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Queen, 95, worships in public for first time since Covid struck as royals close door on Andrew

The Queen has been pictured joining the congregation at a church service on the grounds of Windsor Great Park for the first time since the pandemic struck.

Queen Elizabeth has been attending private services throughout the pandemic for the last 18 months but as lockdown restrictions have eased, she attended the service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints in the grounds of the nearby Royal Lodge.

The last time the Queen was pictured at the chapel was with late husband Prince Philip in July last year after the lockdown wedding of Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.

Dressed in matching mauve coat and hat, the Queen appeared serious while she was driven to the church as legal difficulties facing her son Prince Andrew over allegations he assaulted American Virginia Giuffre.

It has been claimed the Duke of York will not return to public life after Charles, Edward and Anne closed the door on him and William branded him a ‘threat to the royal family’. 

Pictured: Earlier today, the Queen was pictured being driven to a public service for the first time since Covid began

Service attended by the Queen (pictured) took place at the Royal Chapel of All Saints on grounds of Royal Lodge at Windsor

Service attended by the Queen (pictured) took place at the Royal Chapel of All Saints on grounds of Royal Lodge at Windsor

Scotland Yard is also reported to have spoken to the Duke of York’s sexual assault accuser Virginia Giuffre over claims she was raped and sexually assaulted by Andrew when she was 17.

The royal has come under intense scrutiny over the claims and over his friendship with paedophile financier Jeffery Epstein.

Andrew, who is not facing any criminal charges, ‘categorically’ denies Ms Giuffre’s claims against him and is thought to be keen to make a return as a working royal.

However, according to sources close to him, Prince William sees his uncle as a threat to the Royal Family and doesn’t intend to let him return to public life. 

The 39-year-old, who is second in line to the throne, is said to have been involved in crisis talks with his grandmother and father – The Queen and Prince Charles – over the decision to suspend Andrew from public duty. 

It was also reported that Andrew’s siblings – Charles, Anne and Edward – also ruled out his return to public duty at a meeting in January. 

Prince William (pictured left with the Duchess of Cambridge) sees his uncle Prince Andrew as a threat to the Royal Family and will never let him return to public life, according to a new report

The Duke of York (pictured in April after the death of his father, Prince Philip) has come under intense scrutiny for his friendship with paedophile financier Jeffery Epstein, and has been accused of sexually abusing Virginia Giuffre at Epstein's New York home two decades ago

The Duke of York (pictured in April after the death of his father, Prince Philip) has come under intense scrutiny for his friendship with paedophile financier Jeffery Epstein, and has been accused of sexually abusing Virginia Giuffre at Epstein’s New York home two decades ago

‘There is no way in the world he’s ever coming back, the family will never let it happen,’ a royal source said, according to The Sunday Times. ‘William is no fan of Uncle Andrew,’ another source, a friend of William’s, is reported to have said.

A third source was quoted saying that Prince William is ‘triggered’ by his uncle’s perceived ‘ungracious and ungrateful’ attitude towards his position, which Williams considers ‘a risk’ and a ‘threat to the family.’

‘Any suggestion that there isn’t gratitude for the institution, anything that could lead anyone in the public to think that senior members of the royal family aren’t grateful for their position, [William thinks] is really dangerous,’ the Sunday Times quoted the source as saying.   

MailOnline was told that Buckingham Palace was not commenting on the matter. 

Speaking to the The Sun, a source said: ‘Nine months ago Charles, Anne and Edward had a meeting, a summit, and agreed there was no way back for him.’

It has been reported that Andrew's siblings - Prince Charles (pictured on Tuesday in Scotland), Princess Anne and Prince Edward - also ruled out his return to public duty

It has been reported that Andrew’s siblings – Prince Charles (pictured on Tuesday in Scotland), Princess Anne and Prince Edward – also ruled out his return to public duty

Princess Anne, pictured on Monday

The Queen and Prince Edward picture together on Thursday

Speaking the The Sun , a source said: ‘Nine months ago Charles, Anne (pictured left) and Edward (pictured with The Queen, right) had a meeting, a summit, and agreed there was no way back for him’

Virginia Roberts, who now goes by her married name of Giuffre, was last night reported to have been interviewed by officers after she filed a civil lawsuit in the US claiming that she was forced to have sex with the Prince on three separate occasions by convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

The Mail on Sunday revealed earlier this year that Ms Giuffre had launched legal action in the US. Andrew, 61, has always vehemently denied her claims and any wrongdoing.

According to The Sunday Times, detectives recently quizzed Ms Giuffre after Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick warned that ‘no one is above the law’. The move could pave the way for a criminal investigation into the claims.

Ms Giuffre claims she was ‘trafficked’ to the duke in March 2001 after being flown to London by Epstein and his alleged ‘madam’ Ghislaine Maxwell. 

A photograph of Andrew, Ms Giuffre and Ms Maxwell, taken in the socialite’s mews house that night, was first published by The Mail on Sunday.

During his infamous interview with the BBC’s Newsnight in 2019, Andrew denied the claims, saying that he had been at a Pizza Express restaurant in Woking, Surrey, that day.

His lawyers accepted that the Prince had been ‘served’ with the civil suit on September 21, after Ms Giuffre’s team spent weeks trying to deliver it to him.

Last night, a Met spokesman said: ‘We would not discuss who we may or may not have spoken to as part of any enquiry.’

The development could lead to the Met opening a criminal investigation of Ms Giuffre’s claims that have been consistently and strenuously denied by the Duke.

The reports comes two days after it was announced that Andrew‘s legal team will be allowed to review a previously secret settlement which his lawyers hope will shield him from a sex abuse lawsuit in the US.

A US District Judge on Wednesday granted permission for the Duke of York’s lawyers to receive a copy of a confidential agreement between Epstein and Ms Giuffre. 

Ms Giuffre (pictured) is launching a US civil case against Prince Andrew, accusing him of sexually abusing a woman two decades ago, when she was underage

Ms Giuffre (pictured) is launching a US civil case against Prince Andrew, accusing him of sexually abusing a woman two decades ago, when she was underage

Ms Giuffre (allegedly pictured here in 2001 with Prince Andrew) is accusing the prince of having sex with her knowing she had been trafficked by Epstein and she was underage. She alleged this took place at the London home of Epstein's longtime associate Ghislaine Maxwell

Ms Giuffre (allegedly pictured here in 2001 with Prince Andrew) is accusing the prince of having sex with her knowing she had been trafficked by Epstein and she was underage. She alleged this took place at the London home of Epstein’s longtime associate Ghislaine Maxwell 

Sarah Ferguson ‘is likely to be subpoenaed’ if Prince Andrew fails to get Virginia Roberts’ case thrown out of court in New York 

Relatives, aides and even ex-wife Sarah Ferguson could be forced into courtrooms to answer questions about Prince Andrew should the Duke’s sex abuse case get the green light to go ahead in New York later this month.  

The Duke is privately preparing to hand over ‘personal documents’ in an intrusive process that could see relatives and Royal aides dragged into proceedings, reports the Telegraph

That could include ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, who has remained fiercely loyal to the embattled Duke, who is likely to face subpoena if Andrew fails to get his case thrown out. 

Royal insiders fear any such move would be a ‘pretty traumatic’ process that Andrew’s lawyers would only ever enter with ‘due caution’, the Sunday Telegraph reported last week.

The Duke has until October 29 to respond to the civil suit, with a remote hearing scheduled for November 3.

Ms Giuffre, who has also accused Epstein of abuse, signed a settlement deal with the financier in 2009 as part of a Florida state case – to which the duke was not a party.

The deal between her and Esptein, who died in his jail cell in 2019 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking charges, has remained confidential.

Epstein’s estate had agreed to let Prince Andrew’s legal team review the legal document, but court approval was needed. 

At a hearing in Manhatten last week, District Judge Loretta Preska granted the approval. 

At a hearing last month, Andrew Brettler, a lawyer for the prince, told the judge overseeing Ms Giuffre’s lawsuit that he believed the agreement ‘absolves our client from any and all liability.’ 

During the first pre-trial hearing of the case last month, he said: ‘There has been a settlement agreement that the plaintiff has entered into in a prior action that releases the duke and others from any and all potential liability.’ 

However, David Boies, one of the lawyers representing Ms Giuffre, said in a court filing last month that he believed the settlement was ‘irrelevant’ to her case against the prince.

He said: ‘Although we believe that the release is irrelevant to the case against Prince Andrew, now that service has been accepted and the case is proceeding to a determination on the merits, we believe that counsel for Prince Andrew have a right to review the release and to make whatever arguments they believe appropriate based on it.’ 

Mr Brettler said in an email he expects to receive the agreement soon from Ms Giuffre’s lawyers. 

Ms Giuffre is accusing the prince of having sex with her knowing she had been trafficked by Epstein and she was underage.

She alleged this took place at the London home of Epstein’s longtime associate Ghislaine Maxwell.

David Boies (pictured), one of the lawyers representing Ms Giuffre, said in a court filing last month that he believed the settlement was 'irrelevant' to her case against the prince.

At a hearing last month, Andrew Brettler (pictured), a lawyer for the prince, told the judge overseeing Ms Giuffre's lawsuit that he believed the agreement 'absolves our client from any and all liability.'

At a hearing last month, Andrew Brettler (pictured right), a lawyer for the prince, told the judge overseeing Ms Giuffre’s lawsuit that he believed the agreement ‘absolves our client from any and all liability.’  However, David Boies (pictured left), one of the lawyers representing Ms Giuffre, said in a court filing last month that he believed the settlement was ‘irrelevant’ to her case against the prince.

She also said the prince abused her at Epstein’s mansion in Manhattan, and on Epstein’s private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

She claims she was trafficked by Epstein, the duke’s former friend, to have sex with Andrew when she was aged 17 and a minor under US law. 

She is seeking unspecified damages, but there is speculation the sum could be in the millions of dollars. 

Andrew faces an October 29 deadline to formally respond to Giuffre’s lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages.

Epstein, a registered sex offender, killed himself at age 66 in a Manhattan jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to helping recruit and groom underage girls for Epstein to abuse. Her trial in Manhattan is scheduled for November 29. 

It comes as it was reported last week that relatives, aides and even ex-wife Sarah Ferguson could be forced into courtrooms to answer questions about Prince Andrew should the Duke’s sex abuse case get the green light to go ahead in New York later this month. 

The Duke is privately preparing to hand over ‘personal documents’ in an intrusive process that could see relatives and Royal aides dragged into proceedings, reports the Telegraph

That could include ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, who has remained fiercely loyal to the embattled Duke, who is likely to face subpoena if Andrew fails to get his case thrown out. 

Prince Andrew, 61, is privately preparing to hand over 'personal documents' in an intrusive process that could see relatives, Royal aides and even ex-wife Sarah Ferguson dragged into his legal proceedings. Pictured together in 2019

Prince Andrew, 61, is privately preparing to hand over ‘personal documents’ in an intrusive process that could see relatives, Royal aides and even ex-wife Sarah Ferguson dragged into his legal proceedings. Pictured together in 2019

The Queen (pictured, at the Balmoral Cricket Pavilion in Scotland yesterday) is spending millions of pounds funding Prince Andrew's fight against sex abuse allegations, reports say

The Duke of York is being sued in New York by Virginia Giuffre, now 38, who claims he sexually abused her on three separate occasions when she was 17 — in London , New York and on billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein 's Caribbean island

The Queen (pictured left, at the Balmoral Cricket Pavilion in Scotland yesterday) is spending millions of pounds funding Prince Andrew’s (right) fight against sex abuse allegations, reports say

Royal insiders fear any such move would be a ‘pretty traumatic’ process that Andrew’s lawyers would only ever enter with ‘due caution’, the Sunday Telegraph reports.

The Duke has until October 29 to respond to the civil suit, with a remote hearing scheduled for November 3.

The news comes after one of the most dramatic cases of royal redemption after Prince’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson accompanied him to Balmoral in August as senior members of the Royal Family met for the first time since the civil suit was filed.

The Duchess has also said she is ‘100 per cent’ certain that Andrew is telling the truth about his part in the scandal surrounding convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein

She told the Financial Times: ‘I want him [Andrew] to come through this. I want him to win.’

When asked why she was sure of his probity, she replied: ‘No question. I know everything about him. I think he is an extraordinary person.’ 

The news comes as it was revealed the Queen is spending millions of pounds funding Prince Andrew‘s fight against sex abuse allegations.

Royal courtiers are said to expect the final legal bill to run into millions as the civil case against Andrew lingers for months or even years.

And a potential settlement or damages payout would cost millions more on top of the overall bill.


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