Elizabeth II uses her personal wealth to close Prince Andrew’s sex scandal

Respect for the figure of Elizabeth II —much more so in the year in which she commemorates the 70th anniversary of his reign— has led political parties and the media to hold their noses knowing that the queen will pay with part of her estate the out-of-court agreement of his son, Prince Andrew, in the process he was facing for sexual abuse of a minor. The first to indicate the total number of the agreement reached between the legal team of the Duke of York and the lawyers of the plaintiff, Virginia Giuffre, has been the newspaper TheDaily Telegraph, which suggested an amount of more than 14 million euros. Other media have lowered the amount to 12 million, but there is general agreement on the approximate figure.

And with the calculator in hand, it is inconceivable that Andrés could have obtained from his own pocket the money necessary to settle the matter. Officially, he receives 24,000 euros a year in pension as a veteran of the Royal Navy. And last January he sold the chalet he had in the Swiss Alps, valued at around 20 million euros, but with a mortgage burden of 15 million.

The pressure from Buckingham Palace for Andrés to close the matter as soon as possible was very great. 2022 is Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee year. An occasion that will last for months with public events and celebrations and that the British royal house considered as the perfect strategy to improve the image of the monarchy. The queen is experiencing the best moment of her popularity, despite a pandemic that kept her locked up in Windsor for almost two years. And British citizenship has already accepted the succession of Charles of England to the throne, along with the continuity represented by his son, Prince William. A murky matter like the one involving a trial for sexual abuse of a minor threatened to contaminate any public relations effort and spoil a key year to consolidate the stability of the institution.

Elizabeth II has decided to pull the checkbook, and has had the remarkable help of the conservative press, willing to point out as the only culprit of this humiliation Andrés himself. Hardly any critical voice has been heard against the idea that the House of Windsor pay money for the silence of a victim of sexual abuse.

few critical voices

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“Taxpayers have the right to know where the money for that deal is coming from. [extrajudicial]which we must assume will be several million, if not tens of millions of pounds, ”said Graham Smith, of the minority but active anti-monarchist organization Republic. Through the Internet they have managed to collect almost 7,000 signatures from citizens who demand an explanation of the accounts. The leader of the Labor opposition, Keir Starmer, has however decided not to make firewood of the news, which “ends an unfortunate chapter”. Starmer has asked, however, not to forget the victims of sexual abuse: “There are many around the world, and we must never forget that perspective,” he has said.

Most of the lavish expenses of Elizabeth II’s favorite son come from the income of the Duchy of Lancaster. It is an entity that concentrates all the land assets, urban real estate assets and financial investments of the queen. Although public control of this heritage has increased over the years, it continues to provide Elizabeth II with substantial annual profits. The last figure recorded, in March 2021, was more than 26 million euros. Although Buckingham Palace has not wanted to comment on it, any help to Andrés – both to pay the costs of his legal defense and to pay for the out-of-court settlement – ​​has necessarily had to come out of that private fund of the queen .

The document presented before the American judge by the parties, a principle of agreement that must be ratified within a month, manages to satisfy the claims of Prince Andrew and the plaintiff, Virginia Giuffre. Yet the Duke of York is clearly the biggest loser on the court that, for all intents and purposes, Buckingham Palace is most concerned about: that of public opinion.

The queen’s son admits that Giuffre (today surnamed Roberts, 38, married and living in Australia) “has suffered both as a proven victim of abuse and as a result of public attacks received.” She also “regrets her association with Epstein [el millonario pedófilo estadounidense que se suicidó en una prisión de alta seguridad de Manhattan en 2019] and celebrates the bravery of Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others.”

That is to say, although he avoids expressly acknowledging any hint of guilt in the alleged sexual abuse suffered by Giuffre, he admits his status as a victim —something he had been resisting doing for years— and offers moral compensation in the American way: with a huge amount of money. The amount will be divided into thirds: one part for the plaintiff, another to cover the fees of his lawyer David Boies and the team that has worked with him and another third for the foundation Victims Refuse Silence (Victims Refuse Silence), chaired by Giuffre, which helps survivors of sexual abuse tell their story.

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Elizabeth II uses her personal wealth to close Prince Andrew’s sex scandal