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Prince Andrew gives up military titles and patronages, Buckingham Palace confirms

He is to face a US civil case over alleged sexual assault after a judge dismissed his appeal.

Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

BRITAIN’S PRINCE ANDREW, who is facing a US civil case for sexual assault, has given up his honorary military and charitable roles, Buckingham Palace has confirmed. 

“With the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen,” the Palace said in a statement this evening. 

“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”

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.

Trial

It was confirmed yesterday that Prince Andrew will be tried over allegations he sexually assaulted Virginia Giuffre when she was underage after a US judge ruled her civil lawsuit can proceed.

Judge Lewis Kaplan’s decision comes as a huge blow for Andrew, whose lawyer argued earlier this month the case should be thrown out as Giuffre had waived her right to pursue the duke by signing a confidential settlement with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

The Queen of England’s son’s reputation has already been irreparably tarnished by his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender, and he withdrew from public duties soon after his disastrous 2019 Newsnight interview that failed to draw a line under his relationship with the disgraced financier.

Virginia Giuffre is suing the queen’s son for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager. She is seeking unspecified damages, but there is speculation the sum could be in the millions of dollars.

Giuffre 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 vehemently denied the allegations and his legal team has argued from the lawsuit’s first hearing that the case is “baseless”.

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There has already been speculation the duke may be encouraged to reach an agreement with his accuser in a bid to avoid the trial being held.

If the hearing does go ahead it is not clear whether Prince Andrew will give evidence in person, via a video link or decline to participate.

The settlement between Giuffre and Epstein, made public earlier this month, detailed how Andrew’s accuser had received a €438,000 payout in 2009 and agreed to “release, acquit, satisfy, and forever discharge” the disgraced financier and “any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant”.

The duke’s lawyer had argued during a virtual hearing that his client was a “potential defendant” as defined by the agreement and so the case “should be dismissed”.

Outlining his reasons for denying the Duke of York’s motion to dismiss the civil case against him, Judge Lewis Kaplan said an agreement in the civil settlement between Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Giuffre “cannot be said” to benefit him.

Includes reporting by Press Association

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