Prince Andrew 'has apologised to the Queen & his daughters over Virginia Giuffre scandal as he settles sex assault case'

HUMILIATED Prince Andrew has said sorry to his mother the Queen as well as his daughters Beatrice and Eugenie in the wake of his settlement with Virginia Roberts.

The shamed Duke of York is making secret nightly visits to Her Majesty at Windsor Castle as his reputation lies in tatters in the wake of his £10m settlement.

Andrew, whose 62nd birthday yesterday went entirely unmarked by the Royal Family, has said sorry for causing so much trouble to his mother in what has already been a difficult last 12 months.

This past year has seen the Queen lose her beloved husband Prince Philip, her grandson Prince Harry announce a new bombshell memoir about his leaving the Royal Family, and her "favourite son" Andrew face a court battle which would have seen his private life exposed for the world to see.

The Sun on Sunday has revealed Andrew has made the five-mile journey from his home at the Royal Lodge home to Windsor Castle every evening to speak to the Queen, 95, since the announcement of his settlement with sex crime accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre.

He has also apologised to his daughters Beatrice and Eugenie over the scandal.

"Andrew has been very careful and is trying to keep out of sight," a royal insider said.

"He knows there are photographers in the daytime and his best chance to avoid them is after dark."

The insider went on: "He knows he is meant to be keeping his head down and it's a short trip, but he is extremely contrite and apologised to the Queen for all the trouble he has caused her.

"He realises how serious this whole issue has been and the damage it has done to the monarchy.

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"The last thing he wanted to do was cause his beloved mother so much anguish at her age and in her Platinum Jubilee year.

"He is just so grateful for her support and it's certainly true that the Queen has a soft spot for Andrew and regards him as her favourite son."

It comes as Andrew's reputation lies in tatters, with his prospect of being allowed back into the fold as a working royal "almost zero", according to royal expert Jonathan Sacerdoti.

Even before the announcement of his shocking U-turn over his New York civil court case, he was already stripped of his military titles by his mother.

In a statement, the Queen said Andrew would be fighting his court battle as a "private citizen", in a bid to protect the reputation of the Royals.

The move, reportedly taken after Her Majesty spoke with senior royals including Charles and William, was said to be one of the hardest in Her Majesty's 70 years on the throne.

[Prince Andrew] realises how serious this whole issue has been and the damage it has done to the monarchy

Andrew's historic settlement with Virginia Roberts included the first public expression of regret by the Duke of York for his former friendship with disgraced paedo financier Jeffrey Epstein.

It came just weeks before he was due to face a grueling two-day deposition at the hands of Virginia's lawyer David Boies, one of the most respected deposition lawyers in the States.

The Duke's settlement is likely to come in the form of a donation to Virginia's charity, although royal finances expert David McClure has told The Sun Online that the exact source of Andrew's settlement cash is a mystery.

Sources have also claimed Andrew is looking to the example of his nephew Prince Harry, seen earlier this week at the Super Bowl with Princess Eugenie, for how to carve out a life for himself now his life as a working royal is over.

"Andrew has been in turmoil about the whole thing," the source said.

"And one thing he has done is reach out to Harry about life outside 'The Firm' and things like security and what he can do in the future.

"He has seen how Harry has managed to carve out a new life for himself away from the Royal Family."

They added: "He has also said sorry to Beatrice and Eugenie and voiced his fears that their children would grow up hearing about the case."

Today, Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen has Covid-19.

Officials say she is experiencing "mild cold-like symptoms" but still expects to carry out "light duties" this week.

In a statement, the Palace said: "She will continue to receive medical attention and will follow all the appropriate guidelines."

The Queen is believed to have spent time with Charles on February 8 at Windsor Castle, days before he tested positive for Covid.

He has since recovered, but Camilla later tested positive on February 14 and was self-isolating.

On February 16, the Queen carried out her first face-to-face engagement at Windsor Castle since December.

Smiling broadly and walking with a stick, Her Majesty met with the incoming and outgoing Defence Service Secretaries.

The Queen, who has suffered recent health scares, last year pulled out of a Remembrance Day service with a "sprained back".

But this week, displaying her trademark dry sense of humour, she responded to a question about her health by pointing at her left leg and saying: "Well, as you can see, I can't move."

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