Prince Andrew’s settlement in principle with Virginia Giuffre, formerly Virginia Roberts, has effectively brought to an end the civil lawsuit she launched against the Duke of York in August last year. This move came just a few weeks after Buckingham Palace announced Andrew had returned his military and royal patronages and would continue not to undertake official duties.
Hollywood publicist R. Couri Hay believes the settlement won’t change the Duke’s current status within the Royal Family.
Speaking to Fox News Digital, the expert said: “I don’t believe Andrew will ever be restored to a position on the balcony.
“They’re never going to parade him around and be proud of him.”
Prince Charles and Prince William, who are the heir to the throne and the next Prince of Wales respectively, will never return to the Duke of York the honorary titles and roles he recently relinquished despite the settlement, according to this expert.
He continued: “There‘s no guilty verdict. So on paper he’s made a settlement.
“And usually when people make these settlements, they say we just didn’t want to put the Queen and the Crown or whoever … through a trial.
“And that’s how they kind of explain the money being given out as opposed to ‘We’re guilty’.”
The Royal Family is expected to come together over the next few months to attend key events.
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In March, the Queen and other royals will gather at Westminster Abbey to attend a service of thanksgiving in memory of Prince Philip.
In June, royals are expected to celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee with several public appearances, including a return on the iconic Buckingham Palace balcony.
It isn’t yet clear whether the Duke of York will take part in any of these events.
Ms Giuffre filed a lawsuit against Andrew last summer, which included claims of sexual assault and battery.
She alleged late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein trafficked her to have sex with Prince Andrew on three different occasions aged 17, while she was a minor under US law.
Prince Andrew has firmly and repeatedly denied any wrongdoing since Ms Giuffre first launched accusations against him.
In his official response to the lawsuit in January, he continued to reject these allegations and demanded a trial by jury.
On Tuesday afternoon, however, the Duke and Ms Giuffre’s lawyers submitted a joint letter to the US District Court announcing they had reached a “settlement in principle” – in which the Duke didn’t make any admission of liability in the settlement.
The letter states the Duke will make a “substantial donation to Ms Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights” as part of the parts’ agreement.
The documents read: “Virginia Giuffre and Prince Andrew have reached an out of court settlement.
“The parties will file a stipulated dismissal upon Ms Giuffre’s receipt of the settlement (the sum of which is not being disclosed).
“Prince Andrew intends to make a substantial donation to Ms Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights.
“Prince Andrew has never intended to malign Ms Giuffre’s character, and he accepts that she has suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks.
“It is known that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked countless young girls over many years.”
The Duke also expressed “regret” for his association with Epstein, with the letter saying: “Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others.
“He pledges to demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein by supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims.”