SENIOR royals are “deeply shocked” that Prince Andrew wants to fight his sex abuse case before a jury — and are urging him to settle it quickly, UK Times has been told.
Princes Charles, 73, and William, 39, are leading efforts to persuade him to stop the case dragging on to protect the family from further humiliation, royal sources say.
It comes as the lawyer for his accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, said Duke of York Andrew’s plan not to testify in person was a “devastating tactical error”.
Andrew, 61, has asked for his hearing in New York, set for autumn, to be heard by a jury as he seeks to clear his name on claims he sexually abused former Jeffrey Epstein sex slave Miss Giuffre, 38.
He is preparing to give a sworn statement and sources say his lawyers hope to convince the judge to allow him to appear via video-link from his Windsor mansion.
His deposition is likely to take seven hours and they do not want a repeat of his notorious 2019 Newsnight interview in which he denied having met Miss Giuffre.
A Royal source told UK Times: “After the car crash of Newsnight no-one thinks a seven-hour deposition is a good idea. If he were to appear in court it could be many times worse and senior royals were deeply shocked when they heard that he was demanding a jury trial.
“The best outcome for everyone is that this is settled as soon as possible. There are deep, deep worries that this will get worse and worse for the family and will overshadow Platinum Jubilee celebrations.”
The Queen, 95, was seen for the first time yesterday since Andrew announced his wish for a jury trial. She was spotted being driven back to Wood Farm on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.
Fortunately for the monarch, his testimony will not be aired before her 70th anniversary celebrations in June.
Sources say it must be filed by July 14 but will not be released before the trial.
Miss Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boies, meanwhile, said Judge Lewis A. Kaplan could order the Duke to attend court.
🔵 Read our Royal Family live blog for the latest updates
He said: “It’s up to the judge”.
He added: “My strong expectation is that he’s going to appear at trial.
“It would be, I think, a devastating tactical error for him to simply thumb his nose at the jury and not show up.”