King Charles III’s coronation is approaching, and his disgraced brother may once again have a role in public life.
According to reports, Prince Andrew is reportedly amassing a $12 million “war chest” to launch a lawsuit against sexual abuse accuser Virginia Giuffre in a bid to force her to withdraw her allegations.
A lawyer for the royals did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
The news came shortly after Buckingham Palace announced that the coronation weekend in May will include a star-studded concert at Windsor Castle to be broadcast live by the BBC, along with several community and service-based initiatives.
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Some royal experts told Fox News Digital that it is unlikely the Duke of York will return to royal duties now that Charles, 74, is king. Their mother, Queen Elizabeth II, died in September 2022 at the age of 96.
“I find it hard to believe anything about support from the top for Andrew’s rebuilding of his reputation and public life,” royal expert Shannon Felton Spence told Fox News Digital. “The King and the Prince of Wales (Prince William) know how harmful he is and they made it known even before the Queen’s death that they would not tolerate him or entertain any way back into public life.”
“Andrew can get his PR team to spin all sorts of stories about what the Queen’s wishes were,” she said. “The cold hard truth is there’s a new boss in town. See, Charles’ plans for the future of the monarchy never included Andrew. Even before all this. A lean monarchy focused on public value should only ever include Charles, his sons and their families Now with Prince Harry out, we can expect the monarchy’s primary focus to increasingly be the King, Queen Consort, and Prince and Princess of Wales.
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“The King and Prince William have a ‘protect at all costs’ mentality,” Felton Spence added. “I’m sure he’ll be invited, as will Princess Anne and Prince Edward, but he’s not going to be in a public role . All of this is about whether Andrew can regain his status. He can’t and won’t, regardless of the coronation.”
In a lawsuit filed in 2020, Giuffre accused the British prince of sexually exploiting her on three occasions in 2001 when she was 17. Although Andrew, 62, has denied wrongdoing, he agreed to an out-of-court settlement paid to the American woman in February 2022 under pressure from Buckingham Palace that damaging headlines were distracting from the Queen’s platinum jubilee.
The settlement amount was reported to be somewhere between $3.6 million to $14.8 million.
The Telegraph reported that Andrew consulted with his lawyers after Giuffre in November dropped a separate sexual misconduct lawsuit against US Attorney Alan Dershowitz. Andrew’s attorney did not immediately comment on the news at the time.
In a statement, Giuffre said she had long believed that I was traded by Jeffrey Epstein to Alan Dershowitz. But I was very young at the time, it was a very stressful and traumatic environment, and Mr. Dershowitz has consistently denied these allegations from the beginning.
“I now recognize that I may have made a mistake in identifying Mr. Dershowitz. This lawsuit has been very stressful and burdensome for me and my family, and we believe it is time to call it quits and move on with our lives.”
Hilary Fordwich told Fox News Digital that Andrew, who is a member of the royal family, has been invited to the coronation. But he is likely to minimize his appearance to avoid controversy on a historic day.
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“Prince Andrew is currently invited to the coronation, but like Prince Harry, he will not be asked to kneel to King Charles to ‘pay homage’ as only Prince William will kneel,” Fordwich explained. “This is a break from tradition where all dukes would kneel in homage.
“Charles, known for his big heart, is a very different soul to his wayward little brother,” she added. “After many decades of difficulty between them and divided by differences in personalities … it is considered highly unlikely that King Charles would risk Prince Andrew returning to the royal fold or risk jeopardizing the monarchy’s reputation.
“But there was a test of how the public would receive Prince Andrew at Christmas when he joined the family for their traditional walk to church at Sandringham,” Fordwich pointed out. “After that it seemed to go smoothly, it is more likely that the king will again allow him to join the family in public. In addition, Prince Andrew is known to have pushed to pursue business interests, which is also under consideration.”
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told Fox News Digital that recent developments between Giuffre and Dershowitz have reportedly given Andrew hope that he could clear his name and reverse his royal status. Still, the public is unlikely to welcome him back with open arms.
“Andrew faces a seemingly insurmountable problem when it comes to the court of public opinion,” Fitzwilliams said. “His assessments have been scathing ever since his interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis on Newsnight in 2019. In it, he expressed no sympathy for Epstein’s victims and said he did not regret knowing the late pedophile. He appeared to the public as someone with the title imbecile.
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“It was so disastrous that it will be studied by public relations students as an example of how not to handle the media. His odd comments about not being able to sweat and his visits to Pizza Express in Woking made him a national joke.
“The hostility of the public and the media is such that any appearance by Andrew in public is highly controversial,” Fitzwilliams added. “King Charles and Prince William are said to be in complete agreement that he has no future as a working member of the royal family.
“The irony is that even if he were to have some legal success, it would end up damaging the monarchy as he is seen as such an embarrassment to the institution he once served.”
Although Andrew has denied the allegations of sexual abuse against him, royal experts claimed the damage is long since done.
The prince, long considered the late queen’s favorite son, was stripped of his military honors. Before her death, the Queen also removed his honorary directorship of various charities, known as royal patronages, and prevented him from using the title “His Royal Highness” in official settings.
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The council in the northern city of York voted unanimously to withdraw the prince’s “freedom of the city”. The honor was conferred on Andrew in 1987 after the Queen made him Duke of York. He is the first person to be stripped of the status, an honor that dates back to the Middle Ages. Local leaders have since argued that Andrew should also lose the title of Duke of York. A spokesman for Andrew declined to comment at the time.
The King’s coronation is on May 6 at Westminster Abbey.
Fox News Digital’s Danielle Wallace and The Associated Press contributed to this report.