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Thursday 28 September 2023 Dublin: 15°C
# Duke of York
Prince Andrew's Twitter account deleted as British monarchy distances itself from him
It comes as a woman claiming she saw him with his accuser in a London nightclub said she is willing to give evidence against him.

PRINCE ANDREW HAS deleted his Twitter account, just days after Queen Elizabeth stripped him of his honorary military roles and he stopped using his HRH style.

Andrew’s official @TheDukeofYork handle now comes up with a blank page and the message “This account doesn’t exist”.

The bio used to read “The Official Twitter Account for The Duke of York. Tweets sent by HRH are signed – AY.”

The British monarchy’s official website has also been swiftly updated as the institution seeks to distance itself from Andrew, who is facing a civil sexual assault trial in the US.

Andrew still appears under the section “Members of the Royal Family”, but the list of his now ex-military posts and patronages has been removed.

Last week’s major development has been added, reading: “In January 2022, Buckingham Palace made a statement announcing that, with The Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen, and The Duke will continue to not carry out public duties.”

8c0270d2-1b65-4251-b336-a34ddd8b9e2b PA Prince Andrew's deleted Twitter account. PA

Under the heading “Supporting the Queen”, Andrew’s official duties are now listed in the past tense. The website states: “An important part of The Duke of York’s role was to support The Queen’s work as Head of State.”

Andrew’s YouTube page is also no longer accessible, but his Instagram account @hrhthedukeofyork remained in place as of lunchtime on Wednesday.

It comes as a lawyer for a woman who claims she saw Prince Andrew with his accuser in a London nightclub said that she is willing to give evidence in the civil sexual assault case against him.

Shukri Walker alleges she was in Tramp nightclub in 2001 and Andrew with Virginia Giuffre and his friend Ghislaine Maxwell.

Giuffre is suing the duke for damages in her home country of the US, claiming she was trafficked by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, Andrew’s friend and a convicted sex offender, to have sex with the royal when she was 17 and minor under US law.

Andrew is also alleged to have sexually abused Giuffre during a visit to Epstein’s private island, Little St James, and on a separate occasion at the financier’s Manhattan mansion. He has denied all the allegations.

His accuser’s legal team has already made requests for witness accounts from a number of individuals, including Walker and Andrew’s former assistant Robert Olney.

Lisa Bloom, who is representing Walker, said in a statement reported by a number of papers: “I am proud to represent Shukri Walker, who has bravely stepped forward as a witness and encourages others who may have information to do so as well.

“She is willing to do the deposition Giuffre’s team is seeking.”

Newsnight interview

Andrew’s much anticipated appearance on BBC’s Newsnight in November 2019 was an attempt to defend his reputation in the wake of the Epstein sex scandal, but he opened himself up to further accusations with critics saying he failed to show remorse for the financier’s victims.

He denied he slept with Giuffre, on three separate occasions when questioned by Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, saying one alleged encounter did not happen as he had taken his daughter, Princess Beatrice, to Pizza Express in Woking for a party and they spent the rest of the day together.

The same sexual encounter, which the American said began with the royal sweating heavily as they danced at Tramp nightclub, was factually wrong as Andrew said he had a medical condition at the time which meant he did not sweat.

British Armed Forces Minister James Heappey has said the civil sex case risks overshadowing Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee, which will be celebrated in the UK this year.

The politician told LBC that Andrew had “caused enormous challenges for the royal family in a year when we should be celebrating the extraordinary service of Her Majesty the Queen as she reaches her Platinum Jubilee”.

Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend and a friend of Andrew, was convicted in the US on 29 December of procuring teenage girls for Epstein to abuse and will be sentenced this summer.

The Queen has stripped Andrew of his remaining patronages and honorary military roles as the monarchy distanced itself from him ahead of potentially damaging developments in the lawsuit, which is scheduled to go to trial later this year.