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The One Way Andrew's Lawsuit Could Affect Harry & Meghan, Say Sources

"It's sad to see her put in such a terrible position," an insider said of this royal.

The news that Prince Andrew is the subject of a lawsuit filed by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, accusing the Duke of York of sexual assault and battery, has rocked the House of Windsor. Giuffre, a victim of Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking, alleges that the duke knowingly had sex with her when she was 17 years old. This latest royal scandal has thrown the Palace into chaos in what has already been another "annus horribilis" for Queen Elizabeth, and by extension the rest of the Royal Family.

Ever since Andrew's disastrous 2019 BBC interview in which he attempted to explain away his friendship with Epstein, the Palace has tried to keep the Duke of York out of the spotlight. After the fallout from the interview, Andrew stepped down from his royal duties and subsequently lost his patronages. Ever since, Palace aides have been so intent on keeping Andrew from being associated with the rest of the Royal Family, he was absent from the official photographs taken at the wedding of his daughter Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in July of last year. While he did attend, there was no sign of him in the wedding photos that instead featured the Queen and Prince Philip.

But keeping Andrew out of sight does not, in any way, minimize the damaging effects his relationship with Epstein and the stunning new lawsuit brought against him could have on the Royal Family. While the Queen, Prince Charles, and Prince William worry about the potentially long-term effects this episode will have on the future of the monarchy, even in the U.S., Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex are also not untouched by the scandal. Read on to find out the one major way the lawsuit against the Duke of York could affect the Sussexes, even though they've put an ocean between themselves and the scandal.

RELATED: The Palace Has Issued This "Warning Shot" to Harry & Meghan, Say Sources.

Harry and Meghan's greatest ally within the Royal Family will now likely have to devote her energy to supporting Andrew.

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York

Reports have recently emerged that Princess Eugenie is lending her support to Harry and his much-anticipated memoir behind the scenes, which could have long-term implications on possibly healing the royal rift between the Sussexes and the rest of the Royal Family. A Palace source told Best Life recently that "Eugenie's support of Harry writing a memoir could be a game-changer because a show of support from within the Royal Family would most certainly lend more credibility to whatever he chooses to reveal and could possibly result in a change in strategy in how the Palace responds."

Now, however, in light of the news that her father is the subject of a lawsuit filed by a victim of Jeffrey Epstein, implicating him in the late convicted sex offender's criminal acts, Eugenie may feel it's best to switch her focus and lend all her support to her father for more than one reason. An insider told Best Life, "Eugenie has been Harry's greatest ally since he and Meghan decided to step away from their royal duties but now, just as it's come to light that she is helping her cousin while he works on his memoir, her father [is] being accused of sexual assault in this new lawsuit." The source continued: "Of course she wants to be there for Andrew and stay involved as the family strategizes on how to move forward. Eugenie is very close to her father. She may also feel she doesn't want to drag Harry's name into all this in the media by association. She's a lovely person and it's sad to see her put in such a terrible position."

Prince Harry has spoken publicly about his desire to distance himself from Andrew's legal issues.

Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York,

Harry has made some (inadvertent) public comments about Andrew's relationship with Epstein and his desire to separate both himself and Meghan from the scandal. The Duke of Sussex was duped by Russian hoaxers into thinking he was speaking on the phone with then-17-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg and her father on two separate occasions, once on New Year's Eve 2019 and then again on Jan. 22, 2020.

When asked about his uncle's possible legal woes stemming from his relationship with Epstein, Harry told the pranksters: "I have very little to say on that. But whatever he has done or hasn't done, is completely separate from me and my wife. We operate in a way of inclusivity and we are focusing on community. And so we are completely separate from the majority of my family."

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Harry and Eugenie have both been subjected to merciless tabloid coverage because of their parents' actions.

Prince Harry, and Princess Eugenie Attend The 2006 Trooping Of The Colour Ceremony In London.
Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

Since they were both children, Harry and Eugenie have been swept up in the tabloid coverage of their parents' scandals. Harry has spoken time and time again about the trauma both he and William endured amid their parents' contentious divorce, including their admitted affairs playing out in the media. Eugenie and her sister, Beatrice, have stood by the scandal-plagued marriage between Andrew and their mother, Sarah, Duchess of York, which included her banishment from the Royal Family after her dalliances with other men. She was also caught on camera taking bribes in exchange for access to Andrew, and now, Eugenie and Beatrice's father is being accused of sexually assaulting an underage girl.

Even if Eugenie's attentions are diverted from Harry, there will always be "a lot of love" between the cousins.

Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie as they watch the Cross Country Phase of The Eventing at Greenwich Park, on the third day of the London 2012 Olympics.
Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

Despite recent events that will dramatically alter Eugenie's focus, she and Harry will always be close, according to one insider. "Harry and Eugenie understand each other in a way other family members cannot," said the source. "They have both had to put on brave faces supporting their parents while inside, they grappled emotionally with all that's happened to them as a result. That is why they are so close. If Eugenie is forced to step back from helping to heal the rift between Harry and the rest of the family because of what she now must deal with regarding her father, he will understand. There is a lot of love there."

RELATED: This Is the One Lie Prince Harry Won't Cover in His Memoir, Say Sources.

Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.

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