Prince Andrew has finally broken cover amid reports that he may take legal action or write a book in attempt to restore his tarnished reputation.
The Duke of York, sporting a seemingly glum expression, was seen horse riding on the grounds of the Windsor Estate today.
Andrew, 62, was urged earlier this week to try and overturn the multi-million-pound settlement he struck with his sex abuse accuser, Virginia Giuffre.
Royal analysts believe he was left a substantial inheritance by the Queen and this has provided him with the security — should he wish — to mount a legal challenge against Ms Giuffre, 39.
Others suspect Andrew, who was recently branded one of the most unpopular royals, may pen a memoir to try and clear his name after having consistently denied Ms Giuffre’s allegations.
Prince Andrew (pictured today at Windsor) has finally broken cover amid reports that he may take legal action or write a book in attempt to restore his tarnished reputation
The Duke of York, sporting a seemingly glum expression, was seen horse riding on the grounds of the Windsor Estate today (pictured)
Ms Giuffre, a trafficking victim of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, accused Andrew of sexually abusing her when she was a minor under US law.
Andrew denied the accusations but paid a reported £12million out-of-court settlement last year to get her to drop the civil claim in the US.
The settlement is believed to include a non-disclosure embargo, which prevents either or both sides from revealing any details of the agreement, that is set to expire in March.
‘It was crafted to cover the year of the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee,’ a source told The Daily Mail. ‘Once it is up, there is nothing to stop the Duke possibly becoming more pro-active.’
Andrew – who recently claimed to friends that a ‘mystery development’ will restore his disgraced reputation within the coming months – is also in a much stronger financial position than he was a year ago, at the time of the settlement.
Prince Andrew with his arm around the then-17-year-old Virginia Roberts (now known by her married name Giuffre)
Andrew paid Virginia Giuffre (pictured in November 2022) a reported £12million out-of-court settlement last year to get her to drop the civil claim in the US
There is, of course, a further remedy Andrew could consider: to follow the lead pf his nephew Prince Harry and write a book.
‘It is inconceivable that he has not thought of this,’ a long-time friend of the Duke said. ‘Plenty in his circle think that’s just what he should do and Fergie, who has written her own memoir, My Story, has got all the contacts in publishing.
‘He would never have considered it while his mother was alive but it would be the perfect riposte now. Of course the royals wouldn’t like it, but Fergie did hers and wasn’t ostracised — and as for Harry, they are even now talking about family reconciliation.’
Analysts say a book might offer Andrew a swifter and more satisfying form of redemption than devoting himself to charitable causes.
It is also understood that Andrew has consulted lawyers in Los Angeles in an attempt to get Ms Giuffre to retract her allegations and possibly secure an apology.
He is reportedly ready to launch a $100million (nearly £83million) lawsuit against Ms Giuffre if she repeats sex claims against him in her upcoming memoir.
Legal sources close to the Prince say he is prepared to ‘go on the attack’ should she repeat the allegations.
Lawyers for Ms Giuffre declined to comment when approached by DailyMail.com earlier this week, but a source close to her insisted the settlement does not preclude her from writing about him, saying: ‘She will be able to discuss Prince Andrew.’
A leading US lawyer has also claimed Andrew should challenge Ms Giuffre to give back the settlement amid questions about her ‘credibility.’
The Epstein victim sued Alan Dershowitz for calling her a liar over her claims that she had been forced to have sex with him.
But in a statement in November Ms Giuffre admitted she ‘may have made a mistake’ in pointing the finger at Mr Dershowitz, who denied her claims.
Mr Dershowitz told The Daily Telegraph this week that Andrew made a ‘mistake’ in not taking the case to trial and should now try to overturn the settlement.
He said: ‘I have never understood why he accepted the settlement. There were many, many good defences he could have raised.
‘He should pursue every legal remedy and the media should investigate thoroughly all of the allegations because this is just the tip of the iceberg.’
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk