Revealed: Prince Andrew tells friends mystery ‘development’ within the next month will restore his reputation – and that the Queen had told him his exile from royal duties would only be ‘temporary’
- Duke of York claims the revelations will change the public perception of him
- Prince Andrew told friends developments could restore his reputation in months
- He could launch a bid to overturn a settlement struck with sex abuse accuser
Prince Andrew has claimed to friends that a ‘mystery development’ will restore his disgraced reputation within the coming months.
The Duke of York is regularly voted the least popular member of the Royal Family and was stripped of his public duties following the revelations over his relationship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, yet his self-belief remains undiminished.
I can reveal that The King’s brother has been assuring friends there is about to be a development which will restore his reputation.
If not quite back up to the heroic status he enjoyed as a helicopter pilot in the Falklands War, then at least to what it was before he was photographed in New York’s Central Park talking to Epstein, shortly after the latter’s release from prison in 2009 after serving a puzzlingly short sentence for sex offences.
Prince Andrew, pictured driving his Range Rover in the grounds of Windsor Castle, reportedly believes his reputation could be restored
The Duke of York is consulting with lawyers in an attempt to get Virginia Giuffre, formally known as Virginia Roberts. to retract her allegations against him
It is when out shooting that the Duke of York tends to talk most freely. ‘He says that details are about to be made public which will change people’s perceptions of him,’ I’m told. ‘He says that it will happen next month.’
Although Andrew, 62, does not elaborate further, the Mail on Sunday reported at the weekend that he is to launch a dramatic bid to overturn the multi-million-pound settlement he struck with the woman who accused him of sexual assault.
It is understood Andrew has consulted lawyers in an attempt to get Virginia Giuffre, formally known as Virginia Roberts. to retract her allegations and possibly secure an apology.
He was inspired to act after Ms Giuffre dropped her lawsuit against another man she accused of sexual assault, admitting that she ‘may have made a mistake’ in identifying him.
But Ms Giuffre has always maintained her case against the duke was valid.
Andrew’s relationship with Epstein was raised once again in a bombshell interview with Ghislaine Maxwell on TalkTV.
Speaking from prison, Maxwell said Prince Andrew was a ‘dear friend’ and said the accusations against him were unfounded.
In her first TV interview since she was jailed for child sex trafficking, the British socialite also claimed the infamous photo of her, Andrew and Ms Giuffre was a ‘fake’.
Andrew is expected to claim that he never met Ms Giuffre and to argue that the photo is fake in his future legal action.
However, several high-profile forensic experts who have examined the photo, in which Andrew has his arm around a young Ms Giuffre, have said they believe it to be real.
Ms Giuffre alleges she was groomed by pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his associate Maxwell, and forced to have sex with him on several occasions.
Prince Andrew denied ever meeting Ms Giuffre in a disastrous Newsnight interview in 2019. He famously claimed he was at a Pizza Express in Woking at the time of one of the incidents mentioned by his accuser.
Undated handout photo issued by the US Department of Justice (left-right) of the Duke of York, Virginia Giuffre, and Ghislaine Maxwell
Prince Andrew, Duke of York is seen out riding at Windsor Castle
The son of the late Queen Elizabeth has suffered a series of humiliations since his car crash Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis in November 2019, as institutions have severed ties with him.
The most shattering blow, I’m told, was the abrupt curtailment of his role as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, reported by the Daily Mail just before Christmas.
He had already withdrawn from duties with the Grenadiers but had done so in the belief that he would, in time, return to them.
‘He says that Her Majesty [Queen Elizabeth] gave him her word that stepping down was only a temporary measure. He says that he wasn’t told in advance that he was about to be booted out, nor, obviously, that Camilla would be replacing him. He says that he just heard about it ”in the media”.’
Perhaps, then, it is time for Andrew to deliver a media surprise of his own?