17 under the orders of the late paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein. Only last month, she was given the go-ahead to sue Andrew for unspecified damages in a New York civil court. But despite vowing to fight the claims and repeatedly protesting his innocence, the prince yesterday agreed to pay a huge sum to settle the case before it ever reaches a jury.

It has been suggested that the Queen has used her private income to help Andrew with his legal bills, and the Daily Telegraph reported that she would contribute to the settlement using income from her private Duchy of Lancaster estate. However, Buckingham Palace would not comment on the claim – and courtiers have tried to distance the monarch from the US court case. The Telegraph reported that the total amount that the victim and her charity will receive will actually exceed £12million, with the funds coming from the Duchy of Lancaster estate, which recently increased by £1.5million to more than £23million.

Andrew has been dogged by questions over the source of his wealth for years, and he is believed to have relied on handouts from the Queen, personal investments and bequests from family members such as the Queen Mother.

Graham Smith, from anti-monarchy campaign group Republic, insisted that taxpayers ‘deserve to know where the money is coming from for a settlement, which we must assume is in the millions, if not tens of millions’.

One source of Andrew’s income may be the sale of Sunninghill Park, the 12-bedroom country house near Windsor which was a wedding gift from the Queen. The vast property went unsold for five years before it was suddenly bought in 2007 for £15 million – £3million over the asking price – by Timur Kulibayev, son-in-law of Andrew’s friend Nursultan Nazarbayev, the former autocratic ruler of Kazakhstan.

Andrew now lives in Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park, the former home of the Queen Mother, on a preferential but undisclosed 100-year lease from the Crown Estate. He and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson share the sprawling grade II-listed house but could move out to minimise costs, although it would not bring them any extra income.

Beers are delivered to Virginia and Robert Giuffre’s home in Perth, Australia, today after the settlement was reached

A man delivers flowers to the home of Virginia and Robert Giuffre in Perth, Australia, today after the deal was announced

The Yorks bought an £18million ski chalet in the Swiss resort of Verbier in 2014 but put it on the market following a legal dispute with its former owner. French socialite Isabelle de Rouvre took legal action after a final £5 million instalment on Chalet Helora was not paid, but said the debt was settled last year, clearing the way for it to be sold. It was put on the market for around £18million, but it was not clear how much of the £13million mortgage remains.

New woe for Royals: Met Police launches ‘cash for honours’ investigation into Charles’ charity

Prince Charles’ former right hand man was today at the centre of a Metropolitan Police ‘cash for honours’ probe into how a Saudi billionaire donor got a knighthood and UK citizenship.

Michael Fawcett, for years a trusted ally of Charles, stepped down in October amid claims he promised to help secure a CBE and British citizenship for Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz – a donor to the Prince’s Foundation. 

It was alleged that he paid thousands of pounds to ‘fixers’ with links to the prince who said they could secure him an honour in return for donations.

Dr Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz, pictured meeting Prince Charles, is one of Britain’s most generous benefactors

The criminal investigation piles more pressure onto the Queen on what should have been one of the proudest years of her reign.

Now after a Met special advisory team has assessed documents the force has launched an investigation into the Fawcett allegations of offences under the Honours Act.

Mr Fawcett (pictured) allegedly helped fix a CBE for Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz

It said it had acted after receiving a letter in September – believed to be from former Lib Dem MP Norman Baker – urging them to look into the claims. 

Clarence House today stressed Charles had ‘no knowledge’ on allegations of offers of honours ‘on the basis of donation to his charities’.

The Prince’s spokespeople have previously said he would ‘of course’ be willing to assist any enquiry from the authorities. 

The Metropolitan Police dropped its investigation into Andrew last October, saying they would take ‘no further action’ – but the latest development raises questions over whether he could still be quizzed, while FBI officials in the US also still want to talk to him as a witness to Epstein and his accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell’s crimes.

Among those renewing calls for the case to be reopened is Nigel Cawthorne, Andrew’s biographer, who told Newsweek: ‘There should be a police investigation into Prince Andrew. There are a couple of outstanding matters. One is that the US Department of Justice has asked the British Government for their co-operation in interviewing Prince Andrew. The other is whether the new commissioner of the Metropolitan Police will investigate this matter.’

He added: ‘There’s no mention of how much money is involved or where he’s going to get it from. He’s not a wealthy man. As taxpayers we have the right to know. We want to know, is it coming out of my pocket?’

And former BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt tweeted: ‘With the Giuffre case settled, Prince Andrew can now focus on talking to the FBI about his friend Epstein – 818 days after he first promised to do so.’

MailOnline asked the Metropolitan Police whether they would now reopen the investigation following yesterday’s settlement, but a spokesman said today: ‘There is no change to our previous position.’

Royal expert Omid Scobie, who is the closest reporter to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, said: ‘In the end, Andrew took accountability for nothing. Instead, he did what only the privileged elite get to do: bought his way out. In the process, he took advantage of his elderly mother’s love (and cheque book) during a year her children should only be lifting her up. A disgrace.’ 

Another royal commentator, Adam Helliker, told the Sun that people will probably take offence to the Queen bailing out her son’s settlement costs, adding: ‘No one has that kind of money but his mother. Andrew is not close enough to the Prince of Wales for him to fund that kind of money. He doesn’t have any income.’

And media lawyer Mark Stephens told BBC News: ‘One of the key things that I think will have to be clarified by Prince Andrew’s camp is the fact that he’s paid this from his own resources.’

He added: ‘Essentially he’s managed to effectively immunise the wider Royal Family and more particularly his daughters against this court hearing. But he himself has metaphorically been consigned to an unheated tower at Balmoral never to wave from a royal balcony ever again.’  Mr Stephens said: ‘If you look at his net worth, he’s had to sell a house in order to fund this, and so I think that (£12million) does look at about the right number.’

Meanwhile Mrs Giuffre will be banned from speaking publicly about her claims against Andrew until after the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations under the terms of her settlement with the Duke.  

Sources told the Times there would be a ‘period of silence’ when both parties would have to stick to the terms of a carefully worded statement. Beyond the Jubilee celebrations however, Mrs Giuffre is expected to be allowed to public a book telling her story at the end of the year if she wishes to do so.

‘Ordinarily, you would have a complete non-disclosure [agreement] on both sides,’ lawyer Mitchell Epner told the Times. He added: ‘Since it’s a settlement in the context of, on its face, an apology from Prince Andrew,’ [he believes Mrs Giuffre] ‘has agreed not to say anything [but] she will be in a position to write a book, probably for this Christmas season’. 

Although the agreement contained no formal admission of liability from Andrew, or an apology, it said he now accepted Mrs Giuffre was a ‘victim of abuse’ and that he regretted his association with Epstein, the disgraced financier who trafficked countless young girls.

It also said the prince accepted that Mrs Giuffre, now 38, had been subjected to ‘unfair public attacks’ and that he had never intended to ‘malign her character’.

This is despite a string of recent aggressive accusations made by his legal team that included referencing a story which branded Mrs Giuffre a ‘money-hungry sex kitten’.

It is understood that Andrew will now hand a large sum of cash to Mrs Giuffre and he has also agreed to make a ‘substantial donation’ to her charity in support of victims’ rights. 

Mrs Giuffre – who brought the lawsuit under her married name Virginia Giuffre – launched her legal action against Andrew in August, seeking unspecified damages for battery, including rape, and the infliction of emotional distress. The Daily Mail can reveal that negotiations on a settlement have secretly been taking place since last month when a US judge refused to throw Miss Roberts’ case out.

But her legal team were said to be surprised at the suddenness of Andrew’s capitulation, with things taking a dramatic turn in recent days.

Andrew should disappear for good: Duke’s ex-Navy commander joins calls for ‘rogue element’ to never return as working royal 

Prince Andrew has been bombarded with demands to quietly retire in private and ‘stay out of the public eye’ after his reputation took an ‘irreparable’ battering from Virginia Giuffre’s rape claims.

The Duke of York was urged to surrender any notions of a royal return and ‘move on’ by friends and former colleagues because he has ‘forever been tainted’ by the dramatic scandal that plunged the monarchy into crisis. 

The 61-year-old needs to ‘draw a line under this episode’ and ‘surround himself with better friends’ after making ‘some bad choices’ such as his friendship with paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, they warned.

Navy top brass were among those calling on Andrew to keep out of the limelight in the wake of the bombshell allegations and settlement with his accuser – and now ‘enjoy essentially what is a very good privileged lifestyle’.

On Newsnight his former Naval Commander Rear Admiral Dr Chris Parry pressed him to ‘remember some of the things that we remember him for, for his earlier days’ before he left military service and the damaging claims against him emerged.

Meanwhile royal experts said there will be no ‘return to the fold’ for the embattled Duke – who was stripped of all his military roles and patronages earlier this year – and he should ‘disappear for a year’.

The commentators said they were sure Prince Charles will ram home the importance of ‘keeping a very low profile’ until the furore over the New York court saga dies down.

But Labour MP for York Central Rachael Maskell does not want to let him off that easy as she renewed her calls for him to be stripped of his dukedom named after the city.

She repeated a call made last month, saying the Prince should give up the association out of respect for the people who live there.

Leading lawyers suggested the court of public opinion will have already drawn its own conclusions about the damaging accusations made against him and remember them for ‘many, many years to come’.

The prince, who was stripped of his remaining patronages earlier this year, has faced pressure from senior royals to resolve the lawsuit ahead of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee later this year. And while last night Buckingham Palace was said to be breathing a sigh of relief that the case will not go to trial, senior royal sources indicated there was now no way back to public life for the disgraced duke.

One said: ‘Regardless of the outcome, he has ruled himself out of any public role by virtue of his appalling lack of judgment and poor choice of friends and associates.’

One other woman, Johanna Sjoberg, was revealed in 2019 to have accused Andrew of sexual misconduct when court papers in a 2015 defamation case involving Mrs Giuffre were unsealed. She alleged he grabbed her breast in 2001 at the New York home of Epstein – something Buckingham Palace said at the time was ‘categorically untrue’. There has been no indication that she may take legal action against Andrew. 

Meanwhile Labour MP Rachael Maskell, who represents York Central, said the Duke of York must withdraw his title to show ‘respect’ for people living in York in light of the settlement, adding that he had caused ‘deep hurt and embarrassment’ to residents of the city. 

She said: ‘It is to be welcomed that he has now pledged to support the fight against the evils of sex trafficking and its victims. To demonstrate his seriousness in this endeavour, and his respect for those affected by abuse and the people of our city, I would ask that his first act of contrition is to confirm his support for the withdrawal of his ducal title.’

There will also be fresh light thrown on the issue of the Queen’s Counsellors of State – members of the Royal Family who stand in for her if she is unable to meet her duties as sovereign because she is unwell.

By law, they include the sovereign’s spouse and the next four people in the line of succession who are over the age of 21 – which at the moment means Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Andrew and Prince Harry.

If the Queen falls ill and Charles and William are both out of the country or also ill, these duties would be passed to Andrew or Harry, which would be deeply embarrassing given that both are no longer involved in active royal life. 

The newly-announced agreement contained no restatement of Andrew’s previous denials of having had sex with Mrs Giuffre and the settlement means the prince will not have the chance to disprove her claims in court.

It comes just over a month after another of Epstein’s victims exclusively told the Mail that Mrs Giuffre had admitted to her that she had slept with the prince in London in 2001.

Last night, Mrs Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies said: ‘It’s a really great day. Virginia was thrilled when we told her the terms. This has all come about over the past couple of days, it’s been quite quick. I am not sure what changed from his side. I thought that this should have been settled when we brought the lawsuit.

‘That’s basically the end of the case. She will get paid the money in 30 days’ time. I cannot comment on the amount or the terms, but it’s a good day.’

Mr Boies had agreed to take on the case pro bono but it is unclear if he will still seek to recoup some of his legal costs from the duke.

A source who is familiar with the case said: ‘Andrew moved so far, so fast from his position of deny, deny, deny. There were a lot of things looming for him.

A joint statement issued yesterday by Virginia Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boies, and Prince Andrew’s lawyer, Andrew Brettler

A letter addressed to US judge Lewis A Kaplan, who has been overseeing the case, from David Boies, Virginia Giuffre’s lawyer

‘Things were starting to come out and Andrew knew what the case was against him.

‘It’s a princely amount, a very, very substantial amount of money split into two buckets: the settlement itself and the donation.’

Rachel Fiset, a senior partner at law firm Zweiback, Fiset & Coleman who specialises in defending white collar crime cases, suggested the total figure could be even higher than many others predict.

‘A settlement that would cover Andrew’s legal fees to take this case to trial alone, would be well into the millions,’ she said. 

‘When you couple the price of litigation on both sides with the risk of embarrassing facts coming out for Andrew and a potential jury loss relating to the sexual assault of a minor by a Prince, the settlement amount is likely very high. My best guess puts the settlement amount somewhere between 20 and 30 million dollars.’ 

Meanwhile, a royal source told the Mail that the prince was guilty of ‘inexcusably bad judgment’ in both his association with Epstein and the way the allegations against him – which first surfaced more than seven years ago – were handled. 

more videos

Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson leave Royal Lodge in Windsor in a Range Rover with their dog on January 30

Andrew’s mother the Queen held virtual audiences from Windsor Castle with the Estonian and Spanish ambassadors yesterday

Prince Andrew’s daughter Princess Eugenie attended the Super Bowl in Los Angeles with Prince Harry on Sunday

One source added: ‘There is huge relief in the royal household. This has been a very difficult time for everyone involved, not least because of the issues involved and that the allegations had been made by an acknowledged victim of Jeffrey Epstein. The feeling is that the situation was badly – inexcusably badly – managed by Andrew and his advisers from the start. It was as if they thought they could close their eyes and put their fingers in their ears and it would all go away.’

The long and sordid saga that ended with royal outcast Andrew settling rape lawsuit: From meeting Epstein to being accused of raping his ‘sex slave’ and THAT Pizza Express alibi 

By Rory Tingle and James Robinson for MailOnline 

It has been more than two decades since Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein first crossed paths.

That meeting would set in motion years of damaging allegations, embarrassing interviews and eventually a US lawsuit against the Queen’s third son.

Over the next 23 years, Epstein would go on to abuse and sex traffic young girls across the world on his private jet with his madame Ghislaine Maxwell – the woman who would introduce the financier to Prince Andrew – by his side.

Though he would go on to take his own life in prison while awaiting trial for his sex trafficking crimes, and ultimately robbing his victims of justice, the fallout would continue for those around him.

Maxwell would end up in a US prison, herself found guilty of sex trafficking for Epstein, while Prince Andrew would face accusations of sexual assault by one Epstein victim, Virginia Giuffre.

Determined to clear his name, Prince Andrew would agree to a toe-curling BBC in which he claimed he couldn’t have had sex with Ms Giuffre, because he was at Pizza Express at the time.

But Giuffre would continue to pursue the royal, eventually launching a US civil case against him – which has now ended in a settlement.

Here MailOnline takes a look at the sordid saga, from start to finish: 

1999: Andrew first meets Epstein, reportedly introduced through his friendship with Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell.

Andrew welcomes Epstein to the Queen’s private Scottish retreat in Aberdeenshire. Andrew later says he sees Epstein ‘infrequently’, adding ‘probably no more than only once or twice a year’.

2000: Andrew and Ms Maxwell are seen on holiday with Epstein at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida.

Epstein and Ms Maxwell attend a party at Windsor Castle hosted by the Queen to mark Andrew’s 40th birthday, the Princess Royal’s 50th, the Queen Mother’s 100th and Princess Margaret’s 70th.

2001: Virginia Roberts claims to have had sex with Andrew ‘three times, including one orgy’, with the first encounter allegedly taking place in Ms Maxwell’s London townhouse after they met at the Tramp nightclub on March 10. Recalling the alleged meeting, Andrew was said to be ‘sweating profusely’.  

Virginia Roberts claims to have had sex with Andrew ‘three times, including one orgy’, with the first encounter allegedly taking place in Ms Maxwell’s London townhouse after they met at the Tramp nightclub on March 10. Recalling the alleged meeting, Andrew was said to be ‘sweating profusely’

The Duke would later claim in his infamous BBC interview that this could have never happened because he was at a children’s party at a branch of Pizza Express in Woking. In the same interview he says he has a medical condition after being shot at during the Falklands War that left him ‘unable to sweat’ because Ms Roberts, who was 17 at the time, claimed that they danced together and he had been ‘sweating profusely’ 

Ms Roberts claims to have had sex with Andrew on two more occasions, at Epstein’s New York home and at an ‘orgy’ on his private island in the Caribbean.

2008: Epstein admits prostituting minors and is sentenced to 18 months in prison.

2010: Epstein is released from jail. Andrew is photographed with the disgraced Epstein in New York’s Central Park.

Footage emerges years later, reportedly shot on December 6 2010, showing him inside Epstein’s Manhattan mansion, from where he is seen looking out from a large door of the property waving a woman goodbye after Epstein leaves to get into a chauffeur-driven car.

2011: The duke quits his role as UK trade envoy after the fallout from the Central Park photos.

2015: Buckingham Palace denies Andrew has committed any impropriety after he is named in US court documents related to Epstein. A woman, later named in reports as Ms Roberts, alleges in papers filed in Florida that she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17, which is under the age of consent in the state.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Andrew, in his first public engagement since he was embroiled in the allegations, responds, saying: ‘Firstly I think I must, and want, for the record, to refer to the events that have taken place in the last few weeks. I just wish to reiterate, and to reaffirm, the statements that have already been made on my behalf by Buckingham Palace.’

In April the claims against Andrew are struck from US civil court records following a federal judge’s ruling.

Newly released legal documents show that Johanna Sjoberg, another alleged Epstein victim, claims Andrew touched her breast while sitting on a couch inside the US billionaire’s Manhattan apartment in 2001. Buckingham Palace denies the allegations

2019: Newly released legal documents show that Johanna Sjoberg, another alleged Epstein victim, claims Andrew touched her breast while sitting on a couch inside the US billionaire’s Manhattan apartment in 2001.

Buckingham Palace says the allegations are ‘categorically untrue’. Epstein is found dead in his jail cell on August 10, having killed himself after being charged with sex trafficking.

Later that month a pilot on Epstein’s private jet claims Andrew was a passenger on past flights with the financier and Ms Roberts.

The Sun newspaper reported that David Rodgers said in a testimony released in August that Epstein, Andrew and the-then 17-year-old travelled to the US Virgin Islands on April 11 2001.

Buckingham Palace describes the evidence statement as having ‘a number of inconsistencies’ and said that Andrew was on a different continent in some cases.

Following Epstein’s death, a statement from the palace says that Andrew is ‘appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes’.

Breaking his silence on the issue for the first time since 2015, Andrew then releases a statement on August 24 saying: ‘At no stage during the limited time I spent with him (Epstein) did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.’

On November 16, the prince gives a ‘disastrous’ BBC interview in which he speaks about his friendship with Epstein and addresses allegations of his own sexual conduct.

On November 16, the prince gives a ‘disastrous’ BBC interview in which he speaks about his friendship with Epstein and addresses allegations of his own sexual conduct

He faced a barrage of criticism following his television appearance, with the royal accused of a lack of empathy with Epstein’s victims.

During the interview, Andrew, questioned by Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, twice stated his relationship with Epstein, who died in jail while facing sex trafficking charges, had some ‘seriously beneficial outcomes’, giving him the opportunity to meet people and prepare for a future role as a trade envoy.

The royal maintained he did not recall meeting Ms Roberts and did not spend time with her at Tramp Nightclub in London on March 10 in 2001 after which she claims the pair first had sex.

The duke denies sleeping with her on three separate occasions, saying the encounter in 2001 did not happen as he had taken his daughter Princess Beatrice to Pizza Express in Woking for a party, and they spent the rest of the day together.

The duke denies sleeping with her on three separate occasions, saying the encounter in 2001 did not happen as he had taken his daughter Princess Beatrice to Pizza Express in Woking for a party, and they spent the rest of the day together.

He also said a medical condition after being shot at during the Falklands War left him ‘unable to sweat’ because Ms Roberts, who was 17 at the time, claimed that they danced together and he had been ‘sweating profusely’. 

The Duke of York said: ‘I was with the children and I’d taken Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party at I suppose sort of 4 or 5 in the afternoon.

‘And then because the Duchess was away, we have a simple rule in the family that when one is away the other one is there.

‘I was on terminal leave at the time from the Royal Navy so therefore I was at home.’ 

However he continues to strongly deny any wrongdoing and claims he has never even met Ms Roberts, now a mother-of-three living in Australia who goes by her married name, Virginia Giuffre. 

Following the disastrous interview, which is widely panned, Prince Andrew announces in November that he will step back from frontline royal duties for the ‘foreseeable future’. A number of companies with association to the prince step back. 

He says at the time he deeply sympathises with sex offender Epstein’s victims and everyone who ‘wants some form of closure’. 

2020: With the Covid pandemic occupying much of the news and the minds of the British public, Prince Andrew has the chance to lie low, which he does, in Windsor Castle. 

Andrew hires Gary Bloxsome, a UK criminal defence solicitor, early in the year, just weeks after his car-crash Newsnight interview. 

Despite him lying low, talk continues to flow in newspapers like The Telegraph and The Times that he is planning a ‘rebranding’ and hopes to one day return to frontline royal duties.

He is praised by one senior palace aide for not appearing in official wedding photographs at the marriage of his daughter Princess Beatrice to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. One said it shows a ‘level of maturity’ from Prince Andrew.

Prince Andrew is praised by one senior palace aide for not appearing in official wedding photographs at the marriage of his daughter Princess Beatrice to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. One said it shows a ‘level of maturity’ from Prince Andrew

However, despite attempting to keep a low-profile, the headlines continue for Prince Andrew. 

In February the US attorney for the Southern District of New York claims prosecutors and the FBI had repeatedly contacted the Duke of York’s lawyers to follow up on his previous pledge that he was ‘willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency’.

In November, Lisa Bloom, who represents six of Epstein’s alleged victims, cals on Andrew to submit to an interview with the FBI in their investigation into Ghislaine Maxwell. Sources close to Andrew say he is willing to speak to the FBI.

2021:  In August, Virginia Giuffre files a lawsuit in the US against Andrew accusing him of sexual assault. In the civil case she alleges she had sex with Andrew and he was aware of her age.

She also claims hat she was a victim of sex trafficking when she was forced to have sex with him in 2001.

‘I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me. The powerful and the rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions,’ she said in a statement via her lawyers in August that year.

Andrew continues to vehemently denies the claim. He hires US defence attorney Andrew Brettler to represent him. He describes the lawsuit as ‘baseless, non-viable, and possibly unlawful.’

Initially there is some debate over whether Prince Andrew has received the lawsuit. His lawyers claim the royal has not been properly served.

Giuffre’s lawyers claim the legal papers were handed over to a Metropolitan police officer on duty at the main gates of Andrew’s Windsor Great Park home on 27 August. 

David Boies, representing Giuffre, said the complaint had been ‘delivered to the last known address of the defendant’. He added that the documents had also been sent ‘by Royal Mail’.

David Boies, representing Giuffre, said the complaint had been ‘delivered to the last known address of the defendant’. He added that the documents had also been sent ‘by Royal Mail’

A previously secret 2009 settlement between Giuffre and Epstein is raised. Prince Andrew’s lawyers claim the settlement protects the royal from Giuffre lawsuit. The judge agrees to unseal the agreement.

Lawyers for the Duke of York also file a motion claiming Giuffre currently lives in Australia and so the court does not have jurisdiction to hold the lawsuit. But her lawyers argue the civil case was properly filed in Manhattan federal court because she is a citizen of Colorado and some of the sexual misconduct she alleges took place in the state of New York.

Meanwhile, a jury in New York finds Epstein’s former madame Ghislaine Maxwell guilty of sex-trafficking.

The British socialist is also found guilty of conspiracy to entice individuals under the age of 17 to travel in interstate commerce with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity, conspiracy to transport individuals under the age of 17 to travel in interstate commerce with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity; transportation of an individual under the age of 17 with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity; and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of individuals under the age of 18. 

A jury in New York finds Epstein’s former madame Ghislaine Maxwell (pictured in a court sketch) guilty of sex-trafficking.

On December 30, Giuffre hits back. Her legal team ask the prince’s lawyers to prove he cannot sweat in a court filing. The request is made in relation to Prince Andrew’s claims in his disastrous 2019 Newsnight interview.

In the filing, it says: ‘If Prince Andrew truly has no documents concerning his communications with Maxwell or Epstein, his travel to Florida, New York, or various locations in London, his alleged medical inability to sweat, or anything that would support the alibis he gave during his BBC interview, then continuing with discovery will not be burdensome to him at all’.

2022: The 2009 agreement between Giuffre and Epstein is unsealed. It shows Giuffre settled with Epstein for $500,000. In the settlement, Giuffre is show to agree not to go after ‘other potential defendants,’ defined as ‘second parties’. But it does not specifically name Prince Andrew. His legal team say he is included under ‘other potential defendants’ and ask the judge to throw out the case.

Alongside attempting to use the Epstein agreement to shield Prince Andrew, his legal team claim Giuffre hadn’t sufficiently alleged any violations of the New York Penal Code.

They also argued that Giuffre’s allegations would have been time-barred by the statute of limitations if not for the 2019 New York Child Victims Act, which they labeled ‘unconstitutional’ and that Giuffre’s allegations in her complaint were not sufficiently detailed.

But in a major blow to Prince Andrew case, a New York judge throws out his legal challenge to dismiss the lawsuit and rules it can go ahead. 

A day later, the Queen strips Andrew of a range of military affiliations and royal patronages after more than 150 veterans write to describe their ‘upset and anger’. 

One source said they believed the settlement would pave the way for Andrew to attend his late-father’s memorial service at the end of March as a member of the Royal Family in a private capacity. But it was unlikely he would be able to attend any of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. A Palace spokesman said firmly last night: ‘It is a matter for the duke and his legal team.’

Royal sources said the case and its ongoing ‘attritional’ effect on the Royal Family had been ‘widely discussed’ among senior royals, but there was deep concern not to be seen meddling in issues.

The Prince of Wales also spoke to his brother on several occasions and was instinctively keen to avoid the horror of a public trial. But sources said he accepted the legal process needed to take its natural course and, as a matter of instinct, the heir to the throne shies away from ‘mandating’ on issues when it comes to his family.

Another well-placed royal insider said that ‘no one had much sympathy for Andrew’. Last month, the Queen decided to strip her son of his remaining military affiliations and patronages and force him to stop using the His Royal Highness title in any official capacity.

And last night, an MP for the city of York called on the duke to withdraw his title to show ‘respect’ for people living there. Labour’s Rachael Maskell said he has caused ‘deep hurt and embarrassment’ to residents of the city.

It leaves Andrew’s claims of a trip to Pizza Express in Woking and that he cannot sweat, both of which he used as an alibi against Miss Roberts’ accusations, unresolved. The deal comes just weeks before he was set to sit down for a deposition, an interview under oath, in what would have been an uncomfortable grilling by Miss Roberts’ lawyers

Nick Goldstone, head of dispute resolution at London-based international law firm Ince, said: ‘Clearly this is a settlement in principle on very generous financial terms for the complainant and a degree of backpedalling by the defendant.

‘In terms of ‘the court of public opinion’ this looks like an admission of bad conduct on the part of Andrew and I suspect he will remain ‘off-stage’ from the Royal Family for the rest of his life. It’s a good day for the Royal Family. A huge relief for that institution. Probably a good day for Miss Roberts and a recognition of the impossible position Prince Andrew was in and the cessation of hostilities’.

Lawyer Lisa Bloom, who represents eight victims of Epstein, welcomed the settlement. She said: ‘We hail Virginia’s victory today. She has accomplished what no one else could: getting Prince Andrew to stop his nonsense and side with sexual abuse victims. We salute Virginia’s stunning courage.’ 

Royal author Penny Junor said the settlement made is likely to come as a ‘huge relief’ to the rest of the royal family but that the damage to Andrew is irreparable.

She said: ‘Going to trial, it could have been very, very nasty. It could have been embarrassing, humiliating, and it would have been huge fodder for the tabloid press. It could have really taken the shine off the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year.’

She added: ‘It does of course, I assume, mean we will never know whether Andrew was innocent or guilty. And that, I think, in itself means that he will never be able to go back to any kind of royal work. I think his reputation will never recover.’ 

Amber Melville-Brown, a partner at the New York office of the London law firm Withers, told the Times the settlement would be ‘worth its weight in gold to the Queen as she celebrates her Platinum Jubilee’.

Ann Olivarius, the senior partner of McAllister Olivarius law firm who has acted in cases on both sides of the Atlantic, told the Guardian: ‘The size of the compensation is probably massive by any British standards, and it’s probably very substantial by American standards – and American standards are very high.’ 

While the Duke continues to strongly deny the claims made against him, royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams questioned why such a payment was agreed if he was so sure of his innocence.

He told the Sun: ‘Essentially has he admitted that he has done any wrong at all? No. Regretting his association with Epstein doesn’t count. He claimed innocence, but he has settled and many would regard this as an admission of guilt. If he was innocent then why did he pay?’

Speaking to MailOnline, he added: ‘The relief at the Palace will be almost tangible now the threat of further public humiliation of Andrew in this civil case has been lifted after this settlement was announced. This was always pretty certain as 97 per cent are settled in this way in the US.

‘He has simultaneously, over two and a quarter years, managed to become a serious embarrassment, a national joke and a symbol of entitlement of the worst sort. If it had ever got to court, his humiliation would have been an international cause celebre. The questioning he was shortly facing as part of the legal process by Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s legal team, would have been devastating too.

‘Although it would not have overshadowed the actual Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June, this scandal would have cast a cloud over this unique royal year. That will now not occur and he has continued to deny the charges against him, but the public will not forget the Newsnight interview, the unexplained photograph and his disastrous friendships with Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.

‘There is therefore no future royal role, other than possibly helping to manage the royal estates, at any time in the future for him.’

Another source told MailOnline: ‘I’m sure that Charles has had enough of the situation. Charles would have said to Andrew that he needed to get this sorted out as soon as possible and before the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations begin. Charles did not want this hanging over the Royal Family this year.’ 

While the size of the settlement is not yet known, reports suggested last month Andrew could avoid a trial by using the sale of his £18million Swiss chalet to try to pay off Mrs Giuffre with at least £10million of the proceeds.  

Meanwhile, a former Royal protection officer told the Sun his dramatic U-turn was likely ordered by his mother. 

‘This wasn’t his decision, this was the Queen’s,’ said Paul Page. He added that Andrew’s story was ‘full of holes’ and the Duke ‘would have been slaughtered’ in his deposition.

Mr Fitzwilliams added: ‘The amount he has paid Virginia Roberts Giuffre in settlement has not been disclosed but it is likely to be huge. He has a naval pension and gets an allowance from the Queen. He has also reportedly found a buyer for his chalet, the ownership of which he shares with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson with whom he cohabits, which was on the market for £18 million, having paid a debt to its former owner. 

‘We will probably never know how Andrew raised the money for this settlement. However one thing is crystal clear, this was an emergency and this scandal was deeply destructive for the monarchy. The royal family have numerous wealthy friends and it may well be that it was thought necessary to bail out the Queen’s second son in a year that was truly unique for her and for the royal family.

‘Andrew will remain in disgrace, he strongly denies the charges, but the court of public opinion as represented in opinion polls is totally hostile as is the press and Prince Charles and Prince William have made clear there is no future role for him as a senior working royal.

‘This settlement enlists him as promising to join in the fight against sex trafficking. It therefore remains imperative that he assist the FBI in their attempts to trace Epstein’s accomplices, as he previously promised to do and has not. This is a dreadful scandal and it may not all be over yet.’

And MailOnline columnist Dan Wootton said: ‘Hard to see how Prince Andrew will ever clear his name in the court of public opinion now he’s settled – and presumably paid huge money – to Virginia Giuffre. He said he’d cooperate with the FBI. He didn’t. He said he’d fight Virginia in court. He didn’t. What’s he hiding?’

Meanwhile royal author Angela Levin told GB News: ‘I think it sounds remarkably humble, which is not something we expect from Prince Andrew. Now, why that is, I’m not sure. I wonder if the Queen, now she’s well, gave him a b******ing and said ‘you’re not going to spoil my Platinum Jubilee. I’m the only person who’s ever reached this and you just got to sort it out’. She’s the only one I think who should really give him a telling off. She’s very matronly with him and perhaps he decided that. But it is a great relief I think because it would have rumbled on and that would have taken the headlines all the time and goodness knows what could have come out the other end.’

Former royal butler Grant Harrold told the broadcaster: ‘I believed there was going to be a court case and I thought it was a great opportunity for the prince who’s always said he’s innocent for him to prove his innocence, but obviously an out-of-court settlement puts an end to the whole thing.

‘I can only assume it’s because the Queen’s got her Platinum Jubilee this year and maybe they were worried this would overshadow that, that’s the only reason I can assume this has happened.’ 

Solicitor Joshua Rozenberg added: ‘There is nothing in this agreement in which he admits to any misbehaviour with Virginia Giuffre. He accepts she has suffered as an established victim of abuse, but he doesn’t say that he abused her.

‘He pledges to demonstrate his regret for his association with Jeffrey Epstein but he doesn’t say he had any association with Ms Giuffre. There are all sorts of reason why people settle, there are all sorts of reasons why people bring claims. The fact that this has settled doesn’t mean any more than it says. On the other hand, you don’t pay a lot of money unless you want a case to go away.’

Another expert, Joe Little of Majesty magazine, said: ‘I just don’t think he’s ever likely to resume work as a working member of the royal family. I think that too much water has gone under the bridge for that and the institution of monarchy has been tainted by his association with Epstein and I just think that there’s no going back on all that.’

Of the likely reaction of the rest of the Royal Family, Mr Little said: ‘I’m sure that they’re glad this (settlement agreement) has happened, but does it exonerate the prince who really has not been charged with anything criminal? He will, I think, forever be tainted by this scandal, for want of a better way of describing it.’

It follows reports overnight that Mrs Giuffre claims to have lost the original print of the famous photograph of her and Andrew taken in London in 2001, which could further the Duke’s argument that the image was doctored.  

A document submitted to the court in New York yesterday said: ‘Virginia Giuffre and Prince Andrew have reached an out of court settlement. The parties will file a stipulated dismissal upon Ms Giuffre’s receipt of the settlement (the sum of which is not being disclosed).

‘Prince Andrew intends to make a substantial donation to Ms. Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights. Prince Andrew has never intended to malign Ms Giuffre’s character, and he accepts that she has suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks. 

‘It is known that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked countless young girls over many years. Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others.

‘He pledges to demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein by supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims.’ 

A second document, which was a letter addressed to US judge Lewis A Kaplan, who has been overseeing the case, said: ‘We write jointly with counsel for defendant to advise the court that the parties reached a settlement in principle of the above-referenced action.’

It goes on to say the parties involved plan to file a ‘stipulation of dismissal of the case’ within 30 days. The letter, signed by Mr Boies, concludes: ‘We appreciate the time and effort the court has devoted to this matter.’

And when asked for comment by DailyMail.com yesterday, Mr Boies said: ‘This event speaks for itself.’

The Duke of York is ‘reputationally toast’ after his US civil case settlement, but the legal development has protected the wider royal family from the damage of a public trial, a lawyer has said.

Media lawyer Mark Stephens said: ‘With this settlement, he has prevented this court case overshadowing the tributes and acknowledgement of the Queen’s 70 years of selfless sacrifice and service to the country.

‘And whilst he is reputationally toast and will never appear on a royal balcony ever again and has effectively been airbrushed from polite society and the royal family, he does prevent wider problems for the royal family by ensuring this settlement goes away.

‘And he has protected his children and their reputations, and he has protected the wider royal family.’

Mr Stephens added: ‘I think there will be a big, deep sigh of relief in the palace tonight.’

Commenting on yesterday’s development, royal expert Omid Scobie tweeted: ‘There will no doubt be plenty of speculation about both parties over the days ahead. Worth noting that this deal comes just weeks before Andrew was scheduled to sit for an intense deposition, in which he would have been questioned under oath by Giuffre’s lawyers.

‘Today’s news won’t change Andrew’s royal status — the honours he was stripped of won’t be returned and he’s still prohibited from using HRH.

‘It does, however, remain to be seen whether the institution will play any role in helping the disgraced royal rehabilitate his image.’ 

And ITV royal editor Chris Ship added: ‘It does seem that the stripping of Prince Andrew’s royal patronages and military titles in January – and the removal from use of his HRH title, all remains in place despite today’s settlement news. ‘

Last month Andrew was stripped of his honorary military titles and charitable roles after New York Judge Lewis Kaplan denied his plea to dismiss Mrs Giuffre’s case.     

The judge also said it was premature to decide whether Mrs Giuffre’s 2009 civil settlement with Epstein also shielded Andrew. 

The Queen stripped her second son of his prestigious honorary military titles and royal patronages in January, and he stopped using his HRH style, in a move that effectively cast him adrift from the institution. It is understood that the statement released by the Palace on January 13, outlining the changes, still stands, with the Duke continuing not to undertake any public duties.

Mrs Giuffre, who is now 38, alleges that Andrew sexually assaulted her at the London home of socialite and Epstein’s close friend Ghislaine Maxwell after a night out dancing in March 2001. 

She sued the Prince last year for unspecified damages, alleging that she was trafficked to him by Epstein and Maxwell.

Last December, Maxwell was convicted of recruiting and grooming young girls to be sexually abused by Epstein, exposing a murky world of sex trafficking among the rich and powerful. 

As well as the London allegations, Mrs Giuffre also said Andrew assaulted her at Epstein’s home in New York, and on Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands. 

Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, withdrew from public life as a royal in 2019 after a widely ridiculed BBC interview where he sought to vindicate himself of the accusations. 

Epstein killed himself aged 66 in a New York prison cell in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.  

Asked about the size of the settlement, Andrew Ford, director at Holborn Adams criminal defence solicitors in London, told MailOnline yesterday: ‘The settlement will be pitched as a ‘commercial decision’ and will not include any admission of criminal wrongdoing or a civil tort.

‘A settlement figure is designed to compensate an individual for their losses. Physical or mental harm in a case like this. This would potentially be a five-figure sum.

‘What is worth more than that in high profile case settlements – of which I have done many – is the NDA which preserves the PR.’

And Leigh Day partner and abuse claims specialist Dino Nocivelli, who is also based in London, said: ‘The figures awarded for damages for sexual abuse in America tend to be significantly higher than those ordered in England and Wales, and this is an out-of-court settlement.

‘We don’t know if the agreement included any admissions or apologies and if there are any non-disclosure agreements involved. For all those reasons we couldn’t hazard a guess at what the settlement figure might be.

‘However this is an important conclusion for the claimant and I hope it brings an element of closure and justice for her.’ 

Emily Baker, former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney, told MailOnline that the settlement would be ‘at least’ seven-figures and ‘sizeable’.

She said: ‘I was very surprised that he agreed to settle for an undisclosed sum given that he’s been vehemently denying it. They were just about to get into discovery which could have been a lot more damaging to Prince Andrew than her.

‘It’s hard to speculate but at least seven figures would be appropriate. There’s no benefit to her otherwise. She doesn’t have that much to lose, she’s already gone through the media gauntlet.

‘It would have to be a number that made it worth it for her.’

The settlement will never be made public in court filings but the payment to Mrs Giuffre’s charity may, she added.

Ms Baker said: ‘They have filed a notice that they’re settling. Once the money hits her account, they will then file a notice that it has been dismissed but that is all we will see.’

‘When you have a royal involved in the US justice system, I can’t think of any other case comparable but we do have the other Epstein victim funds and they were multi-million dollar settlements.’

Anna Rothwell, a lawyer at criminal law firm Corker Binning in London, said: ‘It is not surprising that Prince Andrew has settled Ms Giuffre’s civil claim in light of his disastrous Newsnight interview. 

‘That interview alone would have given Ms Giuffre’s lawyers a wealth of material to use in cross examination. It would have proven a painful deposition for the Prince, and this time his cross examination would have been under oath.’ 

Did emails about Ghislaine Maxwell picture sink Andrew’s case?

EXCLUSIVE by Daniel Bates in New York for the Daily Mail 

Before he settled out of court last night, Prince Andrew was set to be dealt a major blow in his US sex case thanks to Ghislaine Maxwell.

A leaked email from the prince’s friend and now convicted sex trafficker appeared to confirm the authenticity of an infamous picture of the duke standing with his arm around his accuser, Virginia Roberts.

The photograph, said to be taken in Maxwell’s London townhouse in 2001, had been questioned by Andrew and just this week his legal team had demanded Miss Roberts turn over the original.

The duke’s legal team had claimed it might be a fake, but an email obtained by the Daily Mail shows that even Maxwell, who appears in the background of the photo, believes it to be real. In the message, sent in 2015, Maxwell says: ‘It looks real. I think it is.’

On a dramatic day of developments yesterday, it was claimed that Miss Roberts had lost the original copy of the image.

But that was disputed by her legal team, who said the hard copy was with the FBI and that Miss Roberts misplaced a CD containing a copy of the image.

The photo was set to be a key piece of evidence in her claims for battery and infliction of emotional distress against Andrew, 61, which he had denied.

The duke’s lawyers had lined up an image expert to cast doubt on the veracity of the photo. If Miss Roberts had not produced the original, Andrew’s team could have argued copies could not be admitted as evidence as they could not be properly tested.

Not being able to rely on the photograph as proof they met would have put a sizeable dint in his accuser’s case.

But in an email exchange seen by the Mail, the picture was discussed by Maxwell and Epstein’s former lawyer, Alan Dershowitz.

On January 10, 2015, Mr Dershowitz wrote: ‘Dear G. Do you know whether the photo of Andrew and virginia is real? You are in the background.’ Eleven minutes later, Maxwell replied: ‘It looks real. I think it is.’

The timing of the exchange is significant because days earlier Miss Roberts claimed for the first time in court papers that she had been forced to have sex with both Andrew and Mr Dershowitz.

The allegation was struck out by a judge who branded it ‘impertinent’. But it caused panic for Andrew and in emails previously reported by the BBC, he contacted Maxwell at 5.50am on January 3, 2015. The duke wrote: ‘Let me know when we can talk. Got some specific questions to ask you about Virginia Roberts.’ Maxwell replied: ‘Have some info. Call me when you have a moment.’

Mr Dershowitz has vehemently denied having sex with Miss Roberts. Last year she dropped a battery allegation she filed against him after he claimed a civil settlement she signed with Epstein in 2009 gave him immunity.

Miss Roberts is currently suing Mr Dershowitz for defamation, a case he is fighting.

His lawyers did not respond to requests asking for comment.

There remain ‘a lot of serious questions’ after the Duke of York’s settlement of the civil sex assault claim against him, anti-monarchy group Republic said.

Graham Smith from the campaign group said: ‘I’m pleased Virginia Giuffre has achieved a settlement in this case, but there remain a lot of serious questions to which the public deserve answers.’ He said taxpayers ‘deserve to know where the money is coming from for a settlement, which we must assume is in the millions, if not tens of millions’.

He said: ‘So much public money ends up in royal pockets one way or another. Are the British public ultimately paying for Andrew to avoid appearing in court? This scandal has done significant damage to the monarchy, and these questions aren’t going away.’ 

Another spokesman for the group added: ‘It’s been more than 11 years since this came to light. It’s good that Virginia Giuffre has achieved a favourable outcome. However, this leaves a lot of questions that the British public deserve answers to, such as: has Andrew admitted guilt to a criminal offence? Will he now cooperate with the FBI?’

Grant Harrold, a former royal butler, told GBNews: ‘This is the problem, we’ve never had a situation with a member of the Royal Family that’s gone through this. I don’t think people would want to see him taking up an active public role again. Especially with an out-of-court settlement I’m assuming he will almost retire, which is kind of what’s already happened as he’s stood back.

‘I don’t quite know what will happen going forward, it’s possible he could spend time in other countries, in other parts of the world but for the last couple of years he’s been over at Windsor and out of public sight and it’s possible that’s what he’ll continue to do.

‘I think we’ll still see him on different family occasions, very much in the background, and it’s going to be interesting with the Platinum Jubilee, if he’s involved in that – not taking part but if he’s there, with the family or if you don’t even see him. Hopefully we’ll get the answers in the near future.

How the Duke of York went from Falklands hero to being stripped of his honorary military titles

The Duke of York’s civil sex case will be settled outside of court, meaning he is no longer facing a public trial and the monarchy will be saved some of the controversy surrounding it.

Andrew had been due to face a jury trial in the US following accusations of sexual assault by Virginia Giuffre, until their lawyers reached an agreement ‘in principle’ on Tuesday.

But how did the claim come about, and what has Andrew been known for in the past?

During his life, the ‘Playboy Prince’ earned high regard for his bravery during the Falklands War and served as a trade envoy, but he is best known as the man whose reputation was left in tatters amid the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal.

As a young man, he was one of the world’s most eligible bachelors and earned himself the nickname ‘Randy Andy’ after being linked to a string of beautiful women.

But later in life his connections with controversial foreign figures raised concerns and he was dubbed ‘Air Miles Andy’ after being criticised for his globe-trotting, especially helicopter trips to pursue his passion for golf.

At 22, Andrew saw active service in the Royal Navy as a Sea King helicopter pilot in the Falklands War.

His service included flying his aircraft as a decoy target, trying to divert deadly Exocet missiles away from British ships.

He later married and divorced the bubbly, flame-haired Sarah ‘Fergie’ Ferguson, who herself has generated some of the most humiliating royal scandals of modern times.

When a bachelor for a second time, Andrew again made headlines, having been spotted cavorting with topless women on holiday in Thailand, and attending a ‘hookers and pimps’ party with Robert Maxwell’s daughter, Ghislaine Maxwell, in the US.

After serving for 22 years in the Royal Navy, the duke became the UK’s special representative for international trade and investment, but his 10 years in the role generated a great deal of controversy.

As a roving ambassador, one of his first tasks was a post-September 11 trip to New York, but he was criticised for attending a party during his stay.

Andrew has faced questions over his connections to politicians in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Tunisia, Libya and Turkmenistan.

His judgment was questioned after he held meetings with Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif, and when he entertained the son-in-law of Tunisia’s ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali at Buckingham Palace.

His relations with Timur Kulibayev, son-in-law of the then-president of Kazakhstan, were also scrutinised after Mr Kulibayev purchased the duke’s Sunninghill Park home for £3 million more than its £12 million asking price in 2007.

Simon Wilson, Britain’s deputy head of mission in Bahrain from 2001 to 2005, wrote in the Daily Mail that the duke was ‘more commonly known among the British diplomatic community in the Gulf as HBH: His Buffoon Highness’.

In 2011, it emerged that Andrew was friends with American financier Epstein, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2008 for soliciting a minor for prostitution.

Photos surfaced of him with his arm around Virginia Giuffre, also known as Virginia Roberts, who claimed that Epstein employed her as a masseuse but exploited her while a teenage minor.

The duke was also pictured walking in New York’s Central Park with Epstein in December 2010, a year after Epstein’s release from prison, and this led him to quit his role as a trade envoy.

In 2013, Andrew was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, but Britain’s pre-eminent scientific institution faced unprecedented dissent from members over the move, with one professor describing the duke as an ‘unsavoury character’.

Tech-savvy Andrew, who was the first member of the royal family to have an official Twitter account under his own name, focused on his [email protected] work, bringing together industry experts with young entrepreneurs and technology start-ups.

Then in 2015, while enjoying a New Year skiing holiday with his family, he was named in US court documents as having had sex a number of times with a teenage girl, a minor under US law.

The woman alleged she was ‘procured’ for the duke by Epstein, whom she accused of using her as a ‘sex slave’.

She was identified in reports as Giuffre, the US teenager with whom Andrew had been pictured.

The duke vehemently denied the allegation.

In April 2015, a US federal judge ordered the claims to be struck from civil court records as the long-running lawsuit against Epstein continued.

But Andrew’s association with Epstein hit the headlines once again in 2019, amid ongoing investigations into the American, who killed himself in prison in August that year while awaiting trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.

The duke’s appearance on the BBC’s Newsnight programme later in November was intended to draw a line under the matter.

But it was dubbed a ‘car crash’, with commentators questioning his responses and condemning his unsympathetic tone and lack of remorse over his friendship with the sex offender Epstein.

During the interview, Andrew denied that he slept with Mrs Giuffre, saying one encounter in 2001 did not happen as he had spent the day with his daughter, Princess Beatrice, taking her to Pizza Express in Woking for a party.

The same alleged sexual liaison, which the American said began with the royal sweating heavily as they danced at London nightclub Tramp, was later branded factually wrong as the duke said he had a medical condition at the time which meant he did not sweat.

And he twice stated that his relationship with sex offender Epstein had provided ‘seriously beneficial outcomes’, giving him the opportunity to meet people and prepare for his future role as a trade envoy.

In January, Andrew’s lawyers attempted to throw out the civil sex case brought by Mrs Giuffre, but a judge rejected this and ruled the case could go to trial.

The Queen stripped Andrew of his honorary military roles in response, and he gave up his HRH style, before demanding a jury trial.

But on February 15, their lawyers reached an out-of-court settlement in what appears to be a conclusion to the case.

Court documents show the duke will make a ‘substantial donation to Mrs Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights’.

‘I think this has been quite a stressful time for all of them, particularly the Queen. It’s less than a year since she lost her husband. Everybody is always talking about Prince Andrew being her favourite son. I’ve been asked if that’s true and I don’t actually know the exact answer, I think she’s close with all her children. But there’s parts of Prince Andrew that reminded her of her late husband so there is a closeness and it’s very upsetting for the Queen. It would be upsetting for any parent who has a child going through this.

‘She will be glad that this hopefully comes to an end, but she might be wondering what is the future for him, where does he go from this point onwards?’

Royal author Angela Levin added: ‘It’s good on both sides because Virginia has got what she wanted really, she wanted to be paid properly, but we hear it’s going to a charity of her choice so she can’t be thought of as someone who’s just after the money for herself, I think that’s quite significant.

‘Hopefully at the end of the month this will all go away. It does not mean, however, he will be embraced by the royal family and we will see him during the Jubilee celebrations. I think he’s going to have to learn to live quietly and modestly, but that’s better than going to court.’