It has been a trying year for Queen Elizabeth II and as much as she wants to take a break from it all at Balmoral, she must contend with another family scandal brought by her third child. Prince Andrew has been charged with "rape in the first degree" by Virginia Roberts Giuffre.

The 95-year-old has reportedly been looking forward to spending summer at Balmoral following recent events in the Royal Family. She has been keen on taking the time off to relax. But recent reports about the Duke of York's sexual abuse allegations are bound to hamper what could be any fun family gathering.

"The Queen could do without this after the year she has had," a Balmoral source told The Sun alluding to her husband Prince Philip's death on April 9 and the fallout of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Oprah interview in March.

"Summer at Balmoral is a special time when the family come together, take stock, relax and recharge their batteries. But the first thing she is having to deal with is her 61-year-old son turning up on her doorstep with his ex-wife, hours after learning he is being sued for allegedly abusing a 17-year-old girl. It's not the start to her first trip to Balmoral without the Duke of Edinburgh she would be expecting or deserves," the insider continued.

"This is yet another family scandal and casts a huge shadow over what should be a well-deserved break for the Queen," the source added and likened it to that "infamous summer of 1992 when the Royal Family woke at Balmoral to photos of Fergie having her toes sucked by her financial adviser splashed across the papers."

Prince Andrew reportedly arrived at Balmoral with ex-wife Sarah Ferguson hours before he learned of the sexual abuse allegations from Giuffre. In her lawsuit, she alleged that she was "forced to have sexual intercourse" with him "against her will." She also listed other offenses including "rape in the first degree."

Giuffre filed the suit with New York's federal court on Monday and claimed the sexual abuse happened at Jeffrey Epstein's mansion and elsewhere when she was still a minor. Prince Andrew has 21 days to respond to a civil summons approved by a court clerk last night or face "judgment by default."

Prince Andrew's BBC interview sparks backlash
Prince Andrew, the eighth in line to the throne, has come in for heavy criticism over his links to Epstein who died in custody in the US in August. Photo: AFP / Lillian SUWANRUMPHA