Prince Andrew is heading to court later this year after a New York judge denied his attorney's attempts to dismiss his sexual abuse case and the decision has left many on social media rejoicing.

The Duke of York's legal team attempted to throw the case out based on several grounds. They argued that the accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, provided vague allegations and that her 2009 settlement with Jeffrey Epstein prevents her from suing anyone else.

She had agreed not to press charges against other "potential defendants" which could include the 61-year-old royal. But Judge Lewis Kaplan said the agreement did not clearly state that Prince Andrew should be exempted.

"Ms. Giuffre's complaint is neither unintelligible, nor vague nor ambiguous, It alleges discrete incidents of sexual abuse in particular circumstances at three identifiable locations," Kaplan said as quoted by the BBC.

The ruling means the lawsuit will proceed to a court trial later this year after both parties have gathered their witnesses and evidence by May. Then by July 14, Judge Kaplan needs all evidence exchanged and the "deposition" to be completed. Both plaintiff and defendant will have to answer to personal questions during the hearing.

News of the judge's verdict seemed to thrill people over at Twitter. One called it "excellent news" while others claimed that it has been a long time coming.

"I've been waiting & hoping for this! Excellent news! #abolishthemonarchy," one user tweeted and another commented, "OH MY BLOODY GOD I have been waiting for this, jeeeeeez."

Meanwhile, others had Queen Elizabeth II in mind after Judge Kaplan's decision to bring Prince Andrew to a court trial. They sympathised with the 95-year-old monarch who will have to endure another heartbreaking family drama.

"The poor Queen. First, she has to attend her husband's funeral alone, and now she won't have him as support whilst Prince Andrew is in court. I hope she can get through this in one piece," one royal fan shared and another wrote, "I feel sorry for our Queen because it can't be doing any good for the royal family. Prince Andrew has to face a civil sex case now, not great for him."

Roberts claimed that she was trafficked by Epstein to Prince Andrew for sexual purposes when she was only 17 years old. The Duke of York has since vehemently denied allegations he sexually abused her. Rumours have it that he might settle out of court to avoid the trial.

Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew has vehemently denied claims he had sex with Virginia Giuffre, and said he has no recollection of meeting her Photo: AFP / JOHN THYS