Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Andrew’s “military affiliations and Royal patronages” have been returned to Queen Elizabeth as he faces a civil lawsuit in the US linked to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The announcement was made by the palace in a brief statement on Thursday.
“With The Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen,” the statement reads.
“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”
A statement from Buckingham Palace regarding The Duke of York: pic.twitter.com/OCeSqzCP38
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) January 13, 2022
The move comes a day after Prince Andrew’s lawyers failed to persuade a US judge to dismiss the sex-abuse lawsuit against the royal on a technicality. The case revolves around allegations raised by Virginia Giuffre, who claims the prince had engaged her in sexual activities back in 2001, when she was a minor.
Giuffre alleges she was trafficked to the British royal for sex by the late pedophile billionaire Epstein and his recently convicted associate, Ghislaine Maxwell.
Prince Andrew has denied sexually abusing Giuffre, saying in a 2019 interview that he did not recall ever even having met her. A publicly available photo taken in London shows the prince with his hand around Giuffre’s waist, however.
Earlier on Thursday, more than 150 military veterans petitioned the Queen to ask her to strip her son of his honorary military roles, and floated the idea of having him dishonorably discharged as well.
“We are particularly upset and angry that Prince Andrew remains a member of the armed forces and continues to hold military titles, positions, and ranks, including that of Vice Admiral of the Royal Navy,” the veterans said in an open letter.