'Running to Mummy?!' Prince Andrew 'Hosts Shooting Party at Queen's Home' as Rape Case Hearings Loom
06:26 GMT 12.09.2021 (Updated: 16:13 GMT 24.10.2021)
Virginia Roberts Giuffre is suing the British royal for allegedly raping and abusing her at the age of 17 when she was a part of Jeffrey Epstein’s purported sex trafficking ring. The Queen’s son has maintained that he has “no recollection” of ever meeting the girl.
Prince Andrew was spotted hosting a shooting bash at the Queen’s Balmoral estate on Friday, just few days before the hearings on the Virginia Roberts Giuffre rape case begin, according to the Sun.
The Duke of York, who is being accused of sexually assaulting and raping “vulnerable child” Virginia at the age of 17, returned to his mother’s summer home last week after being served legal papers in relation to the case.
Andrew had already spent several weeks at Balmoral back in August alongside his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson amid speculations that he had been “in hiding” after Roberts Giuffre filed a civil case in the US at the beginning of last month. After ten days with the Queen, the Duke went back to his Royal Lodge mansion at Windsor, where a London-based “process server”, Cesar Augusto Sepulveda, finally forwarded him the summons, according to an affidavit filed by the official on 10 September.
It doesn’t seem like the Friday party was a celebration of the occasion, as the prince’s legal team is reportedly planning to “boycott” an upcoming hearing with a Manhattan judge over claims that the court documents were not served “properly”.
The Crown Prince of Bahrain is said to have been among the prince’s guests at the shotgun-toting gathering.
Royal aides were apparently infuriated with the Duke of York’s decision to host the party at such a vulnerable time.
“This is so brazen it is unbelievable. Prince Andrew is carrying on like nothing has happened and as if he hasn’t got a care in the world,” an outraged royal source told the Sun.
“It has been bad enough that he appears to have been seeking refuge at Balmoral, where the Queen is trying to have quiet time after a tough year, but to host a shooting party, with some dubious guests shows disrespect to the monarchy. And it is also tone deaf as if he does not care about what is going on with the legal case,” the person added.
Another source confirmed the anger among courtiers over the royal’s Friday bash:
“It looks like he is running to mummy and that she is almost harbouring him. No one wants Andrew near Balmoral. It looks like he is hiding behind a woman who is approaching 100 years old,” the insider said.
“He needs to pull his socks up and face his responsibilities. Going for flight instead of fight is making him look irresponsible and guilty, even if he isn’t.”
The prince has tried to keep a low profile since November 2019, when he sat down for a scandalous interview with BBC to defend his friendship with Epstein. Andrew has denied Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s claims during the interview, saying that he has “no recollection” of ever meeting the woman. He also suggested that an existing photo showing two of them together might have been “doctored”.
The programme caused a strong backlash among British viewers over Prince Andrew’s apparent lack of remorse for hobnobbing with a convicted sex offender and an eyebrow-raising rejection of the accuser’s claims. The Duke of York stepped down from his public duties shortly after.
According to Roberts Giuffre, she and the prince had sex on at least three occasions: at Ghislaine Maxwell’s London home, Jeffrey Epstein’s NYC mansion and on the financier’s private Caribbean island. The woman’s lawyer says that the defence has already found a witness in New York and another one on the island to corroborate Roberts Giuffre’s claims.