On Monday, the High Court said it will act to serve civil case papers against the Duke of York, marking a distinct tone shift for Prince Andrew. Last week, Andrew, 61, was reportedly convinced he would easily beat Virginia Giuffre’s sex allegations against him, but the Duke now fears the legal battle could go on for years and end up costing millions of pounds.
Ms Giuffre accused Prince Andrew of forcing her to sleep with him three times when she was 17.
An insider told the Mirror: “He’s not been his usual blasé self, acting like everything is in hand.
“The issue has suddenly become very pressing and there is a distinct tension in the air.
“There has been a dramatic shift in mood and the reality that this could not only go on for many months, if not years, as well as costing potentially millions of pounds is very real.”
Another insider added: “The stark reality is that the Duke and his team need to face the fact they need to address this.”
Legal experts have predicted Ms Giuffre could walk away to the tune of £14m if she wins the court battle.
On Wednesday, The High Court in London confirmed it has accepted a request by Ms Giuffre’s legal team to formally contact Andrew about the civil proceedings launched in America.
The High Court will now begin making arrangements for service of proceedings on the Queen’s son, giving him details of the claim against him.
READ MORE: Courts could force Prince Andrew to give evidence
Prince Andrew has vehemently denied all the allegations brought against him.