A trusted former aide to Prince Philip and Princess Anne will face court next week accused of sexually assaulting a girl of 12 while he was working for the Royal Family in the early 70s.
Ex-Marine Benjamin Herman, 79, has been charged with three counts of indecent assault and one of attempted indecent assault on the child when he was Philip’s equerry – or personal attendant – at Buckingham Palace.
The Lieutenant-Colonel later went on to become Princess Anne’s private secretary, before returning to the military.
Detectives at Scotland Yard are believed to have examined the prince’s official diaries covering the two-year period from January 1972 to January 1974, when the attacks are alleged to have taken place.
They have also taken statements from former palace staff but it is not known if officers have quizzed Philip or any other members of the Royal Family about the claims.
The alleged victim, who is now in her 50s, came forward in the wake of the Jimmy Savile child abuse scandal.
Herman is due to appear before Wimbledon magistrates in South London on Monday.
Tonight he said he intended to fight the allegations. When asked to comment he looked shocked and added: “I don’t talk to the press.”
But when asked whether he planned to deny the charges, he replied sharply “of course” before climbing into his car.