Prince Andrew has been stripped of his honorary military roles as a growing uproar over allegations that he sexually abused a teenage girl trafficked by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, who threatened to tarnish the House of Windsor .
Buckingham Palace said late Thursday that Queen Elizabeth had also agreed that Andrew, 61, would step down from his honorary leadership of various charities known as royal patronage.
British media said he would no longer use the title “His Royal Highness” in official settings.
The decision is an attempt to save the monarchy from potentially years of sordid headlines as Andrew vows to fight a lawsuit filed by Virginia Giuffre, an American woman who alleges she had sex with the prince when she was 17. was forced to have sex. A New York judge on Wednesday rejected an attempt to quash Andrew’s trial, raising the possibility that he will have to testify in the case if the trial goes ahead.
“With the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronage are returned to the Queen,” the palace said, using the formal title of Prince. “The Duke of York will not perform any public duty and is defending the matter as a private citizen.”
A statement from Buckingham Palace regarding the Duke of York: pic.twitter.com/OCeSqzCP38
The move came after more than 150 veterans and serving members of the armed forces asked the Queen to strip the second son of his military titles, saying he failed to live up to the “highest standards of integrity, honesty and dignified conduct”. have failed. British officers are expected.
“We understand that he is your son, but we write to you in your capacity as Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Navy and Air Force,” he wrote in a letter issued by Republic, a pressure group Is. who campaigns for the end of the monarchy.
“These steps could have been taken at any time in the last eleven years. Please don’t leave it anymore.”
Andrew served in the Royal Navy for two decades, and was a helicopter pilot during the Falklands War of 1982.
Andrew has denied Giuffre’s allegations and said he does not remember ever meeting her.
look | About the allegation Zifre was adamant:
He has spent years coping with concerns about his relationship with US financier Epstein, who died in 2019 awaiting trial on child sex trafficking charges, and Epstein’s longtime partner Ghislaine Maxwell, who had been arrested in the past. Months was indicted for related charges.
The prince stepped down from public duties in 2019 after a disastrous BBC interview in which he tried to justify his association with the pair and failed to show sympathy for Epstein’s victims. But he managed to cling to his military title and patronage until Wednesday’s decision destabilized Andrew’s position.
Prince’s team ‘surprised’
Giuffre sued Andrew in August, alleging that Epstein and Maxwell forced her into sexual encounters with Prince in 2001. Giuffre said she was sexually abused by Andrew at Maxwell’s London home, at Epstein’s New York mansion and at his property in the US Virgin Islands.
On Wednesday, US District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan rejected Andrew’s request to dismiss the lawsuit before trial. Prince’s lawyers argued the terms of a 2009 settlement between Giuffre and Epstein barred him from suing anyone else connected to the case. Kaplan insisted that he was not judging the veracity of the allegations against Andrew.
Britain’s Press Association quoted a person close to Andrew as saying his team was “shocked by the decision.”
look | Andrew loses bid for dismissal:
“However, this was not a judgment on the merits of Ms Giuffre’s allegations,” the person said. “This is a marathon not a sprint and Duke will continue to defend itself against these claims.”
But repercussions for other members of the royal family and the institution of the monarchy are likely as Elizabeth prepares for a nationwide celebration to mark 70 years on the throne.
If the case goes to trial, Andrew will need to give an affidavit, and may have to testify in court about his relationships with Epstein, Maxwell, and Giuffre. Mark Stephens, an expert in international law at London-based law firm Howard Kennedy, said it could lead him to embarrassing questions that would undermine the authority of the royal family.
“So far, it was Prince Andrew alone who has carried the water on it,” Stephens said.
“But the point now is that he could make it even worse for the royal family when he has to give details of what he did to a 17-year-old girl that the public, whether legitimate or not, Thinking that was morally reprehensible.”
Stephens said Thursday’s decision raises the possibility that Andrew will do whatever he can.
“If he does not succeed in his appeal, he will have to compromise because of real politics,” Stephens said.