Prince Andrew 'can only talk to his horse' after sex assault settlement

A royal commentator said the Duke of York's sexual assault allegations have been “deeply distressing” for the Queen

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Prince Andrew only has his horse to talk to since being shrouded in scandal over his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, a royal author has said.

Tina Brown, author of bestseller The Diana Chronicals, said the accusations brought against Andrew have been “deeply distressing” for the Queen.

It comes as just a few weeks after the Duke of York paid millions out of court to settle the case filed against him by Virginia Giuffre.

She was suing him, accusing him of sexually assaulting her when she was 17 after being trafficked by Epstein.

Ms Brown said: “I was told only yesterday by someone at the Palace just how deeply distressing it has been for the Queen."

The Duke of York Prince Andrew at Prince Philip's memorial service
The Duke of York Prince Andrew at Prince Philip's memorial service

She continued: "Here is this remarkable, elderly woman who is summoning all her strength to get through her Platinum Jubilee and then this bucket of sleaze empties over her family."

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, she added that he absolutely use to hate riding, but that he’s doing a lot of it at the moment “because the only person who’ll talk to him is the horse”.

This January, Andrew was stripped of his honorary military titles and patronages by the Queen, and forced to relinquish using his HRH style amid his legal battle.

Queen Elizabeth and President Ronald Reagan riding two of the royal horses at Windsor Castle
Queen Elizabeth and President Ronald Reagan riding two of the royal horses at Windsor Castle

At the time, Buckingham Palace said: “The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”

At Prince Philip’s memorial service, Andrew was front and centre with his mother holding onto his elbow as they made their way via the shortest route into Westminster Abbey

It raised the prospect of Andrew, long-reported to be the Queen’s favourite child, attending the Jubilee service of thanksgiving in St Paul’s Cathedral on June 3, for what is considered to be a family occasion.

Andrew remains in the line of succession, and is also still a Counsellor of State.

In the event the Queen cannot undertake her official duties as sovereign on a temporary basis due to illness or absence abroad, two or more Counsellors of State are appointed by Letters Patent to act in her place.

The role of Counsellor of State is undertaken by any spouse of the monarch and the next four adults in the line of succession, currently Charles, William, Harry and Andrew.

Concern over the arrangements, which could only be changed with legislation, has been raised in recent weeks after Charles got Covid and William was away in Dubai at the same time.