As the son of Queen Elizabeth fights a US lawsuit, the Royal Family revoked Prince Andrew’s military ties and royal patronages on Thursday, and announced that he will no longer be called as ‘His Royal Highness’.
The news: Andrew, the Duke of York, 61, was forced to resign from public life in 2019 as a result of his ties to convicted US sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, as well as a disastrous BBC TV appearance that the prince had hoped would clear his name.
- Following the royal family’s decision on Thursday, he will no longer have any royal connections.
- “The Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronages have been restored to the queen with the queen’s assent and agreement,” Buckingham Palace stated in a statement.
- “The Duke of York will continue to refuse to perform any governmental obligations and is defending himself as a private person in this matter.”
What’s going on: Andrew’s lawyers failed to persuade a federal judge on Wednesday to dismiss a civil case filed by Virginia Giuffre accusing him of sexually abusing her as a teenager.
- Giuffre, 38, could sue Andrew for battering her and purposefully causing her emotional anguish while Epstein, a financier who committed suicide in jail in August 2019 while awaiting his sex trafficking trial, was trafficking her, according to U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan.
- The prince, the queen’s second son, has disputed Giuffre’s claims that he forced her to have sex in a London property of former Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell more than two decades ago and assaulted her at two Epstein residences.
- Andrew could be obliged to testify at a trial that could start between September and December 2022 if no settlement is achieved as a result of the judge’s order.
- A request for response from Giuffre’s representative was not immediately returned.
What happened: Andrew’s ties to Epstein had resulted in a slew of negative media allegations, prompting the prince to agree to a TV appearance in November 2019 in the hopes of resolving the situation.
- Instead, it drew mockery and further inquiries, and as the controversy mounted, Buckingham Palace grew more distant from the prince, declining to speak and passing all questions to his attorneys.
- His image in the British media had been shattered by his associate Ghislaine Maxwell’s conviction in the United States last month on sex trafficking and other accusations of recruiting and grooming minor girls for Epstein to abuse, as well as his own case.
- According to a royal source, Andrew’s military affiliations and patronages would be reallocated to other members of the Windsor family after extensive negotiations among the Windsors.
- An open letter to the queen, signed by more than 150 veterans, was published earlier this week by the anti-monarchy campaign organisation Republic, requesting for Andrew’s military titles to be removed and “if necessary, that he be dishonourably discharged”.
- They demanded that Elizabeth take urgent action since her son had been “uncooperative and less than truthful” about his contact with Epstein and had tarnished the military forces he represented.
In addition: Andrew’s incident follows the fallout from the queen’s grandson Prince Harry and his American wife Meghan resigning from royal duties to pursue new careers in Los Angeles, later accusing the royal household of racism.
- They were stripped of all their patronages, as well as the titles of ‘His and Her Royal Highness’, and Harry’s valued military positions.