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The Queen is funding her son Prince Andrew's legal defence to the tune of millions of pounds as he fights sex abuse allegations, it has been reported.
Andrew, 61, is accused of sexually assaulting Virginia Roberts Giuffre on three separate occasions when she was 17 years old, charges the Duke of York has strenuously denied.
Last week, he is reported to have expanded his US legal team, after being served with a sex assault lawsuit by Giuffre's lawyers.
His lead counsel, Andrew Brettler, is said to be charging $2,000 (£1,500) an hour to represent the Duke.
The Telegraph reports that Her Majesty, 95, agreed to pay for her son's defence at the beginning of last year after his disastrous Newsnight interview.
During his appearance, the Duke failed to express regret over his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, through whom he is alleged to have met Giuffre.
The Telegraph adds that financial intervention was considered a necessity, as Duke has no discernible income, and this way, Buckingham Palace is updated on developments.
It is believed the Queen generally funds Prince Andrew.
Last week, Andrew also added Melissa Lerner to his legal team, from famous LA law firm Lavley Singer.
The firm is well-known for representing celebrities.
Funds for Andrew's legal defence will reportedly be sourced from Her Majesty's annual income from the Duchy of Lancaster estate.
This recently increased by £1.5million to £23m.
The case could take months or even years to resolve, with any potential settlement stretching into the millions of pounds.
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Giuffre, now 38, claims she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with Andrew when she was 17 and a minor under US law.
One alleged occasion was at the London home of Epstein's longtime associate Ghislaine Maxwell.
She also alleged that Andrew abused her at around the same time at Epstein's Manhattan mansion and on his private island in the US Virgin Islands.
In August 2019, Epstein was found dead in his cell at a Manhattan federal jail while awaiting a sex trafficking trial.
Prince Andrew's personal finances remain something of a mystery as he has no known income.
He is reportedly selling a Swiss ski chalet he bought for £17m with his ex-wife the Duchess of York to settle debts with the previous owner.
The Duke leases his home, Royal Lodge on the Queen's Windsor estate, which is owned by the Crown estate.
- Prince Andrew
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