The royal family is "relieved" that Prince Andrew will not be facing his accuser, Virginia Roberts, in court after all.
On February 15, it was revealed that the dad-of-two and Roberts settled after she sued him for allegedly raping her when she was 17 years old.
"Going to trial, it could have been very, very nasty," expert Penny Junor stated. "It could have been embarrassing, humiliating, and it would have been huge fodder for the tabloid press. It could have really taken the shine off the Queen's Platinum Jubilee year. At last, he’s expressing some regret and some empathy for those girls."
In 2019, Andrew participated in a Newsnight interview, where he didn't show any empathy towards Roberts.
But when his statement was released about Roberts, it showed him in a different light.
"Virginia Giuffre and Prince Andrew have reached an out of court settlement," the papers read. "The parties will file a stipulated dismissal upon Ms. Giuffre's receipt of the settlement (the sum of which is not being disclosed). Prince Andrew intends to make a substantial donation to Ms. Giuffre's charity in support of victims' rights. Prince Andrew has never intended to malign Ms. Giuffre's character, and he accepts that she has suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks."
The message continues, "It is known that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked countless young girls over many years. Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms. Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others. He pledges to demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein by supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims."
“He’s got it right now, it took him a long time to get there but I think he’s got it right," Junor said, adding that she believes it's "unlikely" he will ever return to his royal duties.