THE Queen is privately paying for Prince Andrew’s legal fight against sexual assault allegations, according to emerging reports.
The Telegraph reported that it understands the Queen is funding the Duke’s defence against Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who accuses him of sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.
Prince Andrew has always denied these allegations.
According to the claims, the Queen is expected to pump millions into the legal battle, which could last months or even years.
The Duke has reportedly expanded his legal team, with lead counsel Andrew Brettler alone thought to be charging around $2000 per hour.
He works for the firm Lavley Singer, a US-based firm known for making celebrities’ legal issues “go away” with hefty fees attached.
The Telegraph also reported that the Queen agreed to pay for her son’s legal defence just after the Duke’s infamous Newsnight interview, in which he countered claims by Giuffre dancing with him by saying that he did not have the ability to sweat.
The funds will be sourced from the Queen’s annual income from her private Duchy of Lancaster estate which is worth more than £23 million.
The Palace’s involvement in the legal battle means that the Queen should be updated on developments in the case.
Giuffre is said to be seeking “significant emotional and psychological distress and harm” from the Prince.
The Queen’s reported intervention is thought to be considered a necessity by Buckingham Palace as the Duke is thought not to have a discernible income.
Prince Andrew is currently on the brink of selling his last home, a £17m Swiss ski chalet, which was bought with help from the Queen.
There had been some back and forth between the Duke of York and Giuffre’s legal teams, with the Prince finally officially receiving the court papers in the sexual assault lawsuit last week.
Prince Andrew has until October 29 to respond to the lawsuit and the next hearing is scheduled for November 3.