LONDON (AP) – Buckingham Palace said on Thursday that Prince Andrew’s honorary military titles and royal patronage have been returned to Queen Elizabeth II with her “approval and consent”.
More than 150 Navy and Army veterans have petitioned the Queen to strip Andrew of all his military ranks and ranks after a US judge said on Wednesday that a sexual harassment lawsuit could be filed against Andrew.
In a joint letter released by the Republic group, they stated that Andrew “has damaged the reputation of the services he is associated with.”
A brief statement from the palace states that “with the Queen’s approval and consent, the Duke of York’s military affiliation and royal patronage have been returned to the Queen.”
“The Duke of York will continue to assume no public duties and will defend this case as a private individual,” the statement said.
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A U.S. District Judge on Wednesday refused to dismiss a civil case against Andrew brought by American Virginia Giuffre, who alleges she was sexually abused by the royal family when she was 17.
District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan dismissed Andrew’s lawyers’ argument that Giuffre’s lawsuit should be dismissed at an early stage because of an old legal agreement she made with Jeffrey Epstein, a financier she claims arranged sexual encounters with the prince.
He stressed that he does not judge the truth of the accusations.
Andrew’s lawyers have stated that Giuffre has never been sexually assaulted or abused by the royal family and that he “strongly denies Giuffre’s false accusations against him”.
Palace officials declined to comment on the “ongoing legal issue”.