Prince Andrew’s attempts to restore his reputation with an eye on returning to public life are ‘wishful thinking’.
While the King respects his brother has a right to try and clear his name, any hopes this will pave the way back to official duties and a frontline royal role are ‘way off the mark’, a well-placed source told the Mail.
‘That is very much not the King’s thinking,’ they said.
King Charles finds himself in a tricky position but knows that he must act as a monarch, not as a brother.
The source said that the issue is about ‘so much more’ than Andrew’s US out-of-court settlement with Virginia Roberts over allegations of rape and sexual assault, which he has always denied.
Source say Prince Andrew’s (centre) attempts to return to public life are wishful thinking (Pictured Andrew, with the Princess Royal left, and King Charles, right)
Prince Andrew has always denied the allegation made by Virginia Giuffre (pictured with Ghislaine Maxwell in 2001)
There is frustration in some parts of the Royal Household that the beleaguered prince and his advisers – who have recently launched a media blitz to try and turn the tide of public opinion – fail to understand this fact.
‘The decisions that were made previously about his position within the Royal Family are also about his professional judgment and his personal associations,’ the source said.
The King is backed by his son and heir, the Prince of Wales.
William also firmly believes that the decisions made by his late grandmother to strip her so-called favourite son of his official duties and associations were the right ones.
The late Queen also stripped Andrew of the right to use his HRH title in public, so that he could fight the case as a ‘private citizen’.
Ms Roberts, now 39 and known by her married name Virginia Giuffre, claimed she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17, after she was trafficked by convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Andrew, 62, denied the accusation but paid a reported £12million out-of-court settlement to get Ms Roberts to drop the civil claim in the US.
Legal sources close to Prince Andrew said he would launch an £81million lawsuit against Virginia Giuffre if she repeated her accusations against him in an upcoming memoir
Prince William is said to firmly believe the decisions made by his late grandmother Queen Elizabeth II (pictured together) to strip Andrew of his official duties and associations were the right ones
Legal sources close to the prince said he would launch an £81million lawsuit against her if she repeated the accusation in an upcoming memoir. He has hired Los Angeles lawyers Andrew Brettler and Blair Berk for an attempt to get her to retract her claims, and possibly secure an apology.
Meanwhile friends of Ms Roberts scorned a bizarre ‘stunt’ said to disprove her account of her encounter with the Duke of York. A photograph on the front page of Saturday’s Daily Telegraph showed a man and a woman lying fully clothed in a bath in the former home of convicted child sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell. They were wearing masks of the faces of Andrew and his accuser.
It was published under the headline: ‘The photo that “clears Duke” over bath sex’. Maxwell’s brother Ian told the newspaper that the photograph, posed by two of his sister’s acquaintances, disproved Ms Roberts’ account of her sexual encounter with Andrew.
Mr Maxwell said the picture ‘show[s] conclusively that the bath is too small for any sort of sex frolicking’.
Ms Roberts claimed that Andrew licked her toes in the bath before they had sex in the bedroom in 2001. A source close to Ms Roberts told the Mail on Sunday: ‘If this shameful stunt is the best Maxwell’s side can do in defence of Prince Andrew then it’s laughable… It’s a disgusting attempt to discredit a victim of sexual abuse and would be risible if it were not so offensive.
Virginia Giuffre plans to publish her memoirs, despite claims Prince Andrew will sue her if she repeats her accusations
‘Plus they have their facts totally wrong. Virginia never said they had sex in the bath.’
Lisa Bloom, a lawyer who represented several victims of Epstein and Maxwell, said: ‘What a surreal, bizarre photograph. It proves nothing… Virginia said that she and Andrew were in the bath. The photo shows that two full-sized humans can fit in the bath.’
Ms Roberts’ lawyers declined to comment. Elsewhere, evidence has emerged which may prove the infamous picture of Andrew with his arm around a teenage Ms Roberts is real.
The photograph was said to have been taken on March 10, 2001, the night Ms Roberts said Andrew first sexually abused her.
The Mail on Sunday said it could prove the picture was printed at a one-hour lab a two-minute drive from Ms Roberts’ former home in Florida on March 13, 2001, and that it would have been ‘virtually impossible’ to fake.
Last week in a TV interview from prison, Maxwell said: ‘It is a fake. I don’t believe it’s real for a second.’ In 2019 Andrew said he had ‘no recollection’ of the photo being taken.
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk