Queen strips Prince Andrew of military titles after sex assault case sent to trial

Prince Andrew has been stripped of his military titles and will defend a civil sexual assault as a “private citizen”, Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday.

“With the Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronage have been returned to the Queen,” the 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.”

Andrew will no longer be known as His Royal Highness. Prince Charles and William were reportedly “instrumental” in the move to push Andrew out, according to the Daily Mail.

A senior palace source told the newspaper: “This is about the survival of the institution at all costs. Always has been and always will be.”

The decision to demote Prince Andrew follows his failed bid to get a judge to dismiss a civil case brought by Virginia Giuffre in a federal court in New York. Ms Giuffre alleges that she was forced to have sex with Jeffrey Epstein’s friends – including the Duke of York – when she was 17. Prince Andrew strongly denies the allegations against him. 

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What’s next for the Queen’s favourite son?

As Prince Andrew now faces a life outside the royal family, stripped of his military roles and his titles, what’s next for him and his family?

Chief US correspondent Andrew Buncombe reports on how this current saga might affect the royals.

Holly Bancroft14 January 2022 12:40

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Which British royals have lost their titles?

Prince Andrew has been stripped of his honorary military roles by the Queen and will no longer use his HRH title in an official capacity in the wake of his civil sexual assault case.

Read about which other British royals have lost their titles in this piece by Tom Batchelor:

Holly Bancroft14 January 2022 12:24

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Prince Andrew court case a ‘marathon not a sprint’, source says

Prince Andrew will continue to defend himself against a “marathon” court case brought by Virginia Giuffre, Sun online has reported.

A source close to the Duke told the news outlet that “given the robustness with which Judge Kaplan greeted our arguments, we are unsurprised by the ruling.”

They added: “However it was not a judgement 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.”

Holly Bancroft14 January 2022 12:03

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Calls to cut Prince Andrew’s connections to the City of York

A senior member of the City of York council has started a campaign to strip Prince Andrew of his Duke of York title following the removal of his honorary military roles by the Queen.

Darryl Smalley, Liberal Democrat executive member for culture, leisure and communities at the council, said: “York’s unique connection to the crown and the monarch is an important part of our city’s legacy, history and a great source of pride.

“No-one is above the law and all allegations should rightly be fully investigated, particularly following the recent distressing court cases.

“We stand with all victims, whose harrowing stories have shocked us all in recent months.

“Whilst Prince Andrew remains innocent until proven guilty, Buckingham Palace and the Government must consider the implications of these troubling allegations moving forward.

“Having been stripped of his military roles and royal patronages by the Queen, he should also now relinquish his title as Duke of York.”

MP for York Central Rachael Maskell backed the campaign saying: “It’s untenable for the Duke of York to cling onto his title another day longer; this association with York must end.”

Press Association contributed to this report

Holly Bancroft14 January 2022 11:20

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Government minister refuses to confirm if taxpayers will still fund Prince Andrew’s security

Security minister Damian Hinds was unable to confirm if the taxpayer will still fund Prince Andrew’s protection officers in an interview with LBC this morning.

Speaking on the radio station, Mr Hinds said: “Our security forces, the police and others, do what they judge is necessary to protect our country, to protect people in it.”

He said it is a “long-standing – and I think correct – principle that we don’t talk about who and how in particular”.

When pushed, he said: “I know this is going to come across to you possibly, and possibly to some listeners, like me obfuscating and avoiding the question, and I suppose maybe even in some ways it is avoiding the question, but only because it is right to say that the police and our wider security forces do what is right and proportionate to protect the people of this country.

“And we don’t publicise exactly what that covers.”

The question of taxpayer-funded security for non-working royals was last raised when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped down.

When Harry and Meghan made public their decision early last year, their website suggested that the Home Office, through the Metropolitan Police, should continue to provide protection for the couple and their young son, Archie.

But former Home Office minister Norman Baker called at the time for Scotland Yard to cap the annual expenditure on security for the couple to its 2019 level.

The Sussexes later signed multimillion-pound deals with Netflix and Spotify, with the duke telling Oprah Winfrey he had secured them to pay for his security.

Press Association14 January 2022 11:00

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Read Virginia Giuffre’s comments in full

Holly Bancroft14 January 2022 10:40

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Prince Charles and Prince William allegedly behind the Queen’s decision

Prince Charles and his son Prince William are reportedly behind the Queen’s decision to strip Prince Andrew of his titles and royal patronages.

During an hour-long summit, both Charles and William were in complete agreement that Andrew must go, according to The Sun.

The paper reported that Prince William was a key figure in the judgement and helped the Queen realise that Andrew’s position was “grave”.

Prince Charles and Prince William were described as “instrumental” in the decision by the Daily Mail, with one source telling the news outlet: “This is about the survival of the institution at all costs. Always has been and always will be.”

They said: “It was a ruthless ad swift decision which will have been recommended by the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge and sanctioned by the Queen.”

Holly Bancroft14 January 2022 10:26

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ICYMI: Ghislaine Maxwell no longer fighting to keep names sealed from Giuffre’s lawsuit

Ghislaine Maxwell is no longer fighting to hide information – including eight names – from Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit against her, Maxwell’s lawyers have said.

Lawyers from Ms Giuffre have long fought to unseal the names of eight “John Does” mentioned in their 2015 civil lawsuit.

It is not known whether Prince Andrew is one of the John Does in the 2015 case.

Read the latest from Nathan Place in New York:

Holly Bancroft14 January 2022 09:31

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What the papers say about the Queen stripping Prince Andrew of his titles

Almost all of the UK’s national papers led on news that the Queen had stripped Prince Andrew of his royal titles.

The Daily Telegraph used a photo of the Prince being driven to Windsor Castle on its front page, with the headline: “Queen freezes out Andrew”.

The Daily Mail used the same photo, instead captioning it “Driven Out”. They described Prince Andrew’s demeanour as “haunted” and palace sources told the paper that the “ruthless and swift” decision had been “widely discussed” within the Royal Family.

The Times said Prince Andrew had been “humiliated” by the Queen’s decision.

And the Daily Express said that the Queen had “cast Andrew adrift for the sake of the monarchy”.

The Sun put this more succinctly with the headline: “Throne Out”.

Holly Bancroft14 January 2022 09:20

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Virginia Giuffre: ‘Rich & powerful are not above the law’

The woman who is taking Prince Andrew to court with allegations of sexual assault has thanked the judge who rejected the royal’s attempt to have the lawsuit thrown out.

Virginia Giuffre tweeted: “I’m pleased with Judge Kaplan’s ruling yesterday that allows my case against Prince Andrew to go forward. I’m glad I will have the chance to continue to expose the truth & I am deeply grateful to my extraordinary legal team.

“Their determination helps me seek justice from those who hurt me and so many others. My goal has always been to show that the rich and powerful are not above the law & must be held accountable.

“I do not walk this path alone, but alongside countless other survivors of sexual abuse & trafficking.”

(AP)

Holly Bancroft14 January 2022 08:45

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