LONDON – Queen Elizabeth II has stripped Prince Andrew of all his honorary military titles and royal roles in charities and other civilian groups, Buckingham Palace said on Thursday, amid a growing uproar over allegations that he had bought one supplied to him by financier Jeffrey Epstein. Sexual abuse of teenage girl.
More than 150 British Navy and Army veterans have written to the Queen asking her to strip her second son of all military ranks and titles, after a US judge said on Wednesday that the sexual assault trial against the prince could go ahead. .
In a joint letter released by Groupe Republic, they said they were “upset and indignant” that Andrew had “brought the services to which he is associated.”
The palace said in a brief statement that “with the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronage have been returned to the Queen.”
Patrons refer to roles in charities, military and civilian groups that support the royals.
“The Duke of York will not perform any public duty and is defending the matter as a private citizen,” the statement said.
The queen is the head of the armed forces and honorary military appointments are given by her.
Andrew stepped down from public duties in 2019 after widespread criticism following a BBC interview about his friendship with Epstein. But he still retained his honorary titles including that of Vice Admiral of the Royal Navy.
A US district judge on Wednesday refused to dismiss a civil case against Andrew by Virginia Giuffre, an American woman.
Giuffre sued Andrew, 61, in August, saying she was forced into sexual encounters with him in 2001 by Epstein and his longtime partner Ghislaine Maxwell, when she was 17. Giuffre said she was sexually abused by Andrew at Maxwell’s London home, Epstein’s New York mansion and his property in the US Virgin Islands.
District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan rejected Andrew’s lawyers’ argument that Giuffre’s trial should be dismissed early because she had an earlier legal settlement with Epstein, who she claims had sex with the prince.
He insisted that he was not judging the veracity of the allegations.
Andrew’s lawyers have said that the royal never sexually assaulted or assaulted Giuffre and that he “categorically denies Giuffre’s false allegations against him.”
Palace officials have declined to comment on the “ongoing legal case”.