Prince Andrew culminated his three-week voluntary isolation at Balmoral on Thursday, and he was pictured in a good mood.
The Duke of York reportedly left the estate about 10:00 a.m. He was all smiles and even waved at a passerby as he left the Scottish Highlands bound for London. Photos from The Sun showed him at the driver's seat of a black Range Rover with his face all lit up. There was also a big box on the back passenger's seat.
It is said that he left the 50,000-acre estate belonging to Queen Elizabeth II to visit his eldest daughter Princess Beatrice. The 33-year old recently gave birth to her first child, a daughter, with husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi on Sept. 18. He has yet to see his granddaughter as he was holed up in Balmoral when she arrived.
Meanwhile, his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson was seen making the long trip to Windsor shortly after the baby's birth. It is the second grandchild of the Duke and Duchess of York. Their youngest daughter, Princess Eugenie, is also a mum to seventh-month-old son August Philip Hawke Brooksbank.
Prince Andrew's public sighting on Thursday marks the first time he ventured out of the estate since he went into hiding earlier this month. It was said that the embattled royal feared getting served with the civil papers his rape accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, filed against him in a New York court. His lawyers may have advised him to head for Balmoral while they settle the allegations in London.
Regardless, Prince Andrew has already been served with the legal papers thanks to the interference of London's High Court. He was served by email and FedEx, according to Giuffre's lawyer David Boies. The royal's legal team also confirmed that they have received copies of the complaint and summons. They now have 21 days to respond to the accusations which initially brought the deadline to Oct. 12. But the team requested an extension to the 29th which the court granted in exchange that his legal team follows the service of process. The duke has previously vehemently denied ever knowing or meeting his accuser when she was a minor.