Prince Andrew is back in hiding after he ran off to his mum Queen Elizabeth II in the Scottish Highlands on Tuesday from his Windsor home.
The Duke of York had lunch with the British monarch at a fishing lodge at her private Balmoral estate shortly after his arrival. They were reportedly there for 90 minutes possibly discussing next Monday's court hearing on his rape allegations.
Photographers only managed to get a shot of the back of his head when he stepped out of the lodge. A source told The Sun that he was nowhere to be seen afterward, possibly because he was "made aware of a photographer" in the area. His driver was spotted alone in his Range Rover.
Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth II was seen leaving the lodge an hour and a half later. She did not seem to mind the photographer and "looked very relaxed and wasn't concerned about having her picture taken."
"Clearly, Andrew is far more eager to avoid the spotlight," the source added, and Balmoral insiders claimed that the Duke of York will go into hiding again while at the estate. He is expected to be there at the fishing lodge, which is located in a secluded forest six miles from Balmoral Castle, for "at least two weeks."
This means the Duke of York will be holed up in the lodge during the court hearing, which will be held via telephone conference in New York. It is uncertain if Queen Elizabeth II will join him but she is expected to remain in Balmoral until October.
Prince Andrew has been accused of "rape in the first degree" in a New York court by former Jeffrey Epstein associate Virginia Roberts Guiffre. Her attorneys have so far failed to serve him the legal papers as he has been in hiding for weeks at the Royal Lodge in Windsor before he made the 500-mile trip to be with his mother.
The embattled royal has reportedly told friends that he will be "exonerated" and is convinced that he will return to public duties. A source close to Prince Andrew claimed that he "has a clear and burning desire to return to work as soon as possible" and "has given the incredibly bullish impression that this will all blow over within a short while, rather than become a protracted issue."