Prince Harry becomes the first British royal to publicly criticize Prince Andrew for ‘shameful scandal’

The Duke of Sussex has spoken out about the allegations his uncle sexually abused a 17-year-old teenager

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Prince Andrew at Westminster Abbey in London on March 11, 2019.
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Prince Andrew at Westminster Abbey in London on March 11, 2019.Kirsty Wigglesworth (Getty Images)

Prince Harry has become the first British royal to publicly criticize Prince Andrew over the scandal that broke out over his friendship with sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein and allegations he sexually abused Virginia Giuffre when she was a minor – a lawsuit he settled for a million-pound sum.

In his memoir Spare, which was officially released on Tuesday, Prince Harry recounts an incident where his wife, Meghan Markle, asks him if the British royal family would cut their security detail after they left the United Kingdom for North America. Prince Harry replies, “no way,” pointing out that Prince Andrew continues to get protection despite the sex abuse scandal.

“Not in the wake of my Uncle Andrew. Despite being embroiled in a shameful scandal, accused of sexually assaulting a young girl, no one had even suggested removing his security. People have had plenty of reasons to complain about us, sex crimes weren’t one of them,” he writes in Spare.

Following the 2019 scandal, Prince Andrew was ostracized from the royal family and stripped of his royal titles and duties. He has kept a low profile since then, but continues to maintain his innocence.

Virginia Giuffre says she was 17 years old when she was sexually abused by Prince Andrew. She sued the Duke of York in 2021, saying she was coerced into sexual encounters with him in 2001 by Epstein and his longtime companion, Ghislaine Maxwell. Giuffre said she was sexually abused by Andrew at Maxwell’s London home, at Epstein’s New York mansion and his estate in the US Virgin Islands.

Andrew repeatedly denied Giuffre’s allegations and has said he can’t recall ever meeting her, although a photograph of Giuffre and Andrew together in a London townhouse, his arm around her bare midriff, was included in Giuffre’s lawsuit against him. In 2022, Prince Andrew and Giuffre reached an out-of-court settlement. The exact compensation was undisclosed, but it is estimated to be worth around £12 million ($16.3 million), with some of the money going to Giuffre directly and the rest to her victim support charity.

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