image source, Virginia Robertsimage captionVirginia Giuffre, then Roberts, was pictured with Prince Andrew in London in 2001

Prince Andrew's US lawyers have accepted he has been served with legal papers which allege he sexually assaulted Virginia Giuffre in 2001.

It follows a dispute over whether the prince had been formally notified of the civil claim against him.

Ms Giuffre, 38, claims she was sexually assaulted by the prince at three locations including New York City.

Prince Andrew, the Queen's 61-year-old second son, has consistently denied the allegation.

Court documents show that lawyers for both sides spoke on 21 September and the time for the duke to respond was extended.

That response must now be filed to a court in New York by 29 October.

It comes after a judge ruled last week that Prince Andrew's US lawyer could be served with legal papers.

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Serving of documents is the critical first stage in any claim for damages – it means that a defendant has been made fully aware of the allegations against them by receiving all of the papers in the case.

If a defendant does not take part in the case after they have been served, they risk automatically losing.

Ms Giuffre was an accuser of the billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who died in prison in 2019.

Ms Giuffre – then known as Virginia Roberts – says she was assaulted by the prince at the London home of Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, and at Epstein's homes in Manhattan and Little Saint James, in the US Virgin Islands.

Her case claims Prince Andrew engaged in sexual acts without Ms Giuffre's consent, including when she was 17, knowing how old she was, and "that she was a sex-trafficking victim".

The prince has consistently denied the claims and, in 2019, told BBC Two's Newsnight programme: "It didn't happen.

"I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened.

"I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever."