UK's Prince Andrew will no longer be addressed as 'His Royal Highness'

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Jan 14, 2022, 08:10 PM(IST)

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 7, 2019 Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, attends a ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Bruges. Queen Elizabeth II's second son Prince Andrew, who is facing a US civil case for sexual assault, has given up his honorary military and charitable roles, Buckingham Palace said on Thursday, January 13, 2022 Photograph:( AFP )

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Prince Andrew will no longer be known as 'His Royal Highness' as he fights a US lawsuit in which he has been accused of sex abuse. 

Britain's Prince Andrew will no longer be known as 'His Royal Highness' as he fights a US lawsuit in which he has been accused of sex abuse. 

Andrew, 61, is Queen Elizabeth's third child. His royal patronages and military links too were removed on Thursday by the royal family. 

In 2019, he was forced to step down from public duties because of his connections to convicted US sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, and after a disastrous BBC TV interview which the prince had hoped would clear his name.
Thursday's move by the royal family means he will now lose all his royal connections.

"With the queen's approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronages have been returned to the queen," Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

"The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen." 
On Wednesday, Andrew's lawyers failed to persuade a US judge to dismiss a civil lawsuit in which Virginia Giuffre accuses him of sexually abusing her when she was a teenager.

US District Judge Lewis Kaplan said Giuffre, 38, could pursue claims that Andrew battered her and intentionally caused her emotional distress while Epstein - a financier who killed himself in jail in August 2019 while awaiting his sex trafficking trial - was trafficking her.

The prince, the 95-year-old queen's second son, has denied Giuffre's accusations that he forced her to have sex more than two decades ago at a London home of former Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, and abused her at two Epstein properties.

The judge`s decision means Andrew could be forced to give evidence at a trial which could begin between September and December 2022 if no settlement were reached outside of court. 

Andrew's links to Epstein had led to a swathe of damaging media reports, leading the prince to decide to do a TV interview in November 2019 which he hoped would resolve the matter.

It instead led to ridicule and further questions, and as the controversy grew, Buckingham Palace had increasingly distanced itself from the prince, declining to comment and referring all questions to his lawyers.

A royal source said the decision over Andrew came after wide discussions among the other members of the royal family. Now, his military affiliations and patronages would be redistributed to other members of the family.

The decision to strip Prince Andrew of royal title and military affiliations came after an open letter signed by 150 veterans asked the Queen to remove Andrew from his responsibilities amid the scandal. 

They called for Elizabeth to take immediate action because her son had been "uncooperative and less than truthful" about his relationship with Epstein, and had brought the armed services he represented into disrepute.

"Regardless of the result of Virginia Giuffre’s civil case against Prince Andrew, his position in Britain's armed forces is now untenable," the veterans' letter said.

The scandal surrounding Andrew comes on the heels of the damage caused after the queen's grandson Prince Harry and his American wife Meghan quit royal duties to forge new careers in Los Angeles, later accusing the royal household of racism.

(With inputs from agencies)

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