The Duke of York may face a jury over allegations he sexually abused an underage girl, which he strenuously denies
The civil lawsuit against Prince Andrew was filed by Virginia Giuffre, who alleges that the Duke sexually abused her as a teenager on multiple occasions in 2001.
Giuffre claims she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein and Prince Andrew was friends with the late sex offender. Her lawsuit also claims that the Duke had sex with her without consent when she was underage, despite knowing how old she was.
Andrew has vehemently denied the allegations and sought to dismiss the lawsuit earlier this month. However, a US judge threw out the motion to dismiss the case, which pushes the Duke a step closer to appearing in front of a jury.
The case marks the first time a member of the royal family has been formally accused of sexual abuse. However, this is not the first time a member of the royal family has faced legal action.
Here is everything we know about the royal family’s history with the court of law.
Has a royal ever been accused of sexual abuse?
There is no record of another royal being formally accused of sexual abuse. However, Andrew is not the only modern-day prince to be linked to a sexual abuser.
Prince Charles had a long friendship with the late entertainer, Jimmy Savile, who sexually abused hundreds of children and women at the peak of his fame.
Reports of his abuse emerged after his death in 2011. Investigators believe he victimised around 500 people, some as young as two years old, in hospitals and institutions across England.
There was been no evidence or suggestion that Charles or his staff were aware of Savile’s behaviour. A former royal press secretary, Dickie Arbiter, told an ITV documentary about the Top of the Pops host that the Prince of Wales had been “gullible, as was everybody else”.
Has a royal ever faced a legal trial?
Yes. Charles I, who was the King of England, Scotland and Ireland from 1625 until 1649, was accused of treason against England by using his power to pursue his personal interests rather than the good of the country.
He stood trial after a bill was passed to create a separate court, as no king had ever stood trial before. Charles I was found guilty and sentenced to death by execution.
Charles, Prince of Wales, has also faced legal action, although the case did not go to trial. He was sued by a law student in 1978 after an appearance in Ohio, for alleged deprivation of “various rights guaranteed by the US Constitution”.
However, the case did not progress.
Has any royal ever been convicted of a crime?
Yes. In 2002, Princess Anne became the first senior royal to be convicted of a criminal offence after her English bull terrier Dotty bit two children in Windsor Great Park.
The Princess Royal pleaded guilty at East Berkshire Magistrates’ Court in Slough to a charge under the Dangerous Dogs Act and paid a £500 fine.
Can a royal be arrested?
All members of the royal family can be arrested, except the Queen. The Queen is covered by sovereign immunity, which means she cannot commit a legal wrong and is immune from civil or criminal proceedings.
This immunity does not extend to the rest of the royal family. However, members of the royal household cannot be arrested in the presence of the Queen or anywhere near or in Buckingham Palace, according to British Heritage.