Queen Elizabeth II’s second son, Prince Andrew, was on Thursday effectively stripped of his position in royal life, in a dramatic move as he faces a US civil case for sexual assault.
British media quoted an unnamed royal source as saying he would no longer use the “His Royal Highness” title, which designates senior members of the royal family, in any capacity.
The move came after Buckingham Palace announced that he had given up his honorary military titles and charitable roles as the US case looms.
“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen,” a statement said.
A New York judge on Wednesday dismissed an attempt by Andrew’s lawyers to have the case brought by Virginia Giuffre thrown out.
Giuffre, 38, accuses Andrew — often called the queen’s “favorite son” — of sexually assaulting her in 2001 when she was 17, claiming she was delivered to him by Jeffrey Epstein.
Andrew, who strenuously denies the allegation, was forced to quit public life after a calamitous 2019 interview in which he claimed to have no memory of meeting Giuffre and defended his friendship with convicted pedophile Epstein, who was found hanged in prison in 2019.
Public outrage at the time saw several charities and associations distance themselves from him and he has rarely been seen in public since.
More than 150 Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and British Army veterans wrote to the queen, calling on her to strip Andrew of his ranks and titles in the armed forces.
The 95-year-old head of state is commander-in-chief of the army, navy and air force.
“Were this any other senior military officer it is inconceivable that he would still be in post,” they wrote in a joint letter made public by the anti-monarchy pressure group Republic.
“Officers of the British armed forces must adhere to the very highest standards of probity, honesty and honorable conduct. These are standards which Prince Andrew has fallen well short of,” they said, adding that he had “brought the services he is associated with into disrepute.”
Senior members of the British royal family have typically been appointed as honorary heads of military units, with the queen’s approval.
Andrew was honorary colonel of the Grenadier Guards, whose soldiers guard Buckingham Palace in their distinctive bearskin hats and red tunics.
Royal patronages are associations with charities and other organizations.
Andrew would likely have to respond to Giuffre’s accusations from Britain in a recorded deposition, unless he successfully appeals or reaches a settlement.
One of Giuffre’s lawyers, David Boies, told the BBC on Wednesday that his client was not ruling out a deal, but a financial settlement would not be enough.
“It’s very important to Virginia Giuffre that this matter be resolved in a way that vindicates her and vindicates the other victims,” he said.
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