Prince Andrew 'WANTED' billboards appear across Britain as Duke dodges lawyers over Virginia Roberts rape lawsuit

Prince Andrew 'WANTED' billboards appear across Britain as Duke dodges lawyers over Virginia Roberts rape lawsuit

PRINCE Andrew billboards emblazoned with the word "WANTED" and phrase "no one should be above the law" have appeared across Britain.

The posters have sprung up in at least five locations as the Duke of York remains under fire as he has been accused of attempting to dodge a lawsuit that accuses him of rape.

Andrew strongly denies all allegations against him as papers filed byVirginia Roberts Giuffre's legal team alleged he assaulted her when she was just 17.

The Duke has been blasted for attempting to escape being served papers as he holidays with his mum, The Queen, at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

Anti-monarchist campaign group Republic put up the striking banners as part of a crowdfunded campaign to "#EndtheMonarchy".

Republic told The Sun Online that two of the billboards have been erected in Edinburgh, while three have been put up in London.

Andrew's face is emblazoned alongside the slogan "WANTED", which is followed by the anti-royal message "a democratic alternative to the monarchy".

Another features the Duke's picture simply with the message "no one should be above the law".

Other billboards erected by the group across Britain also take aim at Prince Charles and carry general anti-monarchist messages.

Graham Smith, CEO of Republic, blasted the "seedy" scandal and said it is the most damaging thing to happen to the monarchy in decades.

"The message is clear – he is dragging the monarchy through the mud," he told The Sun Online.

"He thinks can get away with it and hide behind Metropolitan Police officers while using the 'catch me if you can' defence."

Virginia alleges she was trafficked to have sex with Duke by convicted billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell.

Andrew has claimed he has never even met Virginia, has cast doubt over a photo of them together, and has denied any wrongdoing over his friendship with Epstein.

However, the 61-year-old now "cannot refuse" official court papers after an agreement was reached at the High Court in London.

The sense it's one rule for them and another for anyone else is a fundamental point of injustice

Mr Smith told The Sun Online: "The sense it's one rule for them and another for anyone else is a fundamental point of injustice.

"With Andrew this has been going for on for ten years – and since this civil suit has been launched its just getting worse and worse for him."

He added Andrew risks also damaging The Queen's reputation if he continues to "hide behind her security and in her home" – saying she is "not just his mother, she is the head of state" as he urged her to take action.

Lawyers representing his accuser Ms Roberts asked the British courts to notify the royal after first rejecting the papers citing a technicality.

And the High Court in London today accepted the request to formally contact the duke about the civil proceedings launched in America.

The documents can even be left with security at the gates of Balmoral and still legally be deemed to have been served, it is understood.

This is because if the High Court posts the paperwork to the duke's address then it is served under UK Law and the Hague Convention.

David Boies, lawyer for Ms Giuffre, told The Sun: "The bottom line is Prince Andrew is being served.

"That is the substance of what the High Court says. He cannot refuse."

Andrew may try to deny the complaint, he added, and his lawyers would then have to provide testimony and supporting documents.

Or he could try to challenge the jurisdiction of the US court – despite being served – and argue he is not subject to New York jurisdiction.

Either way he will have just 21 days to respond.

The High Court said: "The lawyers acting for Ms Giuffre have now provided further information to the High Court, and the High Court has accepted the request for service under the Hague Service Convention.

"The legal process has not yet been served but the High Court will now take steps to serve under the convention unless service is arranged by agreement between the parties."

Judge Lewis Kaplan ordered another week for lawyers to serve the writ and warned Andrew it will happen "sooner or later" at a pre-trial hearing in New York on Monday.

At the first pre-trial hearing, the duke's attorney Andrew B Brettler said their legal team had "significant concerns" about the lawsuit and branded it "baseless".

He added that Ms Giuffre had previously entered into a "settlement agreement" that would nullify her case.

Andrew has previously pledged to assist with any investigation into his former friend Epstein as he denies all allegations.

But there has been a long running war of words between his team and US prosecutors about how much assistance he has offered them.

Ms Giuffre is seeking unknown amounts of compensation and punitive damages over the allegations. 

She claims she feared for her life when she was allegedly forced to have sex with Andrew, who is accused of having been aware of her age and status as a "sex-trafficking victim".

Espstein hanged himself in his prison cell in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking offences.

Maxwell was arrested last July and is set to go on trial in November for allegedly recruiting underage girls for sex for the disgraced New York financier.

She has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The Sun Online has contacted a representative for Prince Andrew for comment on the billboards.

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