Prince Andrew has been served with papers outlining allegations of sexual assault made by a woman who claims she was forced to have sex with him while she was underage.
Legal staff handed the documents to police officers at the Duke of York’s residence two weeks ago after being told they could not meet him in person.
Andrew has 21 days to respond to the allegations or face a default judgment.
Virginia Giuffre – previously Roberts – has launched a civil suit in the US, alleging she was forced to have sex with the duke three times while she was being abused by convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The allegations say they are “including but not limited to sexual misconduct as defined (as) rape in the third degree, rape in the first degree”.
The lawsuit claims that “Prince Andrew intentionally committed battery by sexually assaulting plaintiff when she was a minor.
“On multiple occasions Prince Andrew intentionally touched (Roberts) in an offensive and sexual manner without her consent.”
Representatives of Ms Giuffre first tried to serve Andrew with the documents at his home at the Royal Lodge, Windsor Great Park on 26 August.
The representative was met by a police officer who said they had been “primed” not to let anyone onto the property or accept service of any court processes, the court papers state.
He returned the next day and again met with police officers who this time allowed him to leave the paperwork at the main gate.
The document states that the representative “did enquire whether it was possible to meet personally with the defendant, but he was told this was not possible and although (he) did ask the whereabouts of the defendant, the Metropolitan police officer said that he could not answer any questions”.
Prince Andrew has long denied Ms Giuffre’s allegations and says he does not recall ever meeting her.