Prince Andrew is expected to speak out today on allegations he sexually abused a teenage girl. The prince is due to give a keynote speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos in which it is expected he will mention the claims.
According to the Telegraph, the Duke of York is hosting an event for entrepreneurs at the conference in Switzerland and is reported to have decided to tackle the ongoing controversy head-on to stop it becoming the “elephant in the room”.
Buckingham Palace has also invited a TV cameraman, a photographer and a reporter to cover the prince’s speech, which will be his first since the allegations emerged.
The appearance comes as Virginia Roberts, who accuses the prince of sexually abusing her while she was under age, filed documents in a Florida court calling for him to be interviewed under oath over the allegations. The affidavit also says that she has asked lawyers to “pursue all reasonable and legitimate means” to have criminal charges brought against him.
The prince’s remarks will come at the start of his speech today in an attempt to draw a line under the matter before he talks about the main business of the day. If he does speak out, it will be the first time a member of the Royal Family has tackled a scandal head on, rather than issue a statement through a spokesman, thus setting a new precedent.
The prince’s former wife, the Duchess of York, has already spoken out against the allegations, but as she is divorced from Andrew, she is no longer a member of the Royal Family.
Diana, Princess of Wales and King Edward VIII both made public statements on their love life, but they were to simply confirm allegations rather than deny impropriety.