Prince Andrew forever tainted by sex claim scandal, say royal experts after settlement

A media lawyer said the Duke of York is 'reputationally toast' after his US civil case settlement

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The Duke of York is unlikely to ever return to public royal life having been “tainted” by the scandal of a civil sex assault claim against him, royal experts have said.

Language used in public court documents about an out-of-court settlement being agreed with his accuser Virginia Giuffre suggests Andrew has “finally been humbled”, one commentator said, while another added that there is “no going back” in terms of frontline duties for the Queen’s second son.

Meanwhile, a media lawyer branded Andrew “reputationally toast”, but said the latest legal development has protected the wider royal family from the potential damage of a public trial.

Mark Stephens said: “With this settlement, he has prevented this court case overshadowing the tributes and acknowledgement of the Queen’s 70 years of selfless sacrifice and service to the country.

“And whilst he is reputationally toast and will never appear on a royal balcony ever again and has effectively been airbrushed from polite society and the royal family, he does prevent wider problems for the royal family.”

He said Andrew has “protected his children and their reputations, and he has protected the wider royal family”, adding that there was probably “a big, deep sigh of relief in the palace tonight”.