U.K. police taking “no further action” against Prince Andrew

London — British police have decided not to take any further action against Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth’s second son, after reviewing evidence presented to a U.S. court by an American woman who claims the royal sexually assaulted her as a minor. Over the summer, London’s Metropolitan Police looked at the evidence presented by Virginia Giuffre, who says she was forced to have sex with Andrew.

“This review has concluded and we are taking no further action,” the police said in a statement.

As CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reports, Prince Andrew has denied the allegations from the very beginning, telling a British TV interviewer bluntly that he had “no recollection of meeting this lady, none whatsoever.”

Giuffre says a now-familiar photo, of Prince Andrew with his arm around her as a young woman, is evidence to the contrary. Andrew has suggested the photo could have been faked.

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Britain’s Prince Andrew is seen in a file photo with Virginia Giuffre (center) and Ghislaine Maxwell. Rex Features

Giuffre claims she was forced to have sex with the prince in Florida when she was 17 years old after being trafficked to the encounter by Ghislaine Maxwell, a close friend of the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein’s 2019 death in a New York jail cell was ruled a suicide. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking and other changes.

“He needs to be held accountable, we need to show the world that the rich and mighty can fall too,” Giuffre told CBS News last year of Prince Andrew. 

The scandal has made Andrew a royal embarrassment

He’s been withdrawn from his official duties and largely disappeared from public view.  He was even conspicuously missing from the official family photos of his daughter Princess Beatrice’s wedding in 2020.

Queen Elizabeth II is now 95 years old, and a widow after the death of Prince Philp earlier this year.

The royal family is working hard to ensure a seamless handoff to the next monarch, the queen’s first son, Prince Charles, with a prominent role for his son Prince William and his young family.

Court to hear Prince Andrew civil lawsuit 02:41

In an August radio interview, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick insisted that “no one is above the law,” including Prince Andrew.

While Andrew, the Duke of York, appeared on Monday to be clear of any possible criminal investigation in his home country, he is still facing a civil suit brought by Giuffre in the U.S., claiming sexual assault.

Mark Stephens, a British lawyer who has followed the case closely, says the London police were aware that because it isn’t illegal in the U.K. to have sex with a 17-year-old, they would have had to prove that Andrew knew Giuffre was trafficked in order to prosecute the royal. He said the Met’s decision shows they apparently didn’t believe there was enough evidence to prove that.