Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Prince Andrew Loses Royal and Military Links, No longer ‘His Royal Highness’

LONDON – Prince Andrew’s military ties and royal patronage were removed on Thursday and will no longer be referred to as “His Royal Highness”, Buckingham Palace said, as Queen Elizabeth II’s son fights a US lawsuit in which his is accused of sex. to abuse.

Andrew, 61, Duke of York, was forced to step down from public duties in 2019 because of his relationship with convicted US sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, and after a disastrous BBC TV interview that the prince was expected to be He will clear his name.

Thursday’s move by the royal family means he will now lose all his royal connections.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement: “With the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronage have been returned to the Queen.”

“The Duke of York will not perform any public duty and is defending the matter as a private citizen.”

On Wednesday, Andrew’s attorneys failed to persuade a US judge to dismiss a civil suit in which Virginia Giuffre accused him of sexually abusing her when she was a teenager.

US District Judge Lewis Kaplan said Giuffre, 38, can pursue claims that Andrew beat her and intentionally caused her emotional distress, while Epstein – a financier who served in prison in August 2019 while awaiting his sex trafficking trial Killed himself – was smuggling him.

The Queen’s second son, the 95-year-old, has denied Giuffre’s allegations that he forced her to have sex more than two decades ago at a London home of Epstein’s former aide Ghislaine Maxwell, and Epstein’s two He was abused on properties.

The judge’s decision means Andrew could be forced to provide evidence in a trial that could begin between September and December 2022 if a settlement is not reached.

‘Marathon not a sprint’

A source close to Andrew said: “Given the strength with which Judge Kaplan welcomed our arguments, we are surprised by the decision.”

“However, this was not a decision on the merits of Ms. Giuffre’s allegations. This is a marathon and not a sprint and Duke will continue to defend itself against these claims.”

A representative for Giuffre did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Andrew’s links with Epstein have caused damaging media reports, leading the prince to decide to do a TV interview in November 2019, hoping that the matter would be resolved.

Instead it led to ridicule and further questions, and as the dispute escalated, Buckingham Palace distanced itself from the prince, refusing to comment and referring all questions to its lawyers.

The US conviction last month of his friend Ghislaine Maxwell on sex trafficking and other charges of recruiting and framing underage girls for Epstein, along with his own case, tarnished his reputation in the British media.

A royal source said the decision on Andrew came after extensive discussions between the Windsors, and that his military affiliations and patronage would be redistributed to other members of the family.

Earlier, an open letter to the Queen, signed by more than 150 veterans calling for Andrew, also stripped them of their military titles and “if necessary, be dishonestly discharged,” by the anti-monarchical campaign group Republic. was published.

He called on the Queen to take immediate action because her son had been “uncooperative and less than truthful” about his relationship with Epstein, and brought to the armed services those he had insulted.

“Despite the outcome of Virginia Giuffre’s civil case against Prince Andrew, his position in the UK Armed Forces is now untenable,” the veterans’ letter said.

The scandal surrounding Andrew comes on the heels of damage caused by the Queen’s grandson Prince Harry and his American wife Meghan leaving royal duties to pursue new careers in Los Angeles, the latter accusing the royal household of racism .

He was also stripped of all his patronage, the titles of ‘His and Her Royal Highness’, and Harry lost his prized military roles.

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