Queen Elizabeth strips Prince Andrew's royal patronages and military titles amid sex abuse lawsuit

Queen Elizabeth strips Prince Andrew's royal patronages and military titles amid sex abuse lawsuit

Prince Andrew will reportedly also stop using the title 'His Royal Highness' in an official capacity.

In a move to distance the monarchy from the Duke of York, Queen Elizabeth II has revoked Prince Andrew's military associations and royal patronages. Buckingham Palace made the long time coming announcement on Thursday, a day after a federal judge in New York refused to dismiss a sexual abuse lawsuit brought against the queen's second son by Virginia Giuffre. "With The Queen's approval and agreement, The Duke of York's military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen. The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen," the palace said in a statement.


According to BBC, a royal source revealed that Prince Andrew will also stop using the title, His Royal Highness in an official capacity. Nick Goldstone—the head of dispute resolution at the international law firm Ince in London—stated that stripping military titles and royal patronages is a "significant development" in royal terms. "It would appear that the royal family are trying to distance themselves from the fallout from the Virginia Giuffre case and the toxicity of the allegations made against the Duke of York,” he told USA TODAY


Giuffre alleges that Andrew raped and sexually assaulted her in New York in 2001 when she was 17, at the invitation of the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. While she claims Epstein trafficked her to the prince and that Andrew was aware of it, the 61-year-old has repeatedly denied the allegations, claiming that he didn't participate in the sexual exploitation of minors or witness such behavior. However, British military leaders have reportedly complained to the media—both publicly and anonymously—that links with the prince were embarrassing and unsustainable.


According to The Guardian, the announcement from Buckingham Palace comes hours after over 150 military veterans expressed what they described as their "upset and anger" in an open letter to the Queen asking her to strip Andrew of his honorary military roles. "It's been eleven years since the press revealed Prince Andrew's inappropriate friendship with Jeffrey Epstein. Since that time Prince Andrew has shown himself to be uncooperative and less than truthful about that relationship," they wrote. "He has made several unbelievable claims during a BBC interview in late 2019, which only led to him 'stepping back' but not stepping down."


"Now that Ghislaine Maxwell has been convicted of sex trafficking, a number of facts of the matter have been established in a court of law. Regardless of the result of Virginia Giuffre's civil case against Prince Andrew, his position in Britain's armed forces is now untenable. Were this any other senior military officer it is inconceivable that he would still be in post. Officers of the British armed forces must adhere to the very highest standards of probity, honesty and honourable conduct. These are standards which Prince Andrew has fallen well short of. It is hard not to see, when senior officers are reportedly describing him as 'toxic,' that he has brought the services he is associated with into disrepute," they added in the letter.


Andrew held at least eight honorary military titles—including colonel of the Grenadier Guards and colonel-in-chief of the Royal Irish Regiment—which have been returned to the Queen with immediate effect, and will reportedly be redistributed to other members of the Royal Family.

Cover Image Source: (L) Prince Andrew on April 11, 2021, in Windsor, England. (Photo by Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Images), (R)Britain's Queen Elizabeth on October 02, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Jane Barlow - Pool/Getty Images)

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