Beatrices baby is welcome distraction from long-lasting impact of Andrew claims, expert says

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The accusations against Prince Andrew will have a ‘long-lasting impact’ on his close-knit family, experts exclusively tell OK!.

This week, the Duke of York's legal team accepted that he has been correctly served with legal papers by his sex accuser, Virginia Roberts.

The ninth in line to the throne now has 21 days to respond to her accusations of rape, sexual assault and sexual battery. The duke denies the allegations and has said he has no recollection of meeting Giuffre.

Allies of the duke have suggested his decision to stay at Balmoral in Scotland after the birth of his new granddaughter has nothing to do with any attempt to avoid being served with court papers.

But the fact that he has not been to London to visit his daughter Beatrice, who welcomed her first child on Saturday, has raised eyebrows.

The baby was born at the Chelsea and Westminster hospital, weighing 6lb 2oz, on Saturday. Friends said they had no idea when Andrew, whose trip to join the Queen at Balmoral is said to have been long planned, will return to his home at Windsor.

Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams tells OK!: “I must emphasise how close of a family the Yorks are – Beatrice and Eugenie are devoted to their father and their mother."

Fitzwilliams claims the allegations against the duke will have a "long-lasting impact" on his daughters.

“In normal circumstances, given the Sussexes have stepped down, and given that so many members of the royal family who do engagements are on the older side, they would be ideal working royals,” he said.

“It now seems simply unlikely because of the problems that are attached to Andrew.”

Beatrice's daughter, who is 11th in line to the throne, is the Queen's 12th great-grandchild.

Princess Beatrice, 33, and Mr Mapelli Mozzi, 38, a property developer, married in July 2020 in a private lockdown wedding which was attended by the Queen and Prince Philip. They had been forced to call off their planned ceremony at St James's Palace in May because of the pandemic.

Royal expert Duncan Larcombe tells OK!: "Princess Beatrice is quite a mumsy person anyway – I think she’s one of those people who is really well-suited to being a mum.

"She’s not been married for long and she’s got a family of her own and the timing will be a welcome distraction for the whole family."

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