Prince Andrew Travels Half-Length of Britain for Talks With Queen After Lawsuit

Prince Andrew joined Queen Elizabeth II on her Scottish summer holiday on Tuesday—just 24 hours after a lawsuit accused him of sexual assaulting a Jeffrey Epstein victim.

The Duke of York travelled more than 500 miles to Balmoral Castle to see his mother as Virginia Giuffre's civil claim in New York sparked a wave of global headlines.

The pro-royal Daily Mail carried the story on its front page for the second day running with the headline: "Downfall of the Duke?"

The newspaper's columnist Dan Wootton suggested he might be forced to give up his grace and favor home, Royal Lodge, in Windsor, while Andrew's biographer Nigel Cawthorne suggested Andrew could lose his status as "His Royal Highness."

The queen's second son and his legal team are entering their second day of silence over allegations of sexual assault and battery in 2001 when Giuffre was 17.

However, it is his mother who he will have to explain himself to after he arrived at Balmoral Castle, in Aberdeenshire, yesterday.

Elizabeth herself arrived at the 50,000-acre private estate on Monday hours before the lawsuit was filed in New York.

She was greeted by a guard of honor from the Balaklava Company, of 5th Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland, who were accompanied by a Shetland Pony Lance Corporal Cruachan IV.

Wednesday's @DailyMailUK #MailFrontPages pic.twitter.com/uQ6oVTr0Qd

— Daily Mail U.K. (@DailyMailUK) August 10, 2021

However, the quaint ceremony was soon upstaged and a shadow now hangs over the Queen's first visit to Balmoral Castle since Prince Philip's death in April.

ITV Royal Correspondent Chris Ship wrote on Twitter: "The Queen's characteristic knack to read the public mood has served her well for decades.

"So as Prince Andrew arrives at Balmoral to stay with the Queen, what words of advice will she have for her son as his accuser sues him and his global reputation suffers yet another blow?"

The Queen’s characteristic knack to read the public mood has served her well for decades.
So as Prince Andrew arrives at Balmoral to stay with the Queen, what words of advice will she have for her son as his accuser sues him and his global reputation suffers yet another blow? pic.twitter.com/w1KtsO6N9s

— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) August 10, 2021

Giuffre said in a statement on Monday: "I did not come to this decision lightly. As a mother and a wife, my family comes first. I know that this action will subject me to further attacks by Prince Andrew and his surrogates. But I knew that if I did not pursue this action, I would be letting them and victims everywhere down."

News of the lawsuit broke late in the evening U.K. time but Prince Andrew's team declined to comment on the allegations yesterday.

Lawyers told Newsweek the court filing could potentially skewer the Duke of York reputationally.

Amber Melville-Brown, a partner and global head of media and reputation at international law firm Withers, told Newsweek: "Reputationally it may already be effectively 'game over' for Prince Andrew despite the lack of any court decision, and notwithstanding his vehement denials."

She added: "From a reputational perspective, Prince Andrew may be damned if he does respond to the allegations and defend the complaint, and damned if he doesn't.

"Silence in the face of accusations is not necessarily golden—while it may be a proper part of any legal defense strategy, to the public it may evidence improper disrespect for the court system; and while being vocal outside court may seem obvious to defend a reputation from serious accusations, it can be catastrophic if contrary to the strategy employed in court to defend the claim."

A court filing by Giuffre's attorney David Boies reads: "On one occasion, Prince Andrew sexually abused [Giuffre] in London at Maxwell's home. During this encounter, Epstein, Maxwell, and Prince Andrew forced [Giuffre], a child, to have sexual intercourse with Prince Andrew against her will."

It goes on to reference two further alleged assaults in New York and on Epstein's private island Little St James.

The filing adds: "During each of the aforementioned incidents, [Giuffre] was compelled by express or implied threats by Epstein, Maxwell, and/or Prince Andrew to engage in sexual acts with Prince Andrew, and feared death or physical injury to herself or another and other repercussions for disobeying Epstein, Maxwell, and Prince Andrew due to their powerful connections, wealth, and authority."

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Andrew
Queen Elizabeth II during an inspection of the Balaklava Company, 5 Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland at the gates at Balmoral, as she takes up summer residence at the castle, on August 9, 2021 in Ballater, Aberdeenshire. Prince Andrew attends church in Hillington at St Mary the Virgin church in Sandringham on January 19, 2020 in King's Lynn, England. Jane Barlow - WPA Pool and Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images