Andrew to resume public role despite ongoing controversy
A “resilient” Duke of York will attempt to put allegations of underage sex with a teenager behind him and return to public life when he attends a conference for world and business leaders.
Andrew has faced mounting controversy after he was named in US court documents as having had sex with a woman, identified in reports as Virginia Roberts, on three occasions when she was a minor.
Palace officials have “emphatically denied” he had sexual contact with the woman and a royal aide added that in the coming weeks the Duke will be focusing on his work promoting education, technology and enterprise.
He flew home yesterday from a skiing holiday in the Swiss resort of Verbier but is expected to return to the country in a few weeks to join prime ministers, business leaders and economists at Davos, the venue for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting.
A royal aide suggested that, after the traditional New Year break, Andrew would “move on and push ahead” with his work.
The aide said: “The civil case is an ongoing process that won’t end any time soon. However, since 2012 the duke has worked very hard to establish and refocus his working priorities on education, technology and enterprise and he will carry on with that work.
“It’s fair to say that the Duke of York is nothing if not resilient. He will be keen to push on with the work he’s been doing in recent years.”
Andrew has regularly attended Davos in recent years and usually hosts a reception for leading figures from the worlds of business and politics.
The event, which runs from January 21 to 24, is not listed in Andrew’s official online diary but there is nothing to suggest he will not attend.
Ms Roberts, a US citizen, waived her anonymity in an interview with the Mail on Sunday in 2011, in which she claimed she had been sexually exploited by American billionaire and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein — a former friend of the Duke.
In the US court papers, she alleges that between 1999 and 2002 she “was forced to have sexual relations with this prince when she was a minor” in London, New York and on a private Caribbean island owned by Epstein.
The accusation is reportedly contained in a motion filed in a Florida court last week
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