Prince Andrew ‘convinced’ rape allegations will ‘blow over’ claims royal source

Prince Andrew thinks sexual assault allegations will "blow over" by the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, a source claims.

The Duke of York is reportedly "bullish" about returning to public life next year by brushing off “rape in the first degree” allegations.

A lawsuit has been filed against the Prince from a former sex slave of his late criminal pal, Jeffrey Epstein.

According to The Mirror, Andrew, 61, is eyeing up a return to the royal front line in time for the Queen’s historic 70th anniversary on the throne next year.

This is despite palace sources insisting he will "not take part" in any of the official celebrations.

Insiders have spoken of Andrew’s decision to maintain a "wall of silence" over lurid allegations by sex trafficking victim Virginia Giuffre.

Ms Giuffre, now 38, has accused the Duke of sexually abusing her at financier Epstein’s Manhattan mansion as well as his private Caribbean island, and at the London home of his lover Ghislaine Maxwell who is currently in a New York jail awaiting sex abuse and grooming charges.

She is claiming damages for emotional harm and distress which could run into millions of pounds if successful.

One source close to the royal said: "It is clear he (Andrew) has a clear and burning desire to return to work as soon as possible.

"That may look entirely impossible but if anything he’s become emboldened in recent weeks and remains utterly convinced he will not only be exonerated but will certainly forge a way back to public life.

"Certainly he has given the incredibly bullish impression that this will all blow over within a short while, rather than become a protracted issue."

Andrew this week fled for the second time in a month to the Queen’s Balmoral estate in Scotland, after appearing to avoid multiple attempts to serve legal papers at his mansion in Windsor nearly 500 miles away.

He was reportedly “going stir crazy” living at his Royal Lodge house in the shadow of Windsor Castle, after choosing not to respond to the bombshell lawsuit filed in New York by Ms Giuffre, also known as Virginia Roberts.

She has claimed the Duke sexually abused her on three occasions when she was 17.

Her lawyer David Boies has said Andrew "cannot hide behind wealth and palace walls" and must respond to the allegations.

After travelling to Balmoral with his live-in former wife Sarah Ferguson, 61, another source revealed the Duke had been in a "buoyant" mood, despite finding himself in the face of a "tsunami of s***".

The source added: "The plan, if you can call it a plan, is to say absolutely nothing in the face of these allegations.

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"Andrew claims he hasn’t read the news and hasn’t kept up with what is happening around him, which anyone can see is not only catastrophic for his reputation but very damaging for the wider royal family.

"Whether he can keep it up remains to be seen but it’s not a good look by any stretch of the imagination."

Prince Andrew has vehemently denied claims he had sex with Giuffre and said he has no recollection of meeting her.

If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 08 08 16 89 111 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.

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