PRINCE Andrew has travelled to join the Queen on her Scottish holiday at Balmoral as he avoids responding to a US lawsuit regarding his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.

Andrew, 61, faces accusations of sexual abuse from Virginia Giuffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, who claims the prince abused her when she was 17.

Giuffre, now 38, claims that she was forced to have sex with the prince on three separate occasions. The first was at the London townhouse of Ghislaine Maxwell, a close associate of Epstein.

The second was at Epstein's New York mansion, and the third was on Epstein's private Caribbean island, according to Giuffre (below).

Papers relating to the lawsuit have not yet been served to either Andrew or his lawyers despite "multiple attempts" in the last two weeks at the Royal Lodge in Windsor where he has been staying.

The National: Epstein accuser says Duke of York ‘knows the truth’ about sex claims

READ MORE: Prince Andrew is 'person of interest' in Jeffrey Epstein investigation

The prince has to be served with the papers in person including a copy of Giuffre's complaint - filed on August 10 - under the Hague Convention because he is not a US citizen.

Under New York Civil Practice Law and Rules, papers must be served to defendants within 120 days after a civil complaint is filed. It means Giuffre's lawyers will have until December 8 to serve papers.

Under the New York rules, once papers are served the defendant has 21 days to respond. The action can be dismissed unless the plaintiff can show "good cause for delay".

Now, Andrew will be staying with the Queen in Balmoral as the civil suit is due to be heard via a telephone conference in New York next Monday (September 13).

The prince has travelled with his former wife Sarah Ferguson from the Royal Lodge to join the Queen in the Balmoral estate, a journey of more than 500 miles.

It comes a month after the Duke of York visited Balmoral with his former wife and their daughter Eugenie on August 10. It is not clear when they left on that occasion.

The National:

READ MORE: Queen backs Prince Andrew to keep prestigious Armed Forces role

A source told the Sun that the prince was "going stir-crazy" over the past few weeks in the Royal Lodge.

The source continued: "He wasn't going horse riding and couldn't step outside because of attempts to serve him with the legal papers.

"He knows he is far safer up at Balmoral on the Queen's estate. Andrew is always described as the Queen's favourite son but she is meant to be on holiday at Balmoral.

"With Andrew and everything that is happening with Charles and the investigation into cash for honours she must be wondering when she will get any peace and quiet."

Andrew stepped back from public life after his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was exposed in 2019.

The Duke has denied Giuffre's claims that she was forced to have sex with him. He said that he categorically did not have any sexual contact with her and does not recall meeting her.

The National:

Virginia Roberts, now Virginia Giuffre, was photographed with Prince Andrew in London in 2001

Last month, Andrew was declared a "person of interest" in the investigation by US prosecutors into Jeffrey Epstein and Maxwell (both below).

American authorities are seeking to interview him about his friendship with Epstein but a source in the office of the US Attorney in the Southern District of New York told Reuters that “he doesn’t seem to want to talk to us”.

Four days after last year’s Newsnight interview, the duke said in a statement he was “willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations if required”.

The National:

But Geoffrey Berman, who is leading the Epstein inquiry, told reporters in March: “Contrary to Prince Andrew’s very public offer to co-operate with our investigation into Epstein’s co-conspirators, an offer that was conveyed via press release, Prince Andrew has now completely shut the door on voluntary co-operation and our office is considering its options.”

Epstein was found dead in a US prison after being arrested on charges of trafficking minors.

Maxwell has been accused of procuring teen girls for Epstein to sexually abuse – and has pleaded not guilty.