In August 2021, Prince Andrew was accused of sexual abuse by Virginia Giuffre, who was a victim of sex trafficking by Jeffrey Epstein. Prince Andrew has always denied the accusations and has tried to downplay his relationship with Epstein.
Back in January 2022, the Queen made the decision to distance the Royal Family from Prince Andrew and stripped him of his military and royal titles as well as his forcing him to step down as a public royal figure.
Despite Prince Andrew agreeing to the out-of-court settlement, his titles and status will not be reinstated or be allowed to perform royal duties. Furthermore, York Central MP Rachel Maskell has asked Prince Andrew to renounce his ducal title and cut all association he has with the city out of respect.
The settlement has come almost a year after Prince Andrew was accused by Virginia Giuffre. Giuffre was a victim of sex trafficking by Jeffrey Epstein and has claimed that she was ‘lent’ to Prince Andrew on multiple occasions in London, Manhattan and the US Virgin Isles in 2001.
Prince Andrew has profusely denied the accusations and tried to have the Giuffre court case dismissed—he was unsuccessful. The trial was supposed to take place later this year but after some alleged pressure from the Queen and Prince Charles, Prince Andrew agreed to the settlement. He has also agreed to a 'substantial donation' toward Giuffre's charity for victims of sex trafficking.
His sudden compliance with the out-of-court settlement definitely raises some questions. Prince Andrew in a statement doesn’t dispute the sexual abuse nor does he admit to it.
He said in a joint statement after the agreement:
Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms. Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others. He pledges to demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein by supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims.