Prince Andrew has been pictured driving a brand new Range Rover as his multi-million legal battle with Virginia Roberts heats up.
The Duke of York has taken the £80,000 Sport PHEV around the grounds of Windsor Castle since it was issued last month.
The royal opted for a green hybrid model with a 2L engine and 25 miles of range on the electric plug-in – about the distance from his home to Buckingham Palace.
It comes as his legal fight with Ms Roberts hots up as a judge denied a motion from his lawyers to halt the case while an issue of where his accuser lives is dealt with.
Judge Lewis Kaplan denied Andrew’s lawyers’ request, stating Ms Giuffre’s legal team are due to respond to request for documents on her domicile by January 14.
Meanwhile the Prince is facing calls to step away from his military titles and charities amid the furore of the lawsuit.
Other ideas allegedly being considered by the Royal household include sending the Duke into some form of ‘internal exile’.
The Duke of York has been driving the £80,000 Sport PHEV around the grounds of Windsor Castle since it was issued last month
The royal opted for a green hybrid model with a 2L engine and 25 miles of range on the electric plug-in – about the distance from his home to Buckingham Palace
The Royal, who usually drives while his security sit in the passenger seats, last took a trip in it on New Year’s Eve
Range Rover Sport PHEV in numbers:
- Price: £78,035
- Power: 398bhp @ 5,500rpm
- Torque 472 lb ft @ 1,500-4,000rpm
- Kerb weight: 2,539kg
- Max trailer weight: 2,500kg
- Max boot capacity: 1,413 litres
- Top speed: 137mph
- Acceleration: 0-62mph – 6.3sec
- Electric range: 25 miles
- Official consumption: 73.0-88.3mpg
- CO2 emissions 72-87g/km
The Prince has been spotted parading his new Range Rover around the grounds of Windsor Castle over the last few weeks.
The Royal, who usually drives while his security sit in the passenger seats, last took a trip in it on New Year’s Eve.
He led a two-car convoy of his car and a Land Rover Discovery from his home at Royal Lodge to see the Queen at Windsor Castle for lunch.
The Range Rover, which has a private number plate based on his Royal title, is dark green with tinted windows.
It was first issued in December, it was insured in the same month and was built earlier in the year.
The luxury car is worth about £80,000 but his may have been more depending on the extras included.
They can reach speeds of up to 137mph and also accelerate from 0mph to 60mph in just 6.3 seconds.
The off-roader has a combined electric and fuel engine, meaning it can switch to petrol when the electric motor runs out of charge.
Using both of these will give the vehicle about 73 miles per gallon before he would need to top up.
But the cars take a while to charge, with a normal home cable that comes with it taking 7.5 hours to recharge. The Duke’s team has been approached for comment.
He led a two-car convoy of his car and a Land Rover Discovery from his home at Royal Lodge to see the Queen at Windsor Castle for lunch
The Range Rover, which has a private number plate based on his Royal title, is dark green with tinted windows
Pictured: Prince Andrew, Virginia Giuffre and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2001
What is Andrew accused of?
The formal allegations are battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Bringing the New York case under her married name of Giuffre, Virginia Roberts alleges she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17 and a ‘sex slave’ to his friend, paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Unlike the Ghislaine Maxwell trial in Manhattan this is a civil case. Miss Roberts is seeking damages, probably totalling millions of pounds. Andrew cannot be jailed.
Where are we at?
The case was filed in August and is still at the early stages. On Tuesday, the judge will rule on a new Andrew application to dismiss it. If it continues there will be the taking of depositions – formal statement given under oath.
Who could be deposed?
Miss Roberts’ lawyer David Boies has said he will seek to depose the duke and possibly his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, among others. Andrew’s side will depose his accuser and her associates, and perhaps her lawyers.
Judge Lewis Kaplan has set a tentative trial date for September, with the case to be decided by a jury made up of a dozen members of the public.
Will Andrew testify?
He can refuse to give a deposition but it could result in a default judgment against him. If he attends the trial, he can decline to give evidence in person, or ‘take the fifth’, refusing to answer questions in order to avoid incriminating himself.
What evidence will be heard?
Miss Roberts will tell her account and bring witnesses she says back up her claims. It is thought she will use flight logs from Epstein’s private jets showing her being flown to locations she claims to have had sex with the duke. Evidence from Maxwell’s trial could also play a part, including testimony from the victim known only as Carolyn, who says she was pulled into Epstein’s sphere by Roberts herself.
What about the FBI wanting to speak to Andrew?
That is separate from this case. The FBI have been looking to speak to Andrew as a possible witness for at least the last two years as they continue to investigate Epstein’s global sex ring. A request filed with the Home Office under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty is currently gathering dust and has not been actioned.
Earlier this week Andrew’s lawyers called for the case against the royal in the US to be stopped because Ms Roberts is ‘actually domiciled in Australia’.
Ms Roberts is suing Andrew for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.
But Judge Lewis Kaplan, in a ruling in New York dated December 31, denied Andrew’s lawyers’ request, stating that Ms Giuffre’s legal team has previously received ‘at least one comprehensive request for documents relating to her domicile, to which responses are due, and have been promised, by January 14’.
The judge added his ruling was being made ‘without determining the merit, or lack of merit’ of an assertion by Ms Giuffre’s team that Andrew’s lawyers’ motion was ‘a transparent attempt to delay discovery into his own documents and testimony’.
Ms Giuffre claims she was trafficked by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with Andrew.
She was pictured with the royal and his friend Ghislaine Maxwell during the period the alleged intercourse took place.
Ms Giuffre has alleged in the past she had sex with Andrew in London and New York when she was aged 17, a minor under US law, and again aged 18 on a private Caribbean island owned by Epstein where an orgy took place.
Andrew has denied all the allegations.
Oral arguments via a video teleconference on the prince’s request to dismiss the case are scheduled for Monday in the US.
Maxwell, 60, was convicted in the US on Wednesday of helping to entice vulnerable teenagers to the properties of Epstein, her former boyfriend, for him to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.
She was labelled ‘dangerous’ by the prosecution and faces the rest of her life in jail.
Her friendship with Andrew has seen renewed scrutiny of Ms Giuffre’s civil claim for damages against the duke.
Andrew was photographed, for the first time since Maxwell’s conviction, driving himself in a Range Rover towards Windsor Castle at lunchtime on Friday.
But on Sunday he faced fresh pressure to cut his ties with the military and charities amid the sex assault saga.
The Duke stepped down from public duties in November 2019 ‘for the foreseeable future’ over his friendship with Epstein.
A source said: ‘If [Prince Andrew] loses the case, the question is what do you do with him?
‘You can’t make him resign like you would a normal person but he would be asked to put his dukedom into abeyance.’
Royal insiders said it would be difficult to persuade the Queen to remove the title of Duke of York as ‘it was held by her father, George VI, before he became king.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said with regard to claims the Duke might lose his title: ‘This is speculation and the comments are without foundation. We would not comment on an ongoing legal matter.’
Royal courtiers are said to be discussing plans to strip Prince Andrew of his Duke of York title if he loses the lawsuit brought by sex abuse accuser Virginia Giuffre. Other ideas allegedly being considered by the Royal household include sending the Duke into some form of ‘internal exile’ and asking him to relinquish any links he still has to charities. And in a further blow, the Duke is said to be under pressure to give up his nine military roles, according to defence sources
The decision to remove the military titles would need come from the Queen and Buckingham Palace officials but defence sources said ‘there would be no objection from the armed forces’. (Above, members of the Royal Family in 2019)
What military titles does Andrew hold?
- Vice-Admiral – Personal Aide-de-Camp to the Queen
- Colonel – Grenadier Guards
- Colonel-in-Chief – 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’s); Royal Irish Regiment (27th (Inniskilling) 83rd and 87th and Ulster Defence Regiment); Small Arms School Corps; and Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th and 33rd/76th Foot)
- Royal Colonel – Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland
- Honorary Air Commodore – Royal Air Force Lossiemouth
- Commodore-in-Chief – Fleet Air Arm
And in a further blow, the Duke is said to be under pressure to give up his nine military roles, according to defence sources.
Military chiefs hope he will resign so the Queen doesn’t have to strip him of his honorary titles, the Sunday People reported.
In light of the Duke’s close friendship with Epstein and Maxwell, senior Army commanders believe it is not feasible for Andrew to carry on his role as colonel-in-chief of the nine military regiments, units and corps.
Those roles are: Vice-Admiral – Personal Aide-de-Camp to the Queen; Colonel – Grenadier Guards; Colonel-in-Chief – 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’s); Royal Irish Regiment (27th (Inniskilling) 83rd and 87th and Ulster Defence Regiment); Small Arms School Corps; and Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th and 33rd/76th Foot); Royal Colonel – Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland; Honorary Air Commodore – Royal Air Force Lossiemouth; and Commodore-in-Chief – Fleet Air Arm.
Senior military chiefs privately labelled Andrew as ‘toxic’ – with a source saying: ‘Even if Andrew is completely exonerated from any wrongdoing he is now regarded as toxic. It is expected he will do the decent thing and resign.’
The decision to remove the titles would need come from the Queen and Buckingham Palace officials but defence sources told the Sunday People that there would be no objection from the armed forces.
Duke’s security needs to be urgently reviewed as people could become fixated on him in wake of Maxwell conviction, says ex-royal protection expert
Prince Andrew’s security should be urgently reviewed because people could become fixated on him after Ghislaine Maxwell’s conviction, a former protection chief for the Queen and Royal Family said.
Dai Davies told the Sun: ‘Prince Andrew has not been convicted of anything — but the Maxwell verdict is a game-changer.’
His comments follow a recent security scare for the Duke.
Prince Andrew was given a shock in early December after a woman ran up to his Range Rover and shouted ‘Andrew, Andrew!’ through the window
On December 17, Prince Andrew was given a shock after a woman ran up to his Range Rover and shouted ‘Andrew, Andrew!’ through his car window.
The Duke of York was doing his regular short drive from his Royal Lodge home to Windsor Castle to go horse riding when, at a public road junction, the woman appeared at his car window.
Photos showed her hammering on the glass and appearing to shout at the Prince, who sat awkwardly in his car seat. She was later questioned by police nearby.