Queen Elizabeth II has warned the British media against taking pictures of the royal family or their guests at Balmoral the same day that her son Prince Andrew arrived.

The warning was delivered by lawyers from British firm Farrer & Co., who was acting on the Queen's behalf, The Daily Beast reported.

Sources at the palace said the letters were sent out to media organizations on August 10, a day after a civil lawsuit was filed accusing Prince Andrew of raping Virginia Roberts Giuffre.

However, they noted that the same letters were sent "every holiday," saying it was not remarkable. Queen Elizabeth II has been on holiday in Balmoral since July 24.

The timing of the letter being sent happened amid the controversy that the Duke of York is facing. The letter would likely cause speculation that Queen Elizabeth II is using her domestic influence to protect her son, Prince Andrew.

A source from one paper said the intention of the royals might be to protect the duke from being pictured while being served with legal documents.

Reports said Prince Andrew has not been seen at the Crathie Kirk since he arrived at Balmoral. Crathie Kirk is a small church near Balmoral normally visited by the royals.

Staffers at one major British tabloid noted that the memo says the solicitors have reminded the newspaper that Balmoral is a private estate, and the royal family, as well as their guests, have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

A British newspaper editor told The Daily Beast that they have never seen a warning like the one sent to them before from the Queen's lawyers. The editor added that it was clear that the memo was to keep people away from the duke. The editor further noted that there's no coincidence in the timing of the lawsuit against Prince Andrew.

The Queen is also facing scrutiny for allegedly not applying the "same standard" to the Duke of York as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, GEO TV reported.

Prince Andrew stepped back from public duties after his interview in November 2019 regarding his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

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Prince Andrew's Rape Case

Variety reported that Giuffre has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan on August 9 against Prince Andrew, claiming he abused her when she was 17 years old.

The British royal has denied the allegations, saying that he has no recollection of ever meeting her. Prince Andrew also insisted that he had never had sex with Giuffre.

The lawsuit noted that Giuffre feared death or physical injury if she disobeys the Duke of York, Epstein, and Ghislaine Maxwell due to their connections and wealth.

The suit also stated that the duke had sexually abused her in Maxwell's home in London. The three of them had allegedly forced Giuffre to engaged in sexual intercourse against her will.

In 2019, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents with federal prosecutors in New York asked the prince to cooperate, but he declined. Prosecutor Geoffrey S. Berman said Prince Andrew has provided zero cooperation on the case so far.

Legal experts believed that the second son of the Queen would not be entitled to diplomatic immunity. Prince Andrew continues to hold his royal titles despite backing down from his public duties. 

Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had agreed to stop using their HRH titles, which refer to "his/her royal highness," after stepping down as senior royals last March.

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Written by: Mary Webber

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