Prince Andrew has had his military affiliations and royal patronages returned to the Queen and will continue to not undertake any public duties, Buckingham Palace has announced.
The news comes after US judge Lewis Kaplan gave the green light for a civil trial to go ahead in the sexual abuse lawsuit brought against him by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, despite the Duke of York‘s attempt to get the case tossed out.
Giuffre filed the lawsuit in August last year under Child Victims Act in New York, claiming she was trafficked by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with the Duke while she was 17; allegations the royal vehemently denies.
The palace said in a statement today, January 13:
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.
A royal source cited by Reuters has also alleged Andrew will no longer use ‘His Royal Highness’ in any official capacity, although this has yet to be confirmed.
The move follows calls from more than 150 military veterans, who wrote to the Queen to ask her to strip her second son of his honourary military titles. ‘Were this any other senior military officer it is inconceivable that he would still be in post’, part of the open letter read. The palace earlier said it had no comment on the letter, The Guardian reports.
The Duke initially stepped down from public duties ‘for the foreseeable future’ in 2019 as the pressure mounted following his widely-criticised BBC Newsnight interview.
‘It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support’, he said in a statement at the time.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 between 12pm–2.30pm and 7pm– 9.30pm every day. Alternatively, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas