Prince Andrew, the son of Queen Elizabeth, shocked everyone earlier this month when he settled the sexual assault lawsuit that was filed against him by Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre. Now, Royal expert Kerene Barefield is speaking out to reveal that Andrew is plotting his return to Royal life in the wake of this settlement.
Today's settlement comes just days after Prince Andrew was caught in an alleged lie about not giving a tour of Buckingham Palace to Ghislaine Maxwell and Bill Clinton in 2002. He had previously claimed "no recollection of" the event—but a newly-unearthed photo proved otherwise👇🏻 pic.twitter.com/pmSqnpD3Hv 
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) February 15, 2022 
Backstory: Prince Andrew Settles Sexual Assault Lawsuit With Epstein Accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre 
Andrew ‘Still Believes He Has A Future As A Royal’
Barefield told Fox News  that Andrew’s friends are saying that he “still believes he has a future as a royal.”
“The language that he used in his statement, like the fact he will be helping sex trafficking victims, could be seen as him trying to reposition himself and reinvent himself in the eyes of the public,” she continued. “It’s my understanding that [his daughter] Princess Eugenie also has a charity that helps sex trafficking victims. And it might be that he’s trying to get on board with that.”
“All he has is his family right now to support him,” she added. “It’s my understanding that Prince Andrew still believes he has a lot to contribute to public life. I don’t think anyone else feels the same. But he won’t go away quietly. He will want to come back to public life.”
Barefield went on to say that news of Andrew settling came as a “shock” to the British people because it had been expected that he would fight Giuffre’s claims in court.
“It just felt so sudden,” she said. “The immediate question that came to mind was why now? According to the royal experts, there was a push from the queen and Prince Charles to get things sorted. The scandal is not good for the monarchy, and it’s certainly not good for public perception of the monarchy. So it’s my understanding that Prince Charles and the queen wanted this matter solved quickly so they can get on with their work and highlight the good that the monarchy still does.”
Giuffre’s Claims Against Andrew
Giuffre claimed that she was forced to have sex with Andrew three times as an underage 17-year-old girl. While the exact amount that Andrew will pay Giuffre in the settlement hasn’t been confirmed, The Telegraph  claimed that the number is over $16 million.
It is believed that the money will be split between Giuffre, her attorneys, and her charities for sexual abuse victims.
“I don’t think the queen would be paying the settlement money,” said Barefield. “However, she could possibly be paying some of the funds to the charity. It just wouldn’t sit well with people if the queen contributed financially to the settlement itself. But the situation does put her in a tricky spot as a queen and as a mother. Every parent wants to help their children, but in her case, she has all of the public’s eyes on her.”
Related: Prince Andrew Blasted For Effectively Forcing Queen To Bail Him Out Of Sexual Assault Lawsuit 
Barefield then said that Andrew’s problems are likely not behind him at this time.
“We truly don’t know if in time Virginia Giuffre will write a book,” she explained. “And right before Andrew agreed to settle, there was a massage therapist who regularly treated the prince that alleged he was a constant sex pest to her. That was quite shocking. So it makes me wonder, how many more people could come forward with their own stories? Will this truly go away for Prince Andrew? Once the settlement is over, will more people come forward and speak out or sell their stories to the press?”
‘People Don’t Think Of Him Very Positively’
On top of that, Barefield does not think the public will be quick to forgive Andrew.
“People don’t think of him very positively here,” she said. “They feel that he should have been more remorseful earlier. He’s certainly lost a lot of supporters in the UK… The lawyer we also spoke to shared that the only reason people settle is that they think they’re going to get caught.”
“When it comes to the royal family, life goes on, and they like to exemplify that with their work,” Barefield concluded. “Shortly after, the queen did her first in-person public engagement since the settlement. While her family may be in turmoil, the queen obviously wanted to put out a positive image that the head of the household is carrying on. It is all about public perception. And I think she wanted to put that positive image across, that the monarchy does have a future and it will carry on.”
Andrew was forced to take a step back from Royal life at the end of 2019 after a disastrous interview about Giuffre’s allegations. He has since been stripped of his Royal patronages and military titles by the Queen. Given everything that has happened, it seems unlikely that Andrew will ever get the return to Royal life that he desires.