Andrew will also no longer use the style “His Royal Highness” in an official capacity, a royal source told CNN on Thursday. The source said the decision was “widely discussed” within the Royal Family.
“With the Queen’s approval and consent, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronages have been returned to the Queen. The Duke of York will continue to hold no public office and defends this case as a private citizen,” the palace said. in a report.
The royal source also told CNN that “all roles of the Duke have been returned to the Queen with immediate effect to be redistributed to other members of the Royal Family. For clarity, they will not revert to the Duke of York”.
On Wednesday, a New York judge ruled against a motion by Andrew’s legal team to dismiss a civil lawsuit brought against him by Virginia Giuffre, who alleges she was trafficked by the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein and forced to engage in sexual acts with the prince when she was 17. Andrew has strenuously denied the allegations.
The allegations against Andrew – as well as his relationship with the late sex offender Epstein – had already tarnished the prince’s reputation. But the prospect of a public trial that would draw global attention could put Andrew – the third child (and apparently favorite son) of Queen Elizabeth II – in an unprecedented situation for a senior British royal.
Other than the days following the death of his father, Prince Philip, in early 2021, he has rarely appeared in public since. He was even absent from the photographs made public of the wedding of his eldest daughter Béatrice in 2020.
The scandal has wider implications for the Royal Family, who have simultaneously been forced to stand up to criticism over Andrew’s case and allegations of racism from Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex over the past year. Buckingham Palace later described the claims as “worrying”.
The case against Andrew
Giuffre says she was trafficked by Epstein and forced to have sex with his friends – including the prince – when she was a minor (17) in the United States. She said the assaults took place in London, New York and the US Virgin Islands; that Andrew knew she was underage at the time; and that it had been doctored by Epstein.
She seeks damages “in an amount to be determined at trial,” as well as attorney’s fees and other remedies “as the court may deem just and appropriate,” according to the trial.
Andrew’s lawyers filed a nonsuit motion late last year, but that effort failed on Wednesday and they must now prepare the prince to face a New York court. He could still try to negotiate a settlement with Giuffre to avoid the case going to trial.
CNN’s Rob Picheta contributed to this report.