Fears of protest over the Prince Andrew scandal mean royal courtiers are discussing banning the disgraced Duke of York from attending this year's Christmas Day service with the Queen.

It's rumoured that campaigners against sex abuse will be in the crowds, meaning heated scenes could erupt in front of the cameras and be broadcast around the world, according to news.com.au.

A royal source told the Sun that several courtiers wanted Andrew to keep away from the church, where normally he would be photographed with the rest of the royal family.

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"There are now genuine concerns over sex abuse campaigners planning to be part of the crowds to jeer the Duke publicly.

"They know the world's media would be there and it would end up dominating headlines of the day."

The source said officials didn't fear that the protest would turn violent.

"It's more about the further embarrassment it would cause to the royal family."

Andrew attended last year's Christmas Day service at Sandringham with other members of the royal family. Photo / Getty
Andrew attended last year's Christmas Day service at Sandringham with other members of the royal family. Photo / Getty

The Queen is said to be "deeply upset" about the situation.

"She loves her son very much.

"It is hard to believe she would ever be able to bring herself to tell Andrew not to come, given they attend church together all the time.

"But there is a hope that he realises just how much worse the situation could become if he is the subject to a public protest on Christmas Day so decides to stay away himself."

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Giuffre, 35, claims she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein and his girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell and that Andrew had sex with her when she was 17, which he denies.

Andrew secretly travelled to Sandringham this week after being summoned to meet with Philip and Charles, hours before Virginia Giuffre's Panorama interview.

It's believed that Charles demanded that Andrew give up all his duties for "the foreseeable future".

Prince Andrew admitted his friendship with Epstein in his now infamous Newsnight interview. Photo / BBC
Prince Andrew admitted his friendship with Epstein in his now infamous Newsnight interview. Photo / BBC

A royal source said: "It was all very civilised and calm but Charles calmly read him the riot act ... Andrew thought he was being treated harshly as nothing has yet been proved against him, but he accepted the decision. He really had little choice."

Prince Philip is said to be deeply concerned about the impact of the scandal on the monarchy, unless Prince Andrew goes to the US to clear his name.

A source said that if Andrew went to the US to clear his name, he would remove the mystique around the royal family - a "difficult predicament".

"Philip regrets Andrew doesn't know how to lead a simple life. He thinks he's been too extravagant."

A new witness has claimed she saw Andrew with Giuffre in a London club on the night they met.

Andrew claims he doesn't remember the night his accuser Virginia Giuffre says this photo was taken. Photo / Supplied
Andrew claims he doesn't remember the night his accuser Virginia Giuffre says this photo was taken. Photo / Supplied

US lawyer Lisa Bloom, who represents the witness along with several of Epstein's victims, said the woman "remembers it vividly ... she says he was with Virginia - who looked very young and not happy - but Andrew was smiling and seemed to be very much enjoying himself on the dance floor.

"She is very afraid but thinks speaking out is very important."

The Panorama interview revealed five ­of the victims allege Andrew witnessed people being given massages at Epstein's homes.

Their lawyer David Boies intends to subpoena the Prince to force him to testify.

Giuffre's lawyer Josh Schiller said Andrew would also be subject to an FBI investigation, as he's accused of taking part in a sex trafficking ring.

A royal spokesperson said it was "emphatically denied" that Andrew had any contact or relationship with Giuffre.

"Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation."