How The Queen Is Reportedly Playing A Part In Prince Andrew's Settlement

Prince Andrew continues to cast a dark shadow around what should be an important year for his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. News broke that the disgraced royal would be settling the lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre for a substantial amount, The Washington Post reports, bringing an end to the tumultuous time in the prince's life.

Rumors began swirling immediately about why the prince was settling the lawsuit against him. In it, Giuffre alleges Andrew sexually assaulted her on three occasions after being introduced by Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. Andrew's lawyers tried to get the case dismissed before it was fought in open court. In the month since that decision was made, Andrew's legal team had been in negotiations with Giuffre's lawyers about a settlement. "But her legal team were said to be surprised at the suddenness of Andrew's capitulation," the Daily Mail reports, "with things taking a dramatic turn in recent days."

In the past, Andrew has given no indication he would ever settle. In the weeks since the case wasn't dismissed, there have been what the Daily Mail calls a "string of aggressive accusations" against Giuffre, including her being a "money-hungry sex kitten."

In his statement, the prince did not admit to any of the allegations against him, but was apologetic about his associations with Epstein and would make amends by "supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims," People reports. The fallout begs the question: What led to Andrew's change in tactics?

This is how much Prince Andrew is paying Virginia Giuffre in his lawsuit settlement

With Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee underway, sources close to the family say the timing of Prince Andrew's settlement makes sense. Sources told The Mirror that the prince was "under intense pressure from the very top" to "sort this mess out."

Sources close to Andrew told The Mirror that the prince "wholly maintains his innocence" and that he believes "he can still find a way back into public life." However, senior royal sources told the Daily Mail, "He has ruled himself out of any public role by virtue of his appalling lack of judgment and poor choice of friends and associates."

The Duke of York — who has been asked to renounce one of his remaining titles out of respect for York, according to the Independent – needs help from the "very top" in order to pay the settlement. While the exact number was undisclosed, People reports Andrew will be paying up to $16 million, with a good portion of the money going to Virginia Guiffre's charity "in support of victims' rights."

In order to pay this large sum, it's reported that the queen is stepping in to help. Andrew is selling a chalet, according to The Mirror, which will help raise some of the funds needed. The rest will come from the queen's "private Duchy of Lancaster estate," according to People. Meaning, no taxpayer money will be used to pay Andrew's legal fees.