Buckingham Palace released a statement: “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.”
The Duke of York, 61, will also stop using the style His Royal Highness in an official capacity – much like the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who no longer use their HRH style since leaving the Royal Family.
His patronages will be distributed amongst the other members of the Royal Family. All this comes after the US civil case brought against him by Virginia Giuffre, who claims Prince Andrew sexually assaulted her when she was 17. However, he continues to deny any involvement. He has even gone as far as trying to get the case dismissed.
A statement from Buckingham Palace comes on the same day that a group of 152 British military veterans signed a petition to get the Duke of York’s military titles stripped from him, stating: “It’s been eleven years since the press revealed Prince Andrew’s inappropriate friendship with Jeffrey Epstein. Since then, Prince Andrew has shown himself to be uncooperative and less than truthful about the relationship. He has made several unbelievable claims during a BBC interview in late 2019, which only led to him ‘stepping back’ but not stepping down.”
This decision from Queen Elizabeth comes on the heels of a New York federal judge declining to dismiss the lawsuit against Prince Andrew. Andrew may have his lawyers appeal the ruling, but he and his lawyers are likely hoping to settle to avoid scandalous headlines that damage the royal family’s reputation.
With his friend Ghislaine Maxwell being convicted in December, the future is unclear for Prince Andrew.