The Duke of York will no longer use his HRH style and the Queen has stripped him of his honorary military roles and royal patronages in a dramatic fallout from his civil sexual assault case.
Andrew, who was born an HRH, will not use it any official capacity, a royal source said.
The development is a major blow to Andrew who is facing a court showdown after a judge ruled on Wednesday that Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit against him could go ahead.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Thursday: “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.”
A royal source said the issue had been widely discussed with the royal family, making it likely that the Prince of Wales, as well as Andrew, were involved in crisis talks over the matter.
The decision to remove the duke’s military roles and royal patronages will have been a difficult one for the Queen for a son who denies the allegations against him.
The source said the military posts would be redistributed to other members of the royal family.
It comes after more than 150 veterans joined forces to express their outrage, writing to the Queen to demand Andrew was removed from the honorary military positions.
Accusing the duke of bringing the services he is associated with into disrepute, the 152 former members of the Royal Navy, RAF and Army said that “were this any other senior military officer it is inconceivable that he would still be in post”.
Head of the armed forces
The Queen is head of the armed forces and honorary military appointments are in her gift.
The Palace said previously that the duke’s military appointments were in abeyance after he stepped down from public duties in 2019.
But until now he still retained the roles, which left the eight British regiments, including the Grenadier Guards of which he was Colonel, in limbo more than two years on.
Ms Giuffre is suing the duke in the US for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.
She claims she was trafficked by Epstein to have sex with Andrew when she was 17 and a minor under US law.
The duke has strenuously denied the allegations.
A source close to the duke said he would “continue to defend himself” against Ms Giuffre’s allegations following the judge’s decision to dismiss his legal team’s attempt to have the case thrown out.
The source said: “Given the robustness with which Judge Kaplan greeted our arguments, we are unsurprised by the ruling.
“However, it was not a judgment on the merits of Ms Giuffre’s allegations. This is a marathon not a sprint and the duke will continue to defend himself against these claims.”
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