Over the past year, Prince Andrew has faced criticism for his one-time friendship with Jeffrey Epstein. Now, following a lengthy investigation into the former financier, prosecutors have also formally requested to speak to the Duke of York as well. However, the member of the British royal family has now reportedly decided to go against the proceedings. 

According to the Sun, Andrew has "vowed to fight US demands that Britain hands him over." This is the first time that the Duke has been officially involved in a criminal probe surrounding the Epstein investigation. As stated by a source, the Department of Justice does not make decisions of this nature lightly, especially if they involve senior members of the royal family. 

READ: Prince Andrew Update: Jeffrey Epstein's Victim Alleges Duke 'Had Knowledge' Of Illegal Behavior

Following the news, an insider spoke to the Sun about why prosecutors in the case have now decided to move forward. After stating that officials had become frustrated due to the fact that they felt as though they had not been able to get anywhere, they "upped the ante." This comes after the royal had offered "zero cooperation" throughout the investigation. 

A source that is close to the Duke himself also gave a bit of reasoning as to why he had not publicly spoken about any legal proceedings thus far. 

"Legal discussions with the DOJ are subject to strict confidentiality rules, as set out in their own guidelines," they said, adding, "We have chosen to abide by both the letter and the spirit of these rules, which is why we have made no comment about anything related to the DOJ during the course of this year."

Prior to the new development, it was believed that Queen Elizabeth II's son was "only likely to be the target of action by Epstein’s victims in the US civil courts." Previously, reports indicated that Epstein's accusers would be able to sue him if he was not "released" in various documents. 

Aside from the new step, Prince Andrew has faced other hurdles in recent months as well. Not only has it been reported that Epstein's victims had requested new details, but the Duke had also been met with unrelated legal action as well. Additionally, Virginia Giuffre, who had accused both Andrew and Epstein of abuse in the past, had also voiced her concerns that the royal had not been interviewed about his alleged involvement, but stated that she believed they would ultimately "prevail" in their efforts. 

If the aforementioned formal request is ultimately granted, U.S. prosecutors can ask Andrew to "voluntarily attend an interview and give a signed statement." However, due to his unwillingness to cooperate in the past, they may instead utilize their power "to pursue an explosive second route." At this time, Prince Andrew is expected to reveal "dealings" with the Jeffrey Epstein probe on Monday.