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Andrew joins Queen at Balmoral as sex abuse accuser's lawyer states he 'can't ignore courts'

The Duke of York and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson left Windsor for Scotland hours before a US summons was sent to his Windsor home

Prince Andrew arrived at Balmoral for a holiday with the Queen last night 24 hours after a lawsuit accused him of sex abuse.

The Duke of York and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson left Windsor for Scotland hours before a US summons was also sent to his Windsor home.

He is yet to make any public comment about the lawsuit in which Virginia Giuffre, now 38, says she was “lent out for sexual purposes” to him by Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender when she was 17 and a minor under US law.

In a civil complaint filed in the US District Court in Manhattan, Virginia Giuffre accused Andrew of having abused her about two decades ago, when she was 17 years old.

Prince Andrew was sued for having allegedly on three occasions sexually abused a woman who has claimed she was trafficked for sex by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Ms. Guiffre’s legal action, which was filed in New York on Monday, is a civil case seeking unspecified monetary damages and not a criminal case filed by the state.

Buckingham Palace has also declined to comment and referred all inquiries to a separate representative of the Duke who said there was “no comment”.

He has consistently denied Ms. Guiffre’s claims and said he has no recollection of ever meeting her.

Last night David Greenwood, a British lawyer who specialises in child abuse claims, said the proceedings leave the Duke in a “very tricky” situation.

The prince could face a civil ruling in his absence if he fails to respond formally to the lawsuit or he faces a very public legal battle if, as likely, he chooses to contest the proceedings.

Yesterday evening Andrew was photographed driving a Range Rover near Balmoral with his ex-wife.

A civil summons to serve him with papers at the Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park was approved by a court clerk in New York on Tuesday. He has 21 days to respond or face “judgment by default”.

Ms. Guiffre’s lawyer David Boies has said the prince “cannot hide behind wealth and palace walls” and should respond to the lawsuit allegations and allow a jury to decide what happened.

The Queen is seen at a ceremony at the gates of Balmoral on Monday (Photo: Jane Barlow – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Mr. Boies said Ms. Giuffre had “tried every way she can to resolve this short of litigation” and now wants a judge and jury to hear the evidence.

He told BBC Newsnight: “At this point, litigation is the only way to establish once and for all what the truth is – and litigation is the only way to establish once and for all what Prince Andrew’s evidence actually is.”

The lawyer warned “ignore the courts at your peril” and said that “it would be very ill-advised for Prince Andrew to ignore the judicial process.”

Virginia Guiffre is suing Prince Andrew accusing him of sexually abusing her (Photo: Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

“I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me,” she said. “The powerful and rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions. I hope that other victims will see that it is possible not to live in silence and fear, but to reclaim one’s life by speaking out and demanding justice."

“If he does, it will be a default judgment against him that will be, in effect, enforced not only in the United States but in virtually every civilised country in the world,” he said.

Mr. Boies, 80, said his client wanted to be compensated for the damage she claims was done to her and would donate money to a charitable foundation to help victims of sex trafficking.

Asked what figure he had in mind, the lawyer said “substantial” but it was for a jury to decide if there were a trial.

Speaking about Ms. Giuffre’s allegations in 2019 on Newsnight, Prince Andrew said he could not remember meeting Ms. Guiffre.

Denying her claims, he said: “It didn’t happen. I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened. I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.”

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