Monday, January 17, 2022

Queen relieves Prince Andrew of military titles

The Queen has stripped Prince Andrew of his military titles and royal patronage after a US judge allowed a civil sex abuse case involving her son to go to trial.

The Duke of York will now defend the case as a “private citizen” Buckingham Palace declares, while it is believed he will cease to be called His Royal Highness (HRH) in any official capacity.

On another highly damaging day, the courtiers sought to prevent prestigious damage to the monarchy by removing the duke from official royal life while cutting him away from the wider family.

In a statement, the palace said: “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.”

The Duke’s current roles – including that of colonel of the Grenadier Guards, one of the oldest regiments in the British Army – will be handed over to other members of the royal family, with details of the new arrangement yet to be announced.

It is understood that the decision on Andrew came after discussions between members of the Windsor family, suggesting that senior royals may be involved in the decision.

His other military titles include Honorary Air Commodore of RAF Lossiemouth; Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Irish Regiment; Colonel-in-Chief of the Small Arms School Corps; Commodore-in-Chief of the Fleet Air Arm; Royal Colonel of the Royal Highland Fusiliers; Deputy Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeth’s Own); and Royal Colonel of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Virginia Giuffre has sued Andrew in the US for allegedly sexually assaulting her as a teenager.

She claims she was trafficked by convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with Andrew when she was 17 years old and a minor under US law. Andrew denied all allegations.

The judge’s decision to allow the trial to proceed means that if no settlement is reached, Andrew could be forced to testify at a trial in the US, which begins in September.

Ms Giuffre was pictured with Andrew and his friend Ghislaine Maxwell during the period of the alleged intercourse.

Lawyers for Maxwell, who was convicted last month of sexual assault of luring vulnerable teens to Epstein’s various assets, have now said they are no longer fighting to hide the information — including those outlined in a 2015 civil case. Eight names are included – from the trial of Ms. Giuffre.

Meanwhile, Ms Giuffre’s lawyer, David Bois, has indicated that her client is not interested in a “purely financial settlement” with Andrew, suggesting that the prince has to clear his name in potentially embarrassing legal situations. Can be dragged into battle.

“I think what’s going to be important is that this offer justifies him and justifies the claim he’s made,” Mr Bois told the BBC, “a purely financial settlement is nothing like that. In which I think she is interested.”

The attorney has also raised the possibility of calling other members of the royal family to testify, including Meghan Markle, Prince Charles and Andrew’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson.

Earlier on Thursday, more than 150 veterans from the Royal Navy, RAF and Army signed an open letter calling on the Queen to strip Andrew of honorary military roles.

The ex-servicemen and women’s group said they felt “upset and outraged” that he remained a member of the armed forces and continued to hold military titles, positions and ranks, including that of Vice Admiral of the Royal Navy.

“Whether it was any other senior military officer, it is inconceivable that he would still be in office,” he said.

As head of the armed forces, honorary military appointments are a gift to the Queen.

Responding to the decision to remove Andrew from positions, one of the signatories of the open letter said: “I am glad that he is no longer attached to the military.”

Lieutenant Stuart Hunt, who served in the 1st Royal Tank Regiment, said it was a “vain business” and claimed that the duke had discredited the armed forces.

The move to strip Andrew of his title is the second time in so many years that a senior royal has lost prized military roles.

In January 2020, the Queen’s grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan announced they were stepping down from royal duties and stripped of all their patronage as well as the “His and Her Royal Highness” titles.

Nation World News Desk
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