Queen Elizabeth removes Prince Andrew’s military titles and patronages in a sex-abuse suit

On Thursday, Queen Elizabeth II removed Prince Andrew's military affiliations and royal patronages. This was just a day after a New York federal judge refused to dismiss a sexual abuse lawsuit brought against him by an American woman.

Queen Elizabeth removes Prince Andrew’s military titles and patronages in a sex-abuse suit

Buckingham Palace issued a statement to announce the news.

"The Queen has approved and agreed to return The Duke of York’s Royal patronages and military affiliations to The Queen. According to the statement, The Duke of York will not continue to perform any public duties and is defending the case as a private citizen.

Virginia Roberts Giuffre (38), is suing Andrew, 61. He is the queen's second-born son. She alleges Andrew raped her and sexually assaulted them in New York in 2001, when she was 17. She alleges that Andrew's friend Jeffery Epstein trafficked her to him, and that the prince was aware of it.

Andrew was trying to separate himself from his highly-prized military affiliations for a long time, but the move came about when proceedings in New York continued despite Andrew's attempts to have it dismissed.

Many royals are proud to hold royal patronages and military associations. These royal patronages are distributed by the monarch and considered an important part of being a royal. Andrew was a pilot in the Royal Navy and served in the 1982 Falklands War. He returned to the Royal Family as a hero for many of his royal admirers.

However, British military leaders publicly complained anonymously to the media following developments in the lawsuit that continued links with Prince Charles were embarrassing and unsustainable.

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan stated Wednesday in an opinion that Andrew's lawyers had failed to challenge the constitutionality the August lawsuit Giuffre brought against him.

His lawyers claimed that the lawsuit was lacking in specificity. The settlement reached by Epstein and her lawyers in 2009 disqualified it.

USA TODAY obtained Sigrid McCawley's statement. She stated that Judge Kaplan's denial of Prince Andrew's attempt to dismiss Virginia Giuffre’s case against him was another important step in Virginia’s heroic and determined pursuit for justice as a survivor from sex-trafficking."

Andrew has been in hot water in Britain for his friendship with Epstein (the late American sex offender) since at least 2011. Giuffre, a fellow accuser of Epstein has been making public her accusations against Andrew since 2015.

Andrew vigorously denied all her allegations. After a terrible interview with the BBC on Andrew's Epstein friendship, and Giuffres allegations, Andrew "stepped down" from royal duties with Queen Elizabeth's approval. However, he retained his military affiliations while losing some charitable patronages.

The announcement did not result in him losing his title of Duke of York. The palace didn't say whether he would lose his HRH (His royal Highness).

The queen's grandson Prince Harry, an ex-member of the British Army, had to give up his military affiliations and royal patronages after he moved to California in 2020. Harry, the younger brother of Prince Charles, agreed not to use his HRH for commercial purposes.

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