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New reports suggest that scandal-hit Prince Andrew will be kept away from the official Platinum Jubilee celebrations next year, following the painful scheduling clash of his US court case with the royal events.
An insider source has told The Sun that Andrew, 61, will be 'invisible' during the several-day festivities scheduled to take place between Thursday, June 2 and Sunday, June 5 next year.
It comes after documents have been lodged in New York showing that the civil case of rape and sexual assault being brought against him by Jeffrey Epstein's victim is moving as 'fast as possible'.
Judge Lewis Kaplan has ruled that all disclosures and depositions should be completed before July next year, with the agreement of both parties.
This means that key moments in the case will be heard in the lead-up to the national celebrations that mark Queen Elizabeth II's 70 years on the throne.
Royal expert Nigel Cawthorne, author of Prince Andrew: Epstein, Maxwell And The Palace, told the newspaper: 'It is very sensible otherwise the attention would all be on Andrew.
"It is an embarrassing situation for the Queen especially as she is stumping up for his defence. He just has to keep his head down."
Richard Fitzwilliams, royal commentator, earlier said that his court appearance would mean a "cloud" will be cast over the festivities.
Mr Fitzwilliams told MailOnline: "The news that the court case brought by Virginia Roberts Giuffre against Prince Andrew will be heard in the run-up to the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations is grim news for the Palace.
"It means that speculation which is certain to be sensational is likely to make headline news over the coming months.
The celebrations to mark Her Majesty reaching 70 years on the throne are set to be of the biggest events the UK has ever seen, according to one organiser.
The pageant will take place over a bumper four-day Bank Holiday weekend next year and will feature 6,500 performers on the last day alone.
The official milestone would be the first time any British monarch has celebrated a platinum jubilee.
The Palace and a spokesman for the duke did not wish to respond to the reports when approached by The Sun.
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- Prince Andrew
- Royal Family
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