Queen Reportedly Warns British Press About Talking Pics of Royals as Prince Andrew Goes on Holiday
13:20 GMT 19.08.2021 (Updated: 13:21 GMT 19.08.2021)
© AP Photo / Aaron ChownBritain's Prince Andrew drives into Buckingham Palace, as he arrives for the traditional Queen's Christmas lunch, in London
© AP Photo / Aaron Chown
Jeffrey Epstein’s famous accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre has now filed a civil lawsuit against UK royal Prince Andrew, claiming that he sexually assaulted her when she was 17. The duke denies the claims and says he can't recall ever meeting her.
The Queen’s legal team is warning British press against taking pics of the Royal Family at its private Balmoral estate, where Prince Andrew is currently holidaying alongside his mum, according to The Daily Beast’s exclusive report.
Scandal-ridden Andrew arrived at Balmoral on 10 August, just a day after it was revealed that Virginia Roberts Giuffre had filed a lawsuit in the US accusing him of raping her as a minor.
On the day of his arrival in Scotland, staffers at one major tabloid newspaper reportedly received a carefully-worded memo from their own legal department.
© AP Photo / Steve ParsonsBritain's Prince Andrew leaves his home in Windsor, England, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019
Britain's Prince Andrew leaves his home in Windsor, England, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019
© AP Photo / Steve Parsons
It reportedly said that the newspaper has been contacted by “solicitors acting on behalf of HM the Queen, her family, and the Balmoral Estate" – apparently it "reminds" the newspaper that Balmoral “is a private estate” where the Queen and her guests should enjoy “a reasonable expectation of privacy."
Therefore, the memo goes, the newspaper staffers are “asked to ensure that any material, photographic or otherwise, that we may intend to publish is carefully reviewed before publication and in accordance with recent judicial guidance on this topic.”
Reporters and photographers who have “published anything on this matter, including on social media” have now been asked to contact the paper’s legal department “before taking any action.”
Buckingham Palace insiders confirmed to The Daily Beast that numerous media organisations have received similar warnings, but don't find anything unusual about the practice given it arises every time the royals go on holiday, they claim.
However, The Daily Beast points out that the warnings were not received by the paper in question until Prince Andrew’s visit, despite the Queen arriving at Balmoral as early as 24 July.
An unnamed editor from a British newspaper told The Daily Beast that they have “never seen a warning like this before from the Queen’s lawyers.”
“It’s clearly to keep people away from Prince Andrew. There's no coincidence in the timing coming after Virginia Roberts filed her lawsuit against Andrew,” they added.
Queen’s Son Goes on Holiday
Prince Andrew was pictured last week as he arrived at Balmoral in alongside his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson but has not been spotted since. He was also not seen at Crathie Kirk church traditionally attended by royals – it's located on public land, making it the perfect spot to snap the embattled duke, especially if he's physically served papers by the authorities, one source claimed.
The report, if true, suggests that the Queen is trying hard to protect her beloved son from unwanted attention as US prosecutors continue to view him as a “person of interest” amid the investigation into Jeffrey Epstein’s associates, including Ghislaine Maxwell, based on sex trafficking allegations. US Attorney Geoffrey Berman previously accused the Queen’s second son of ignoring requests to cooperate with US authorities, despite the royal’s claims that he's open to questioning.
© AP Photo / Bebeto MatthewsVirginia Roberts Giuffre, a sexual assault victim, speaks during a press conference outside a Manhattan court in New York
Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a sexual assault victim, speaks during a press conference outside a Manhattan court in New York
© AP Photo / Bebeto Matthews
Roberts Giuffre, who has now filed a lawsuit under New York's Child Victims Act, alleges that she was sex trafficked to Prince Andrew by Epstein and Maxwell at the age of 17 and was forced to sleep with the royal at least three times. Andrew, who is yet to respond to the lawsuit, has long maintained that he's innocent and says he doesn't recall ever meeting her.
In his scandalous BBC interview aired in November 2019, he defended his friendship with convicted sex offender Epstein and famously suggested that the widely-circulated photo showing him next to Giuffre with Maxwell in the background may have been doctored. Following the interview and resulting backlash, Andrew announced that he was stepping down from his public duties.