Prince Andrew faces fresh calls to lose dukedom after settling Virginia Giuffre sex abuse claim
ITV News Correspondent Geraint Vincent reports on the reaction to the settlement
The Duke of York is facing a renewed call to give up one of his last remaining major titles after reaching an out-of-court settlement with his accuser Virginia Giuffre in the civil sexual abuse claim filed in the US.
The sum has not been disclosed, but is widely reported to be a multimillion-pound figure.
Andrew, who last month was stripped of his honorary military roles and gave up his HRH style, has been urged to show “respect” by now losing his dukedom.
Ms Guiffre had claimed the abuse took place while she was travelling with Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted financier and Andrew's former friend.
Although the parties have settled the case, the agreement is not an admission of guilt from the duke, he has always strenuously denied the allegations against him and previously attempted to get the lawsuit dropped.
The first question is simple: who paid the money? Royal Editor Chris Ship breaks down the different avenues available for Prince Andrew to fund the settlement
A latter to the US District Court stated that the Queen’s second son “regrets his association” with convicted paedophile Epstein.
It added that royal has agreed to make a “substantial donation” to Ms Giuffre’s charity "in support of victims’ rights".
No detail has been disclosed with regard to the settlement and costs, but it has been reported he has agreed to pay an eight-figure sum and there has been speculation the Queen might help with costs from her private funds.
The Daily Telegraph reported that a deal was agreed at the weekend following at least 10 days of negotiations between the two sides.
Buckingham Palace has declined to comment on Tuesday’s legal development, while Andrew’s representatives also declined to say how the donation to Ms Giuffre’s charity would be funded.
Royal finances expert and author David McClure said there is “enormous public interest” in the sum and the source of the funding being disclosed, telling the PA news agency: “I really think for once the royal family should come clean and say where the money came from.”
Labour’s Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central, repeated a call made last month, saying Andrew should give up his association with the city out of respect.
She said: “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.”
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The settlement has come in the monarch’s historic Platinum Jubilee year, but royal experts have said it is unlikely Andrew can ever return to public royal life, having been “tainted” by the scandal.
Royal author Penny Junor said the agreement made it appear “as though he (Andrew) has finally been humbled” and is likely to come as a “huge relief” to the rest of the royal family.
She told PA: “I think the problem with Prince Andrew is he has always seemed to display a sense of entitlement, an arrogance which might lead him to think that he could come back to public life but I think it’s very, very unlikely.”
Media lawyer Mark Stephens, who branded Andrew “reputationally toast”, said the latest legal development has protected the wider royal family from the potential damage of a public trial.
Lisa Bloom, a lawyer representing a number of Epstein’s victims said she and her clients “salute Virginia’s stunning courage”, hailing the outcome as a “victory”.
However Lady Victoria Hervey, who socialised with the duke in the early 2000s, said she believes the “storyline was crumbling” in reference to Ms Giuffre’s allegations.
The socialite told PA: “I hope the royal family can now focus on the upcoming jubilee celebrations and Prince Andrew can put these false allegations behind him.”
In January, Buckingham Palace announced that Andrew would be defending the case “as a private citizen”.
He receives a Royal Navy pension and the Queen is also thought to fund him from her £21.7 million a year Duchy of Lancaster income, but the figure she gives him is kept private.
An order published by US District Judge Lewis Kaplan in response to the settlement letter, stated that the “stipulation of dismissal” of the case must be filed by March 17, otherwise it “remains entirely possible that this action will be set for trial when previously indicated”.