Britain's Prince Andrew has returned his military affiliations and royal patronages to Queen Elizabeth, Buckingham Palace said on Thursday, a day after his lawyers failed to persuade a US judge to dismiss a civil lawsuit against him which accuses the royal of sexual abuse.
"With The Queen's approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen," Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
"The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen."
A statement from Buckingham Palace regarding The Duke of York: pic.twitter.com/OCeSqzCP38
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) January 13, 2022
A royal source said Andrew would no longer use the title 'His Royal Highness' in any official capacity and his other roles would be distributed among other members of the Royal family. They would not return to Prince Andrew.
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”.
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.
Virginia 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 aged 17 and a minor under US law.
The duke has strenuously denied the allegations. - Reuters/PA