There will be no reputation rehabilitation from this for the Queen’s second son, only disdain.

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It was always going to end like this for Prince Andrew.

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Never mind the sweat and swagger, the ‘who me?’ protests and the fancy title, the Puke of York was simply out of cards to play. And probably money, too.

The finale was as clear as the unmasking of the villain in a 1970s cop show. The killer was obvious before the first commercial break.

And on Tuesday morning it came: Prince Andrew had reached an out-of-court settlement with Virginia Roberts Giuffre in her lawsuit against him that claimed he had sex with her three times when she was 17 and underage.

Two people were the common threads between a member of the Royal Family and a poor Florida kid from the wrong side of tracks. Of course, they were billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his sex-trafficking muse of him, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.

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Virginia Roberts Giuffre
Virginia Roberts Giuffre Photo by HANDOUT /US DEPT. OF JUSTICE

It was that terrible twosome who Giuffre says instructed her to have sex with the prince, who continues to deny any wrongdoing.

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But Andrew is in disgrace, unlikely to rebound in any meaningful way. He has been stripped of duties and titles and his mother from him the Queen even binned his prized HRH title.

In a joint statement that has the potency of Pablum, the two sides said the settlement involved an undisclosed sum and a promise from Andrew to make a big donation to Giuffre’s charity supporting victims’ rights.

“Prince Andrew has never intended to malign Ms. Giuffre’s character, and he accepts that she has suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks,” the filing said.

The fun couple.  Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein.  US DEPT.  OF JUSTICE
The fun couple. Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein. US DEPT. OF JUSTICE

Indeed.

In the months leading up to the deal, Prince Andrew’s lawyers struck quite a different, much more defiant pose. Giuffre was a liar, a sex trafficker herself, a gold-digger, Andrew had never even met her (“For God’s sake!”), the famous photo of the two with a vulture-like Ghislaine Maxwell was doctored. And besides, isn’t Andrew covered by the nifty deal his pal Epstein signed in Florida?

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And on and on it went.

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But each time the prince or his mouthpieces opined or leaked something to the voracious British tabloids, it inevitably exploded in Andrew’s face. He had cast himself as the wrongly accused hero in this battle but no one was believing it.

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Not even his own mother.

Queen Elizabeth visits the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute at the University of Edinburgh, as part of her traditional trip to Scotland for Holyrood Week, on July 1, 2021.
Queen Elizabeth visits the Edinburgh Climate Change Institute at the University of Edinburgh, as part of her traditional trip to Scotland for Holyrood Week, on July 1, 2021. Photo by POOL /REUTERS

The Queen has certainly told him since he first jammed a silver spoon into his mouth that you are judged by the company you keep. Epstein and Maxwell were very slimy folks indeed.

Yet the randy royal never backed off, never had a second thought about cavorting with two individuals who were twisted common criminals, just like Earle doing life in a Mississippi slammer for some unnatural act or another.

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In the infamous BBC interview with the prince in November 2019, he didn’t get that maybe, just maybe, having a sex-trafficking pedophile for a pal wasn’t such a good idea.

Now comes this: “It is known that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked countless young girls over many years. Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms. Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others.

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Andrew will live out his life in quasi-exile, a velvet coffin. A disgrace to all but those closest to him.

There is no reputation rehabilitation from this, only disdain.

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The prince has discovered far too late that the old Oscar Wilde maxim is true: “No man is rich enough to buy back his past.”

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@HunterTOSun

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