The Queen has reportedly personally contributed £2m to Virginia Roberts’ charity as part of Prince Andrew’s £12m settlement as calls grow for full disclosure of where the money was found to pay his accuser.
Royal aides had previously declined to say whether the settlement would be funded in part by the monarch, but it is presumed that she agreed to help the Duke of York, on the condition that she was not involved in any personal payments to Miss Roberts.
A source told the Mirror: “She was not seen making a payment to a sexual assault victim who accused her son of being the rapist.
“But the deal was structured to instead arrange for a significant financial contribution to the settlement in the form of a charitable donation.”
Also, despite mounting pressure to strip him of his titles, it is expected that Andrew will be allowed to remain as the Queen’s Counselor of State and retain his ducal title and vice admiral’s rank.
This comes as politicians and activists insist on “full transparency” about whether public money will be involved in the settlement.
Ms Roberts, who filed the lawsuit under her married name, Giuffre, alleged that she was forced to have sex with the Duke three times when she was 17 at the behest of pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The Duke of York agreed to an out-of-court settlement with Ms Roberts, now 38, on Tuesday, weeks after he promised to challenge her allegations of rape in a public trial.
The settlement did not acknowledge responsibility for Andrew, who has always denied specific allegations.
Demands for Buckingham Palace to reveal how Prince Andrew (left) will pay for his £12m sexual assault lawsuit intensified last night after royal aides declined to say if it would be partially funded by the Queen (right)
Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts, 17, and Ghislaine Maxwell at Ghislaine Maxwell’s townhouse in London, UK on March 13, 2001.
Details of the deal have not been made public, but it is believed he agreed to pay up to £12 million, including a “substantial donation” to Ms Roberts’ charitable foundation in support of victims’ rights.
Questions remained last night about how Andrew would finance the settlement. The proceeds from the £18 million sale of his Verbier ski chalet have been listed as the most likely source, but the deal has yet to go through.
Buckingham Palace has refused to deny reports that the Queen will help fund the payout through her personal estate, the Duchy of Lancaster, which brought in £23m last year.
The royal family also receives a portion of their wealth from a taxpayer-funded sovereign grant given annually by the government as a lump sum. But this money is given to the Queen to cover the expenses of the official duties of the family and will not be used for personal needs.
Former secretary Norman Baker last night urged the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, which had previously studied the royal family’s income, to investigate the matter.
“If we are talking about any public money, we have the right to know about it,” said the former Liberal Democrat MP. “I don’t think the public wants public money to be used to support the Duke of York.”
Ian Murray, the Scottish Labor spokesman, called for “transparency about where the money is coming from”. He told BBC News: “Prince Andrew has always maintained his innocence, but now he will not stand trial to determine whether this is true or not.” He added that the case has left “a nasty stain” on Prince Andrew and the royal family, and “total transparency in terms of a settlement… can play a very, very small role in trying to undo some of the damage they have done.”
Labor’s spokesman for domestic violence and protection, Jess Phillips, said “it’s perfectly reasonable for the public to report whether her money played a role in this deal.” She added: “It will show a change in the prince’s behavior if he enters this phase with full openness and honesty.”
Prince Andrew has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by Virginia Giuffre, who alleged that financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually sold her to the British royal house when she was 17. The deal is described in a court document on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022, in New York avoiding a trial that would further disgrace the monarchy.
Harriet Wistrich of the Center for Women’s Justice said the settlement showed that even the most powerful men are not immune from prosecution.
She said: “We congratulate Virginia Giuffre for her courage in making this statement and holding on to it despite the attacks on her character and authority.”
“However, it is important that any funds that go towards the settlement come from Prince Andrew’s personal fortune and not be paid indirectly by the public.”
Dr Charlotte Proudman, a Cambridge University academic and a lawyer who specializes in cases of violence against women, said: “Not a dime of public money should be spent on this settlement, which effectively buys the victim’s silence and buys Andrew’s exit from civil court.” trial.’
Brad Edwards, Ms. Roberts’ former lawyer, said: “This settlement … is a testament to the determination and authority of Virginia Giuffre.”
Buckingham Palace and a spokesman for Prince Andrew declined to comment.