The Queen is to foot part of the bill for Prince Andrew’s sexual abuse lawsuit, which could end up costing some £12 million, reports claimed tonight.
The humiliated Duke of York’s mother is said to be set to help fund the settlement, which was agreed between lawyers in a sensational development on Tuesday.
The move is understood to be a bid to draw a line under the scandal before her much-anticipated Jubilee celebrations latter this year, which he will apparently be banned from attending.
It comes just weeks after Andrew vowed to contest Virginia Roberts’ rape claims at a public trial. Miss Roberts had alleged she was forced to have sex with the duke three times when she was 17 under the orders of the late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Only last month, she was given the go-ahead to sue Andrew, 61, for unspecified damages in a New York civil court.
But despite vowing to fight the allegations and repeatedly protesting his innocence, the prince yesterday agreed to pay a huge sum to settle the case before it ever reaches a jury.
It comes as reports suggest the Queen herself will provide money to pay for the settlement, according to the Telegraph.
The paper suggests the total amount that the victim and her charity will receive will actually exceed £12m, with the funds coming from her private Duchy of Lancaster estate, which recently increased by £1.5m to more than £23m.