Yesterday, a judge ruled that the sexual abuse case against Prince Andrew can proceed, and now Buckingham Palace has announced that the Duke of York has been stripped of his military titles and charities.
“With The Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen. The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen,” reads the statement.
All of Prince Andrew’s official royal roles have been given back to the Queen, and according to CNN, they will not ever be returned to the Duke of York. Instead, Queen Elizabeth will redistribute them to other members of the royal family. A royal source also told the news outlet that Prince Andrew will no longer use the HRH “His Royal Highness” style in “any official capacity,” and that the decision was “widely discussed” among the senior royals.
The newly released statement is a big sign that Queen Elizabeth and the senior royals are seriously distancing themselves from the Duke of York, whose reputation had already taken a big hit due to his ties with the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Virginia Giuffre filed the civil case against Prince Andrew in August; she has alleged that she was trafficked by Epstein at the age of 17, and forced to perform sex acts with the Duke of York. The 61-year-old Duke of York has denied the allegations.
Prince Andrew, who is the Queen’s third child, stepped away from public duties in 2019, shortly after the serious backlash that followed his disastrous interview with the BBC, in which he denied sexual assault allegations and also infamously claimed that he could not sweat.
Prince Andrew’s legal team’s motion to dismiss the case was denied by a New York judge yesterday; he now has until July 14 to “potentially answer questions about the case under oath,” per CNN. If the case is not settled, then Prince Andrew could be looking at a trial date later this year, between September and December 2022.