Prince Andrew loses military roles, royal patronages, will defend sex charges ‘as private citizen’


Prince Andrew, who lost his royal title, patronages, and military roles on Thursday, will defend himself against a U.S. civil suit alleging sexual abuse as a private citizen, Buckingham Palace said. 

Queen Elizabeth II, his mother, gave “approval and agreement” to the decision, the announcement stated.

He will no longer use the title “His Royal Highness,” the palace said. By contrast, Andrew’s nephew Prince Harry, who stepped back from the Royal Family in 2020, was permitted to retain the styling of “HRH,” but is not allowed to use it. 

“With The Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen,” the announcement stated. Prince Andrew, the palace added, “will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”

Media reports say Andrew’s roles will be reassigned to other members of the Royal family. The Duke of York, who turns 62 next month, is ninth in the line of succession to the British throne. He is Queen Elizabeth’s third child and her second son.

In November 2019, Andrew released a statement saying he’d asked the Queen “if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission.” The Jan. 13 announcement from Buckingham Palace makes that departure apparently permanent.

On Wednesday, federal District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, a Clinton appointee who took senior status on the District Court for the Southern District of New York in 2011, ruled that a lawsuit filed by Virginia Roberts Giuffre alleging she was forced to have several sexual encounters with Prince Andrew in the early 2000s. She claimed that convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein “trafficked” her to the Duke of York.

Andrew’s attorneys claimed a sealed agreement between Ms. Giuffre and Epstein, who died by suicide in 2019, shielded him from civil actions, a claim Judge Kaplan rejected.

In that 2019 statement, Andrew said, “I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply [sympathize] with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure. I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”

The Duke of York was a Royal Navy helicopter pilot and a warship captain. He flew multiple missions during the war to retake the Falkland Islands from Argentina, including flights to evacuate casualties.

His 1986 marriage to Sarah Ferguson ended ten years later. The union produced two children, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.


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