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Queen 'gave £2m to Virginia Giuffre's charity' as part of Andrew's £12m settlement
17 February 2022, 06:27 | Updated: 17 February 2022, 06:35
The Queen personally made a donation of £2 million to Virginia Giuffre's charity as part of Prince Andrew's settlement with his accuser, according to reports.
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It is understood the Queen has agreed to help the Duke of York fund the settlement - reported to be around £12 million - as long as she made no personal payments to Ms Giuffre.
A source told the Mirror that she "could not be seen to be making a payment to a victim of sexual assault, who accused her son of being an abuser".
"But a deal was structured in such a way to arrange a sizeable financial contribution to the settlement by way of a charitable donation instead," added the source.
It adds to pressure on the Duke for him to "come clean" about where the money for the settlement is coming from.
A royal expert said it is likely "we will never know what contribution came from the Queen to the Duke of York to help with [the legal costs and the settlement]".
Joe Little, of Majesty magazine, said: "I think if we are clear that it is coming from a private source, albeit the Queen, then it's no burden to the taxpayer.
"I think perhaps that needs to be underlined.
"The figures are pretty transparent nowadays.
"The Queen has a private income which she uses to support various members of her family so if that's the case then so be it.
"Who else is going to support him other than the Queen?"
The settlement between Prince Andrew and Ms Giuffre was announced on Tuesday.
As part of it, neither of them are allowed the discuss the case or the financial deal - meaning Andrew has essentially agreed not to repeat his denial that he raped, or even met, Ms Giuffre.
It is unclear how long the gagging clause is in force for, but it is understood a key concern by the Duke was ensuring nothing impacted on the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
The role Andrew will have in public life going forward is still not clear.
But he reportedly remains adamant that he will attend a memorial service for his father Prince Philip next month.
However, the Times reported there were concerns his presence - which would likely be his first public appearance since the settlement - would "overshadow" the event.
On Wednesday, former chief prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service Nazir Afzal hit out at the tactics of the Prince and his legal team throughout the legal process, accusing him of "victim blaming" and saying the handling of the case would deter victims of sexual abuse from coming forward.
"The Prince has spent the last two years victim blaming," said Mr Afzal.
"He's been saying that victims are lying... he was saying that they have false memories.
"These are the kinds of things that I have heard over the years from people who are working on behalf of predators in relation to people who have been traumatised by the most horrific abuse."
The lawyer added: "[Victims] will have heard what's been said very publicly over the last two years by the Prince and his legal team, which will have reminded them of what they have gone through and will have deterred many others from coming forward.
"That's why I'm angry."
He cited the already low conviction rate for rape in the UK, and highlighted the treatment that those who do come forward are often subjected to in court.
"People are extraordinarily courageous if they come forward, extraordinarily courageous if they give evidence, they then suffer this constant reframe that 'you're making it up', 'you're lying', 'you're mentally ill', whatever it may be," he said.
"It's [already] a struggle to encourage and support victims to come forward, and so many of them [have] chosen not to."
Ms Giuffre had alleged she was forced to have sex with the duke three times when she was 17 under the orders of the late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Andrew has vehemently denied all allegations against him.
The settlement comes just weeks after Andrew vowed to contest Ms Giuffre's claims at a public trial.