Prince Andrew was pictured at Balmoral today as the High Court agreed to formally notify him about Virginia Roberts’s bombshell sex assault claim – raising the possibility he could have to give evidence.
The Queen’s son, 61, was seen with his former wife Sarah Ferguson on a lawn outside the castle, where Her Majesty is currently in residence.
In a major development, English judges accepted a request by Ms Roberts’ legal team to formally contact Andrew about the civil proceedings launched in America, after first rejecting the request, citing a technicality.
For one person to sue another in a civil case, the claimant has to formally present legal papers to the other party to notify them of the action – a process known as a service of proceedings.
Last week, Ms Roberts’ legal team said it had tried to serve papers to the 61-year-old by leaving the documents with a police officer at his home in southern England, in addition to sending them by Royal Mail.
However, despite Andrew being represented in court, his team have argued he has not yet been properly served so the case cannot progress.
In response, Ms Roberts’ legal team used the Hague Service Convention, a treaty governing requests between nations for evidence in civil cases, to ask the High Court to formally notify Andrew about her action.
After earlier highlighting an issue with the application, the High Court today said it has now been accepted. This means the court will serve Andrew the papers itself if Ms Roberts’ lawyers are unable to themselves.
Today’s development does not necessarily mean Andrew will have to defend himself in court.
Read more: No escape: Prince Andrew is seen with Fergie at Balmoral hideout after High Court agreed that he WILL be served court papers in Virginia Roberts rape case – meaning royal could face having to give evidence in US court