Prince Andrew scandal
Most of you have probably heard about the media flurry that has swept up the royal family since the infamous interview in 2019 in which Prince Andrew single-handedly destroyed his public image. After this he resigned from his royal duties and organisations he sponsored broke ties with him. Andrew, who is commonly known as the Queen’s favourite child, is her third and ninth in line to the throne. In August 2021, a New York lawsuit was filed against him accusing him of sexual assault.
The accuser, Virginia Giuffre, is one of the most well known victims of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking ring. Giuffre claimed that she had been trafficked for Prince Andrew by Epstein and was raped by the Duke at least three times when she was 17. In one of those instances, the picture of the two of them (shown above) was taken. She filed a civil case against Prince Andrew, accusing him of “sexual assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress”. Andrew’s lawyers tried to fight back and dismiss the case, but their attempts were rejected allowing the case to move forward.
The most recent repercussions of his accusation were him being stripped of his military titles and patronages, but most notably the title of His Royal Highness. Over 150 military veterans had petitioned the Queen and strongly requested that all of his military titles be removed, stating that “were this any other senior military officer, it is inconceivable that he would still be in post”. In response to the letter, all of his royal patronages were returned to his mother, the Queen, in January 2022. This means that he will be facing the case as a private citizen. He has also been distanced from other members of the royal family, such as his nephew, Prince Harry. However, the Queen is still funding his legal defence through her private income from her estate.
Of course, if Andrew is found guilty of his charges, he should face the full consequences: being royalty does not exempt you from the after-effects of your actions. Rape is a horrible, serious crime, and sexual violence is completely unacceptable. However, as this is a civil case and not a criminal one, he won’t face any criminal charges. Most likely the case will end with him paying the accuser a monetary settlement, which seems more of a telling off than an actual punishment. The average prison sentence for an offender convicted of rape in a criminal case is 178 months, so getting away by simply paying instead of serving a sentence is much easier. On the other hand, there have been quite a few inconsistencies in Giuffre’s account, and witness accounts from people who had spoken to Giuffre claim that all is not as it seems. We shall just have to wait for the court proceedings to take place and see what is revealed under oath, before deciding who is innocent and who is guilty when the final decision is made.