There are a lot of shiny trappings that Prince Andrew no longer enjoys these days. A job. An official royal role. Any scrap of respect from the public. A well-worn passport. The ability to walk into a restaurant anywhere in the world and to not have a volley of bread rolls lobbed at his head.
One of the few perks that the pitiful 61-year-old has held onto is his shiny Range Rover (reportedly replete with vanity plates) in which he is regularly photographed looking eternally startled and jowly as he beetles up and down the private roads on the Windsor estate for him to make his way from his 30-room Royal Lodge home and Mumsy's castle.
And today's visit? Or at least the next time he makes the roughly 8km dash from the home he shares with his ex-wife and where he spends his days, reportedly, watching TV and doing little else? Well, it's going to be particularly bad.
Overnight, a New York judge rejected Andrew's bid to have the civil sex abuse case against him thrown out after Virginia Giuffre last year accused the royal of raping her on three occasions when she was a teenager. (The Duke of York has always strenuously denied the allegations.)
Obviously this is bad news for Andrew and his small retinue of supporters. (It speaks volumes that the only people staunchly defending him in public are his ex-wife who relies on his good graces to keep a roof over her head and his army of paid legal rottweilers.)
But the reality is, this ruling is worse – much worse – for Andrew than you might think.
Let me explain.
With his lawyers' attempts to have Giuffre's case dismissed having hit a brick wall, the path is now clear for them to proceed, with the trial set to be held between September and December.
However, it is what is going to happen in the next six months which should be keeping Andrew up at night, and that is the discovery process.
Which is to say, the inner workings of the royal family and the palace could be about to be brutally laid bare in a totally and utterly unprecedented fashion.
Let's start with the depositions.
Andrew now faces the prospect of his family being put in the hot seat and grilled, on camera and under oath. (It is 20 years since the last court appearance by one of the Queen's children when Princess Anne became the first royal to have a criminal record after she pleaded guilty after her dog bit two children.)
David Boies, the New York legal powerhouse representing Giuffre, has said he may also want to interview Andrew's ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of Sussex and his daughter Princess Beatrice in what could be a deeply stressful and distressing experience for the new mother.
Then we come to Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex who Boies has suggested could also be called as a witness, telling the Daily Beast in late December: "She is somebody who obviously, at least for a period of time, was a close associate of Prince Andrew and hence is in a position to perhaps have seen what he did, and perhaps if not to have seen what he did to have heard people talk about it."
While the 40-year-old has never publicly commented on the Andrew situation, given her position as an avowed feminist and royal agitator, the chances of her coming out in support of him has a snowball's chance on a Montecito summer's day.
Andrew too will most likely be formally interviewed by Giuffre's lawyers with the process taking up to seven hours, according to former US prosecutor Mitchell Epner. Based on the Duke of York's appalling performance during the 2019 TV interview that triggered his public downfall, this does not bode particularly well.
But here's the really juicy bit of the discovery process: The paperwork.
In the coming months, royal emails, text messages, private correspondence, duty logs, diary entries and even medical records could go under the microscope and be made public.
The iron curtain of secrecy which has ruthlessly protected the house of Windsor could be about to be stripped away in a brutal fashion, with lawyers allowed to plunder, digitally at least, the most protected and private corners of royal life.
For not only a family but an institution that has long operated under the sort of code of silence that would impress a Sicilian mafia don, the prospect of their daily communications being laid out to not only legal but media and public scrutiny too must be totally horrifying.
You know what they say about seeing how the sausage is made? Well, we could all be about to get a very interesting lesson in royal snag-dom.
Who knows what level of damage having their innermost thoughts and conversations put out into the world could do for the already dented reputation of the royal family.
Already, in recent months, emails and texts from an HRH have ended up in court and proven spectacularly embarrassing. In November, Meghan had to apologise to the London Court of Appeal for forgetting she had provided briefing notes for the authors of a controversial biographer after communications with an aide were presented as evidence.
The mind positively boggles at the thought of what Andrew's communications might reveal, not only about him, but his family.
But all this paperwork may not only prove highly damaging for him because of what it contains but also for what it does not contain.
Already, lawyers for Andrew have been forced to admit to the court that they do not have any documentary evidence to back up his claims that he cannot sweat for medical reasons, a claim central to his telling of events, nor have they been able to name any witnesses who saw him at must be the world's most famous outpost of chain restaurant, Pizza Express: Woking.
Which is all very strange. Andrew, at least back when he was gadding about with his friends Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in the early 2000s – a pair who would later become a convicted sex offender (Epstein) and a convicted child sex trafficker (Maxwell) – received protection by the specialist branch of the Metropolitan Police Force which looks after the Prime Minister and the Queen's family. (With friends like these and a central Asian despot here and there to boot, Andrew's address book must be a truly horrible read.)
That arrangement would surely generate a paper trail, an easy-to-produce one that could back up his claims and would provide him with ready witnesses who could attest to his whereabouts. Conversely, this same information or more accurately lack thereof could also prove detrimental to his case.
However, it is by no means guaranteed that Giuffre will get her day in court.
While over the weekend there were reports that Andrew's side might move to negotiate a settlement with the now Perth-based mother-of-three, given the tenacity and bravery she has shown in standing up for what she believes is right, it is hard to imagine she would accept a speedy payday. (Under the terms of this sort of arrangement, Andrew would not admit fault.)
Instead what Andrew could do is… nothing. If he refused to take part in proceedings from here on out, the judge would find in Giuffre's favour and most likely award her damages. But, this tactic would prevent the discovery process from going ahead. He would also be able to say that he was ordered to pay damages by default. While it would be a highly distasteful and sly manoeuvre, the pros for Andrew could outweigh the cons.
Aside from unequivocally winning his case in New York, there is no other good outcome for the royal here, just less bad ones.
In the meantime, in the weeks and months ahead, expect to keep seeing Andrew behind the wheel of his Range Rover and plenty of those Windsor Castle visits. It's not as if he has anything else to do, a situation unlikely to change even if he is ultimately triumphant in court. After all, you know what they say about reaping what you sow, especially when you have palled around with a convicted sex offender.
• Daniela Elser is a royal expert and a writer with more than 15 years experience working with a number of Australia's leading media titles.