The royal family has its share of everyday drama: The breaks with protocol, the testy relationships between family members, and the allegations that someone is trying to take the spotlight from someone else (which happens surprisingly often). But the legal battles surrounding Prince Andrew go beyond the quaint quibbles covered in the tabloids: The allegations stemming from his connections with Jeffrey Epstein are serious, upsetting, and could have long-lasting consequences for members of the royal family beyond just Andrew himself. Case in point: The Queen, whom the Telegraph reports is allegedly helping Prince Andrew fund his court battles.
Prince Andrew was accused of sexual abuse by Virginia Giuffre in 2019, renewing the criticism of the Duke of York's long-time associations with Jeffrey Epstein. Following a disastrous 2019 interview about his friendship with Epstein, in which Andrew appeared to have little sympathy for Epstein’s victims, the royal family announced that Andrew would resign from his public roles over the continuing uproar.
The move reportedly became permanent earlier this year when a source close to Prince Charles said that while Charles "loves his brother and has the ability to have sympathy for the slings and arrows that his brother endures…[he] long ago concluded that it is probably an unsolvable problem."
But just because the Palace has publicly distanced itself from Andrew doesn’t mean his family has totally turned their back on him—the Telegraph reports that the Queen is allegedly using her private funds to help Andrew fight the allegations in court, to the possible tune of millions of dollars.
Giuffre’s suit did not have a sum specified, though she is reportedly looking for both compensatory and punitive damages, which means things could get expensive quickly. The Queen, according to the publication, is sourcing the funds from “her private Duchy of Lancaster estate.”
The publication also reported earlier this year that it was unclear how Prince Andrew would fund the likely very expensive and prolonged legal battle, since he had “no discernable income.” Viewed from that lens, it’s less surprising that his mother is helping him out—even if the optics for the rest of the family seem pretty bad. The Queen seems to be put between a rock and a hard place with Prince Andrew.