LONDON — The British royal household will attempt to put some of the vexing scandals it faces behind it, with the announcement on Tuesday that Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, had settled a lawsuit introduced by a lady who accused him of raping her when she was a teen.
But questions linger, not least who’s paying the undisclosed settlement, given Andrew’s well-publicized, if mysterious, monetary ups and down.
For the queen, who marked the seventieth anniversary of her accession to the throne earlier this month, the settlement removes the prospect of embarrassing particulars rising about Andrew’s contacts along with his accuser, Virginia Giuffre, whom he met by means of his buddy, the financier and convicted intercourse offender Jeffrey Epstein.
“There are still a lot of questions,” mentioned Penny Junor, a royal historian. “We will never know which of the people in this sorry tale was telling the truth. But we won’t get a daily diet of revelations that will embarrass the family.”
While Andrew didn’t admit guilt in an announcement saying the settlement, he mentioned he “regrets his association with Epstein and commends the bravery of Ms. Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others.”
A trial would virtually definitely have solid an extended shadow over the queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, that are scheduled for June. The anniversary yr has already kicked off on an anxious notice, with information that the queen’s eldest son and inheritor, Prince Charles, was discovered to be reinfected by the coronavirus, two days after he had been involved along with his 95-year-old mom.
Buckingham Palace declined to say whether or not the queen had contracted Covid and even been examined for the virus. But on Tuesday, fears about her well being eased considerably after the palace posted images of her conducting digital audiences with ambassadors from Spain and Estonia, who had been presenting their credentials.
Charles, who’s 73, was reported to be experiencing gentle signs. He final had Covid in early 2020 because the virus was first engulfing Britain. On Monday, his spouse, Camilla, 74, additionally examined constructive, in response to their family. These newest well being considerations got here after the queen missed a number of engagements final fall due to sickness.
With the monarchy in transition, the queen has moved swiftly not too long ago to place her household’s affairs so as. On the anniversary of her accession, she issued an announcement saying she hoped that Camilla can be often called queen after Charles ascends to the throne, settling a difficulty that lengthy dogged the couple.
Last month, after a federal decide in Manhattan dismissed Andrew’s effort to get Ms. Giuffre’s lawsuit dismissed, the queen moved to distance him from the household, despite the fact that royal consultants usually describe him as her favourite son. He was stripped of his honorary army titles and instructed now not to make use of the honorific “His Royal Highness.” The palace mentioned he would defend himself “as a private citizen.”
Whether which means Andrew is on the hook for the settlement will not be clear. Both sides agreed to not disclose the quantity and Buckingham Palace declined to remark, saying it was a matter for the duke and his legal professionals. A spokeswoman for Andrew’s legal professionals wouldn’t focus on the supply of the funds.
How the 61-year-old prince affords his way of life, to not point out his authorized payments, has lengthy fueled hypothesis in British papers. Andrew receives an annual stipend of 250,000 kilos ($338,000) from the queen, in response to an evaluation of his funds by the Times of London, in addition to an annual pension of 20,000 kilos ($27,066) from the Royal Navy, during which he served as a helicopter pilot.
But Andrew, who’s also referred to as the Duke of York, runs up bills for safety at his foremost residence, Royal Lodge, in Windsor, in addition to for the employees and maintenance of the 30-room home (the crown property owns the property). Since he stepped again from official duties as a member of the royal household after the furor over his ties to Mr. Epstein, it isn’t clear who pays for his safety.
Andrew additionally owns a ski lodge within the stylish Swiss resort Verbier, for which he paid $22 million in 2014. That transaction, with a French socialite, Isabelle de Rouvre, led to litigation when Ms. de Rouvre sued Andrew for failing to pay the final installment of the acquisition.
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The prince additionally has a keenness for costly Swiss watches and is commonly photographed in luxurious automobiles.
Last yr, the Times of London reported, a distinguished Conservative Party donor, David Rowland, paid off a mortgage of $2 million that the prince owed a Luxembourg financial institution. Andrew’s former spouse, Sarah, has additionally had her share of monetary issues. But a lot in regards to the couple’s funds stays cloaked in thriller.
Several British papers have reported that the queen has lined Andrew’s authorized bills and will pay his settlement. She attracts greater than $27 million a yr in non-public earnings from the duchy of Lancaster, a far-flung assortment of properties she owns in London and the north of England.
By sending Andrew into inner exile, the royal household could hope to place such inquiries to relaxation. By relinquishing his official duties, he’s now not entitled to obtain cash from the general public purse. But critics are nonetheless prone to query whether or not taxpayer cash is getting used to pay the settlement with Ms. Giuffre.
Royal consultants mentioned there was a welcome, if overdue, present of contrition within the assertion issued by legal professionals for the prince. In a calamitous interview with the BBC in November 2019, he provided little remorse for his affiliation with Mr. Epstein or sympathy for his victims.
“The fact that he has finally expressed regret about his relationship with Epstein and sympathy for the girls who were trafficked by Epstein was much needed,” Ms. Junor mentioned.
Despite that, Andrew’s future as a member of the House of Windsor seems to be bleak. Buckingham Palace made clear final month that there was no means his honorary titles or perquisites can be restored, even when he prevailed in a trial.