Queen Elizabeth has finally, officially stripped her son of his titles.
As you may know, Prince Andrew was forced to retire from public life as a royal after his disastrous interview regarding allegations of sexual assault against him and his involvement with Jeffrey Epstein. Until now, he had retained his titles despite retirement; but after his recent failure to get his accuser Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit thrown out, he’s now facing further consequences.
Buckingham Palace released a statement on the subject on Thursday, which read:
“With the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronages have been returned to the Queen. The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”
CNN reported that a royal source confirmed “all of the Duke’s roles have been handed back to the Queen with immediate effect for redistribution to other members of the Royal Family. For clarity, they will not return to The Duke of York.” And though royal experts speculated that the monarch would allow her son to retain the address of “His Royal Highness,” the insider also revealed that the 61-year-old will no longer be allowed to use the HRH title in any official capacity.
Per the Guardian, the official decree comes hours after more than 150 military veterans signed an open letter stating that they were “upset and angry” that the embattled prince retained his military positions, “including that of Vice Admiral of the Royal Navy.” The missive accused Andrew of being “uncooperative and less than truthful about” his relationship with Epstein.
The vets went on to argue that in the face of the Ghislaine Maxwell trial and “regardless of the result of Virginia Giuffre’s civil case,” the Duke’s role in the military was “untenable.” They wrote:
“Were this any other senior military officer it is inconceivable that he would still be in post. Officers of the British armed forces must adhere to the very highest standards of probity, honesty and honourable conduct. These are standards which Prince Andrew has fallen well short of. It is hard not to see, when senior officers are reportedly describing him as ‘toxic’, that he has brought the services he is associated with into disrepute.”
The letter concluded:
“We understand that he is your son, but we write to you in your capacity as head of state and as Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Navy and Air Force. These steps could have been taken at any time in the past eleven years. Please do not leave it any longer.”
Phew. That’s a pretty strong argument, and clearly one that even the Queen couldn’t ignore. Things are looking worse and worse for Andrew as the sexual assault trial approaches.
[Image via MEGA/WENN/Avalon]