Britain’s Prince Andrew has had his military affiliations and remaining royal patronages stripped away by his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. Per BBC, Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Jan. 13: “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 added that Prince Andrew “will no longer use ‘His Royal Highness’ in any official capacity.” Andrew is the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, making him ninth in line to the throne. He shares daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie with his ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson.
The announcement comes less than 24 hours after a judge denied the Duke of York’s motion to have a lawsuit brought against him by Virginia Giuffre dismissed. In August 2021, Giuffre filed a lawsuit against the Duke of York at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, accusing Prince Andrew of sexually abusing her on three separate occasions, claiming he knew that she was being trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein and his associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, while she was under the age of 18.
In December 2021, a jury found Maxwell guilty of five of six counts of federal sex trafficking charges. She faces a sentence of up to 65 years in person. Maxwell’s lawyers argued that it was “Epstein who pulled the strings” and became the focus of federal prosecutors after Epstein was found dead in his jail cell in August 2019. In the complaint Giuffre filed against Prince Andrew, it stated that the alleged sexual and physical abuse of Giuffre caused “significant emotional and psychological distress and harm.” Giuffre is seeking damages for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
In a 2019 BBC interview, Prince Andrew denied Giuffre’s sexual assault allegations, saying that he “doesn’t remember meeting” her. Following backlash over the interview, the Duke of York announced he would step back from his public royal duties.
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