After the sensational arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell -- the former associate of Jeffrey Epstein who allegedly helped him conduct his sexual abuse and sexual trafficking operations -- the pressure now mounts on Prince Andrew and his alleged association with the scandal.
While the Duke of York did not deny his friendship with the billionaire sex offender he has remained firm that he never met one of Epstein's victims, who alleged that she was forced to have sex with the royal three times between 1999 to 2001.
Earlier this year, the FBI said that they are having a hard time getting Prince Andrew's full cooperation with the case. U.S. Attorney for Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman said that despite the Duke of York's press release to cooperate with the investigation fully, the 60-year-old royal has "completely shut the door" on giving his voluntary cooperation.
So what happens next if Andrew keeps his lips sealed on the issue? Could Queen Elizabeth II intervene and use her power to end this scandal?
Queen Elizabeth II's Dilemma
After addressing the sexual abuse accusation in a messy BBC interview last November, Prince Andrew eventually stepped down from his royal duties because of the massive backlash from the Epstein scandal.
However, staying away from the public eye has not done much to clear Prince Andrew's name off the controversy.
According to a royal expert though, Prince Andrew's 94-year-old monarch mother could step in and put an end to the issue once and for all.
Sky News Australia royal correspondent Corrine Barraclough said that Queen Elizabeth II has the option to kick out her favorite son from the royal family so that he would be out of protection and be forced to cooperate with the investigation.
"But the Queen could officially step in officially remove him from the Royal Family, which would remove his diplomatic immunity, and that could mean that he could face extradition," Barraclough said.
"But obviously, the British government and Priti Patel will be very not hoping that this has not come into a battle of the U.S. versus the Royal Family."
Meanwhile, The Sunday Project host Lisa Wilkinson low-key called out Queen Elizabeth II to intervene with the investigation and force her favorite son to speak up.
"If Laura Goldman is right and Maxwell doesn't give up information on Prince Andrew, then it's up to the Queen's second son to do so himself," Lisa Wilkinson said.
Wilkinson referred to a New York stockbroker socialite close to Maxwell, who said that Epstein's former confidante would never say anything incriminating against Prince Andrew as she is very loyal to him.
"That's why it is now up to the palace to push for Andrew to front up unconditionally," Wilkinson added.
The real question here is: is the Queen ready to put on the crown and do the right thing of kicking out Andrew to free him from his royal bubble? Or will she be wearing her mother hat and continue protecting her favorite son from further scrutiny?