Prince Andrew has not been seen in public for over two weeks allegedly because he is avoiding being served a rape lawsuit from his accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre.

The Duke of York has reportedly not been spotted for 19 days now. He is said to be "in hiding" not just from the press but from Giuffre's legal team, who want to personally serve him with the legal papers.

Giuffre's legal team, headed by renowned lawyer David Boies, had previously said that they want to present Prince Andrew "with a copy of the complaint in a formal way. They consider the 61-year-old royal a "foreign citizen" so they have to serve the suit "under the Hague Convention."

But they would have to get past the duke's guards if they want to hand him the civil summons issued by a New York court clerk three weeks ago. He has reportedly refused to leave his home, which is set in 98 private acres in Windsor Great Park, Berks. He has been holed up at the Royal Lodge where security has been tight on intruders.

According to The Sun, the guards thwarted "multiple attempts" by lawyers last week. They will reportedly make "more attempts" although a source expressed his belief that Prince Andrew is unlikely to step out of hiding.

"There's no way he will risk poking his head outside right now. He will stay out of view," the insider said.

Prince Andrew would have to come out from hiding sooner rather than later if he does not want to risk facing a "judgment by default" next month. He only has 21 days to reply to the summons.

The royal's refusal to cooperate comes after several denials in the past that he knows the accuser. He also denied having any recollection of taking a photograph with Giuffre when she was 17 years old.

The mum-of-three has accused the Duke of York of rape and alleged that he was an accomplice of the convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. Giuffre said she was lent out to the royal for sexual purposes. Despite mounting pressure to respond to the legal summons, Prince Andrew and his representatives have so far remained silent.

Prince Andrew
Despite publicly offering his assistance, Britain's Prince Andrew (pictured January 2020) has repeatedly failed to cooperate with the investigation into Jeffrey Epstein, a New York prosecutor said Photo: AFP / Lindsey Parnaby