Princess Beatrice could be called as witness in Prince Andrew sexual abuse case

Princess Beatrice (L) has privately supported her father, Prince Andrew (R) - FD/Newspix international

Princess Beatrice (L) has privately supported her father, Prince Andrew (R) – FD/Newspix international

Princess Beatrice is preparing to be called as a witness in the Duke’s sexual abuse case.

Lawyers for Prince Andrew’s accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, have revealed they plan to seek depositions from two British witnesses, who are people “close to Andrew who would have knowledge of his actions.” The court deadline for submitting their details was January 14.

It was a birthday party that Princess Beatrice attended at Pizza Express in Woking that formed the plank of the Duke’s alibi when, during an interview on Newsnight in 2019, he denied meeting Ms Giuffre.

The Duke’s attempt to have the case dismissed on a technicality was thwarted by a New York judge this week, leaving him facing a civil trial by jury.

The Queen then moved swiftly to protect her family from the fallout, and stripped her second son of all military titles and patronages. He can also no longer use the style of His Royal Highness in any official capacity.

The sovereign left no room for manoeuvre, suggesting that there would be no return to public life regardless of the ultimate outcome of the trial.

Ms Giuffre, 38, who claims she was forced to have sex with the Duke on three separate occasions when she was 17, later insisted that he “must be held accountable” for his actions as she welcomed the court ruling and the chance to “expose the truth.”. Prince Andrew has denied all her claims.

The prospect of his closest family members having to face questioning from Ms Giuffre’s formidable legal team is an uncomfortable one for Prince Andrew.

David Boies, Ms Giuffre’s lawyer, has been dubbed the “great inquisitor” because of his skill at soliciting information.

He has already indicated that those he would seek to question in the Duke’s case “might include his ex-wife” and could even include his brother, the Prince of Wales.

The Duchess of York has been one of Prince Andrew’s lone defenders in recent years, repeatedly voicing her loyalty and respect for him in public. Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, while both shaken by the case, have also privately supported their father.

Prince Andrew's daughters are said to be shaken by their father's case - JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP

Prince Andrew’s daughters are said to be shaken by their father’s case – JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP

They would be asked to corroborate the Duke’s Pizza Express alibi, as well as his claim that he could not sweat.

Meanwhile, both sides have agreed a draft protective order outlining which documents and sensitive information obtained in the discovery process will remain secret.

They include medical records, phone numbers, tax returns, banking information and the names of alleged underage victims of sexual abuse. Portions of deposition transcripts can also be designated confidential.

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